Community Matters: Cash & Credit Refunds In Hungarian Stores

  • 17 Jan 2020 8:52 AM
Community Matters: Cash & Credit Refunds In Hungarian Stores
Recently a member of the local expat community asked about whether stores are required to give cash refunds in Hungary or just store credit. Here below are a few of the experiences shared by Xpats in the loop via XpatLoop's group on Facebook.

Firstly, Robert Kiss explains the case in question:
I changed my home TV, net, phone, and cell. I bought a simple case for the new phone thinking it would take time to get the one I really wanted from the internet. It turns out Aqua carries Lifeproof cases and thus made the other case pointless.

I tried to return the case still unopened to the store and was told I could only be given store credit. Does anyone know what right to they have to force me to spend my money their again if I return something new "in box" 2 days later?

Dorothy Lannert:
In stores I've always been given the choice of either a refund or store credit refund.

Tünde Máté:
The first thing they offer is always store credit but they should give your money back if you ask for it.

Whisper Neko:
Only for online shopping do you have the right to a full refund. Simply because online you are dependent on pictures of the item and the description. Instore sales are fully dependent on the seller. At least according to EU regulations.

You can try for leniency, but if they refuse, be glad with the store credits. The store owner is only responsible for a fully functional product and has no obligation to take a item back.

Gáspár Obregon: 
Once the sales contract is formed by the meeting of the wills, the agreement on the terms, price and item, it's a done deal. "Your" money ain't yours. What is yours, is the product.

Now, legal and pragmatic considerations (VAT) aside, the main reason is probably a sociological one: After decades of communism where shopkeepers wouldn't bother about client satisfaction, because there was nothing to gain (fixed salaries, sales didn't matter) and nothing to loose (captive market, state monopoly). Customer friendliness was quite a new concept still a few years back, and in some charming places, you'd still have to basically apologize for the disturbance of asking them to do their jobs by taking your money.

Also, the blatant issue with these policies is that it might be easier to sabotge an appliance on purpose within the warranty period to be able to return it at all, than bring back something that merely has been unboxed and not even used. Which is why the market has adapted / was incited to /coerced into adopting more and more 'voluntary' money-back guarantees.

Also, as big (foreign) players come onto the market (Tesco, Mediarkt,...), they partly import a more Western culture of customer care.

After the sales contract is concluded in a brick and mortar shop, you have no right to change your mind at all. Returns are fully at the discretion of the seller's policy, or will be laid down in the T&C's you agree to by proceeding to the payment at the checkout.

When there is leniency, the seller will prefer issue you with store credit, because it requires less paperwork, as VAT will be already due, and cancelling the transaction is a pain.

Francisco De La Colina:
The truth is that according to EU law, when you buy in a physical store, you do NOT have the right to return or exchange the goods you bought unless they are faulty. You do n out have credit Store or anything.

The fact that everyone does and allot it ( that extra S T-shirt that you bought wrongly and went back to change ) is only customer care gesture by the shops

Noemi Noemi:
I have many times but those items were faulty. I never had any problem getting a refund.


Feedback: Click here to email over your experiences with store credit and refunds

Get in our loop on Facebook here: All Expats Budapest - XpatLoop's Group

+ You can follow our fresh news on Facebook here: XpatLoop News Hungary 


XpatLoop readers include both valuable expats and high-level locals in decision making positions. We refer to this inclusive and cosmopolitan group of internationally-minded folks as the Xpat Community.

We believe that any advice given above, and so this Community Matters content, is given in good faith and is accurate at the time of publication yet of curse we can not offer any guarantees nor accept any liability - it's always wise to consider that changes do happen in Hungary, as everywhere. 

This content is intended to support the communiy at large, as well as the person asking the question, based on publicly viewable posts on XpatLoop's open group on Facebook. So of course the opinions above do not necessarily represent the views of or the publisher.

Please note that readers need to use common sense when acting on any advice provided online. (and publisher) can not be held liable in any way related to advice here from Facebook user posts nor elsewhere on any of our social media platforms.

Thanks for your cooperation and support, community matters!

Click here to Share Your Story 
Your articles are welcome too - for editorial review before possible publication online.

  • How does this content make you feel?