Refund means that the consumer returns the merchandise to the seller within a period of time after purchasing the merchandise and gets back the money originally paid.


Merchants selling goods or services are regulated by law. Likewise, consumers demanding refunds must also meet certain criteria. Consumers should pay attention to the terms and policies for refunds in the contract for purchase. The “Sale of Goods Ordinance” grants a consumer the right to reject the goods and demand a full refund, unless goods for sale meet the following conditions:

Legal sale

Merchants must have the right to sell the goods, for example, purchase the goods from legal channels or with relevant licenses, etc.

True description

Where there is a contract for the sale of goods by description, there is an implied condition that the goods will correspond with the description.

Quality of good

The quality of goods includes usability, integrity, appearance, durability, safety and other conditions.


Commodities must be able to perform their due functions. If the merchant has pointed out the shortcomings of the good before the transaction and the consumer is aware of it, or the consumer should be able to detect the shortcomings of the good, the consumer cannot use this as a reason for the refund.



It's worth noting that although consumers’ rights of request for refund are protected by the “Sale of Goods Ordinance” and the sale and purchase agreement, the refund process may not be as smooth or convenient as imagined. Therefore, you should carefully review the products or services before making a decision of purchase. Moreover, you should be alert of untrustworthy sellers, in order to minimize the possibility of disputes or losses.

Case Study

Always Good to Carefully Read the Contract

Little Thrifty wishes to get in shape with exercises, and he has been visiting the fitness centre. He was persuaded to purchase 100-hour private classes worth over HK$50,000. The deal was almost done, but when Little Thrifty carefully read the contract, he noted that the contract was irrevocable and non-refundable. Little Thrifty gave up the deal in the end.

Little Thrifty later acknowledged that a mandatory cooling-off period, a tool to protect consumers by allowing them to cancel a purchase unilaterally and seek refund within a reasonable period of time after the conclusion of a contract has not been implemented in Hong Kong. The Consumer Council has urged the government to bring in a 7-day mandatory cooling-off period for consumer contracts, where consumers can unconditionally cancel the contract within 7 days and get a refund, the proposed scope of application includes: unsolicited off-premises contracts; distance contracts; fitness and beauty services contracts with a duration of not less than 6 months or involving prepayment ; timeshare contracts.


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