Charging A Fee To Return An Item

Question

If a customer purchased ten pieces of timber and only used eight and wished to return the balance can we charge him a 10% return fee. 

Can we force him to purchase something else from us with the money?

If we state clearly on the invoice that a 10% return fee will be charged or the money is not refundable, will this be fine?

Answer

It is not permissible to charge the customer extra 10% or any amount as a return fee even if it is mentioned at the time of the transaction. It is also not permissible to make incumbent upon the customer to buy another item with the returned item’s money.

It is not compulsory upon the seller to accept returns however it is advised and Mustahab in Shariyah to accept returns. This in Shar’iee terms is called Iqaalah. It is mentioned in a Hadith that Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said;

If a person makes Iqaalah with a Muslim brother, Allah Ta’aala will forgive all his sins on the day of Qiyaamah.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

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