I want my refund! How to get your money back in Sweden

I want my refund! How to get your money back in Sweden
Drottninggatan in Stockholm, one of the capital's major shopping streets. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT
If you pay for an item or service in Sweden that you do not receive or isn't up to the expected quality, you should be able to get a refund. But the process isn't always simple, so here's how to get your money back.

Your rights 

You're entitled to a refund if you buy a product that is defective, or in many cases if you pay for a service or event that you don't receive.

For defective products, the law protects you if there is an 'original fault' – and that covers all faults that arise within the first six months after buying the item unless the company can prove otherwise. Even after six months, you still have the right to complain, but will need to prove that the fault was original. 

For events and services, the guiding principle is that if you paid for something that didn't happen, you're usually entitled to a refund – but only if it was the company that cancelled the service, not if you changed your mind. The specific circumstances will influence the outcome, including the terms of your agreement (although these have to be reasonable).

For a more detailed look at consumer rights in Sweden, read the article below.

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Contact the company

The first step is to take it up directly with the company you purchased from, either in person at the shop you bought it from or by contacting the company's customer service department online or over the phone. Explain what's happened; clearly detailing the fault and/or circumstances.

As a first step, the company has the right to try to fix the problem, so they might offer you a replacement item or repair of your item. If they do this and they fix the problem, you aren't able to ask for a monetary refund, but you are entitled to one if they don't fix it. When it comes to cancelled events, you might be offered an alternative date if the event is rescheduled, but as a general rule you don't have to accept this since the date is such an important part of an event.

Photo: Tove Freiij/

Submit your complaint

At this stage if you haven't got the result you want, you can submit an official complaint. This might be if they refuse to help you altogether, or if you're not happy with their proposed solution (such as a partial refund or vouchers instead of cash).

You should do this in writing, as soon as possible after discovering the fault, and should keep a copy for your own records so that you can prove you contacted the retailer.

Get expert help

At this point, you can also reach out to other organisations for support, especially if you want clarity on your rights. 

Many municipalities have a specialist consumer advisor who can give you detailed information about your rights and tips on the right course of action to take, all for free – you can find the options in your area here. Alternatively or in addition, consumer organisation Hallå Konsument can offer free impartial advice about your rights.

File a report

The next step is filing a report with Sweden's National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN), which will assess the case for free if a business has rejected or failed to respond to a complaint.

Your complaint must fulfill a few conditions: there are minimum price thresholds, depending on the type of item, and you must submit your claim to the ARN no later than one year after your first complaint to the company in question.

You submit the complaint online, by filling in a form on the website or sending an email, and the board says it takes on average about six months to assess each case.

It is worth noting that ARN's decisions are not legally binding, but companies do generally respect them.

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