Case 243 – Store refuses to take back a fuel filled chain-saw


A DIY store refused to take back a chain-saw unless the chain lubrication reservoir (which must be filled before checking operability and subsequent use) has first been emptied – for “elf and safety”. A supervisor subsequently told the enquirer that it is company policy that liquid fuel added for operation must similarly be drained before exchange or refund on any tool or equipment the store supply.

Panel decision

The retailer in question has a policy of not accepting the return of equipment containing oil or fuel because they do not have facilities at their stores to handle the storage and disposal of waste fuels and/or lubricants. Rather than citing “health and safety” a proper and clear explanation would have helped the customer understand the reasons behind the company policy. It would be even better if the returns policy for specialised equipment could be explained to customers at the time of purchase.

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