Know your consumer rights in the January sales!
As the post Christmas and January sales get into full swing, many people will be rushing to snap up those special offers or return unwanted festive gifts. Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service is reminding people not to forget their consumer rights while bargain hunting.
- Goods must fit the description given
- Goods must be of satisfactory quality
- Goods must be fit for purpose
Shoppers also have the right to ask for a replacement or repair instead of a refund if an item is faulty.
Do I have the same rights if I buy something in the sales?
Yes. If something is faulty, falsely-described or not fit for purpose then it doesn’t matter if it was full price or in the sale - you are entitled to your money back, unless you knew about the faults before you purchased the item. However, it is up to an individual retailer whether they want to take back an item because you have changed your mind.
What about unwanted gifts?
Again, it is up to the individual store whether they want to take back unwanted gifts. The best advice would be to check with the retailer when you buy the gift and consider asking for a gift receipt.
Do I have any rights if I buy from the internet?
Yes. You actually have additional rights when you buy a gift from an internet retailer. You have a ‘cooling off’ period of seven days for unused items, unless the gift is custom made, software or perishable goods. During the cooling off period an order can be cancelled or returned with any reason being given and the retailer must give you a full refund. You may have to pay return postage, so check the terms of sale for details.
If my new gadget broke on Boxing Day who should give me a refund – the manufacturer or the retailer?
When you buy something your contract is with the retailer and not the manufacturer - therefore if the goods are not up to scratch then it is the retailer who should give you a refund or replacement or repair the item concerned. If you have a guarantee, the manufacturer may also have responsibilities to you.
What protection is there for credit card purchases?
If you use a credit card to buy goods or services costing over £100 and up to £30,000, you may be protected under the Consumer Credit Act. This states that the credit card company is equally liable for any breach of contract, so if a problem arises you can claim from the trader or the credit card company.
How can I find out more about my rights?
If you’ve paid for something and you’re not happy, establishing your rights is the first step towards claiming the refund, repair or replacement you may be entitled to. The Citizens Advice consumer services provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues.
For more information visit the Advice Guide or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 for more information.