Centra will stop giving receipts in order to “be green”

This e-mail question came through from a reader of ValueIreland.com recently. It’s an interesting twist that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else.

I was in my local Centra this evening and they had a notice up saying that they would be phasing out the provision of receipts from their tills over time “in the interests of being greener”.

Can they do that? I though it was obligatory that shops provide receipts for purchases. Any information you can provide would be appreciated.

I had to do a bit of checking on this, and here’s what I could find out. First of all, to clarify – the Centra signs referred to in the readers e-mail did actually specify that if shoppers wanted a receipt, they only had to ask for one.

As far as I can find out, shops are not legally obliged to give every customer a receipt. Fair enough, most big stores do, but lots of smaller convenience stores don’t already.

However, what shops are obliged to do is provide you with a receipt if you ask for one.

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2 Responses to Centra will stop giving receipts in order to “be green”

  1. boardtc June 16, 2009 at 10:45 #

    A lot of people rely on receipts to keep track of finances. IMHO, a greener solution would be to advertise that their receipt rolls were resourced from 100% recycled materials.

  2. valueireland June 18, 2009 at 21:14 #

    The reader who originally sent in this e-mail has followed up with two comments.

    Firstly, they highlighted that they had e-mailed the National Consumer Agency and the Consumers Association of Ireland at the same time as mailing ValueIreland.com.

    They’re still waiting for an acknowledgement from the Consumers Association, but here is the response received from the National Consumer Agency:

    Thank you for contacting the National Consumer Agency (NCA) with your query regarding Centra.

    Under current legislation a retailer does not have to provide a receipt to the consumer. Cheque stubs, credit card statements and bank statements are also accepted as proof of purchase.

    You should be aware that when paying for goods by cash your receipt might be the only proof you have of when and where you purchased the goods and a business is entitled to ask for proof of purchase before providing redress.

    However, if you ask for a receipt and you are not issued one, the retailer may not refuse to provide redress at a later date on the grounds that you do not have a receipt. If you are refused a receipt we suggest you write down the time, date and amount of purchase as witnessed by the retailer. It is then up to you to decide whether you wish to purchase the goods or service.

    You may wish to make a formal complaint in writing to the Centra store in relation to this matter.

    Details of the means available to make a complaint are available in the section of our website entitled ‘How to Complain’. Please click on the following link for further information: here.

    We trust you have found this information useful and if you have an further consumer related queries do not hesitate to contact us on 1890 432 432.

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