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I want to ask for a refund? For example, if I want to refund a train ticket. How do I ask the train master?

I think it is not a 返品。

Do you need certain politeness?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

In this case, you might somehow use 返金.

  • 返品 focuses on the merchandise being returned from the customer to the shop.
  • 返金 focuses on the money being returned from the shop to the customer.

Often, two things happen at the same time, but depending on what kind thing was sold, it is more appropriate to focus on one or the other. In addition, for things like train tickets, they are not reused by another customer; they will be probably just become void, and/or thrown out. In that case there is no process that will be described as 返品, so it is better to use 返金.

In Japan, customers are generally considered to be in a socially higher status than the shop clerk (of course only in that temporaral situation), so you don't have to be too polite, but may use the polite form. But note that in Japan, returning things is not done as frequent as in U.S. For things like tickets, there should be a clear policy somewhere regarding refunding.

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Is this expression appropriate to tell the station master? 切符が間違ったから、返金ができますか。 –  Nap Feb 18 '12 at 5:46
4  
Almost. 切符が間違ったから will mean 'since the ticket made a mistake', which is strange. Change the first part to 切符を間違って買ったから 'since I mistakenly bought a ticket' or 間違った切符を買ったから 'since I bought the wrong ticket.' –  sawa Feb 18 '12 at 5:57
    
I believe you can add 返済 as well, which seems to be used in a more professional/formal speech. Of course people will understand either of them but 返金 is, IMHO, the most common. –  Aki Feb 19 '12 at 17:45
3  
@Aki No, you cannot. 返済 is totally different. It means to pay back the debt. –  sawa Feb 19 '12 at 19:12

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