Residents of the east coast of Australia say they’ve had enough of winter and are hoping to return it for a full-refund. Just seven days into June, people of all ages say that winter has bought them nothing but misery and destruction so far and will be contacting the Ombudsman if they are not given an immediate refund. At the very least, residents are hoping for the option to exchange winter for a better season, such as spring or summer.
A massive low pressure system which hit the East coast brought heavy winds, huge amounts of rain and freezing cold temperatures from the Gold Coast to Hobart. Flooding has caused inundation to hundreds of homes and millions of dollars worth of damage. Some oceanfront properties have even begun to collapse into the sea.
“This is not what we signed up for,” one flooding victim told Broken News. “We understand that winter is a colder time of year and, yep, that there is usually a bit of rain. We were happy to cop that. But what’s happened these last few days is ridiculous. We want our money back.”
“We just don’t want winter anymore,” another told us. “At first we were excited about wearing new winter fashions and awesome new coats we bought online at ASOS, but after all the destruction, we’ve changed our mind now.”
But getting a refund may be easier said than done. A spokesperson for the Department of Fair Trading told Broken News that the legislation relating to these types of refunds is a “bit of a grey area.”
“Generally customers are only entitled to a refund if an item is faulty, or not suitable for the purpose for which it is sold,” the Department told Broken News in a statement. “Customers can’t get a refund just because they’ve changed their mind.”
However, consumer group Choice says that there might still be hope.
“If an item doesn’t match the way it is described in advertisements, customers may still be able to get a refund,” Choice says. “Given that ads for Sydney winter, mostly feature images of happy families in clear weather enjoying the Vivid festival, or watching footy in sunny skies, this could certainly be a loophole.”
But there’s a catch. “You need to hold onto your receipt,” Choice says.
For dozens of families who’ve lost everything in the deluge, including their receipts, that clause is cold comfort. Many of them are believed to be considering other options including getting legal advice about forming a class action to fight the matter in court.
Others though are accepting the reality that they may never get a refund, and will simply have to endure the season until at least September.
“Sometimes you have to admit you’ve bought a dud and just cop it,” another victim told us. “And this Winter is definitely a dud.”