Do you want to return a product, get a refund or exchange an item? Whether it's a book, a car or clothes - in Switzerland consumers have no statutory right of return or exchange. Each shop can set its own rules.
Some shops voluntarily grant their customers a right to change their minds within 14 days or more: During this period you can return or exchange a product.
Only the following transactions are regulated by law:
Door-to-door sales, i.e. any sale where you are caught off guard – not only at your front door, but also, for example, on the street or at a promotional event.
Telephone contracts, i.e. transactions in which you agree to buy something on the phone .
In both cases, you can cancel the contract within 14 days if the value of the goods is more than CHF 100.
In Switzerland, the same rules apply to online trading as to a purchase in a shop. Always read the seller's general terms and conditions (GTCs), because the law is rarely mandatory.
In the event of disputes with Swiss online traders, the E-commerce Ombudsman's Office can help you.
You should be especially careful when shopping online on foreign websites.
Tips for returns and exchanges
It is important that you can produce the receipt.
If possible, take or send the goods back in their original packaging.
Have the possibility of an exchange or return confirmed in writing on the sales receipt when you buy if you want to be sure.
It is not normally possible to exchange hygiene articles or reduced-price goods.
In Switzerland, new products are covered by a two-year warranty. Thereafter, the shop is liable only if an extended warranty has been agreed in the contract. A period of one year applies to used products.
Sellers are not allowed to shorten these periods, but may exclude the warranty altogether.
If you discover a defect, notify the seller as soon as possible. The seller has the following options:
to take back the goods and refund the purchase price
to offer a discount
to replace the defective item
Since the law is not binding in this respect, sellers can also specify in their general terms and conditions that defective goods will simply be repaired. More detailed information from the Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau.
In the event of disputes, the consumer organisations and ombudsman's offices can help you.
The law does not specify how long gift tokens must remain valid. Check the validity period on the token and agree on a longer duration if necessary. You will find more Information on this on the website of the Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau.
Consumer information (Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau)
Answers to the most frequently asked questions about shopping and the law (Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau)
RecallSwiss (admin.ch) App for the recall of dangerous products