You will be pleased to know that not only Costa Ricans but Baby Boomer retirees or anyone else living in Costa Rica has consumer’s rights.
Nobody buys something thinking that they are going to have to return it. However, at times some items have to be returned for a variety of reasons. Sometimes articles have to be returned because they are damaged or they turn out not to be what you expected or needed.
In Costa Rica, for example, if you buy a blender and the motor doesn’t work you can exchange it for a new one or get your money back no matter if the product was on sale or not. However, if something small like a switch on the blender doesn’t work the merchant is obligated to repair it within 30 days of the purchase. Law number 7472 protects the seller and allows him/her to fix the damaged merchandise.
In those cases when it is a matter of just not liking a product, for instance clothing, the procedure is different. Each store basically has its own policy and procedure. The business is required to post its return policy on a sign in the store or on the receipt so clients are aware of it. In the U.S. and Canada it is much easier to return something simply because you don’t like it. Costa Rica is backward in that respect in that it is more difficult to exchange an item. However, as more and more international chain stores set up business here the return policies are becoming more in tune with those of the States.
It is also very important that retirees and other foreigners living in Costa Rica also know that all merchandise bought on sale or with a discount has a 30 day guarantee in Costa Rica as established by the Oficina de Apoyo al Consuimidor del Ministro Económico or Consumer Support Group. All you need is your receipt. It is illegal for any business to refuse you the right to exchange this type of merchandise. If the merchant doesn’t comply you can call the Oficina de Apoyo al Consumidor at 800-CONSUMO ( 800-258-7474 ) or visit their offices in Barrio Mexico to try and resolve the problem.