Consumer Christmas Concerns

Nov 04, 2015

With Christmas fast approaching it is easy to get swept up in the festive period with purchasing goods. However, not every purchase is always going to be a happy one. Recent statistics have shown that after Christmas there is usually a big increase in complaints to the Citizens Advice Bureau for defective goods such as video games, sound systems and other electronic items. 

Make sure you know your rights as the law has recently changed. These useful tips below can help you make sure you know your rights when taking on a supplier. 

  1. Did you buy the goods before 1 October 2015? If so, the old legislation applies and you cannot seek to rely on the new law. It is intended to be for goods purchased on or after 1 October 2015. 
  2. If the goods are faulty or of poor quality then you are entitled to full refund within 30 days of purchase. While a receipt is not strictly necessary, it is difficult to prove when you bought it, so good practice would be to always keep your receipts so you can easily produce it when you go to make your complaint. 
  3. Whether you buy the goods from a sales man, in your home or online, you must be given information on delivery charges, returns policies and how goods are to be delivered. You typically have 14 days to cancel a contract and return the goods as this could be considered as distant selling; however, if you do not have that information, that right could be extended to up to a year. 
  4. If there are any serious or draconian terms, then the new law requires terms to be brought to the attention of the customer in a clearer method. For example, if you buy an item and you then have to pay for its return, the law may now require this to be more prominent. If they do not, then this could be a breach of the new law. This approach is supposed to allow you work out what is the best deal and what the contract terms are exactly. 
  5. If you still have problems, consider making a complaint to the appropriate Ombudsman – a free service that will review the situation between you and the other party involved and form a final decision on the matter. They have limited powers to impose fines. 

Nicola Lucas

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Nicola Lucas

Nicola is a member of our Business Law Team handling all the commercial requirements of her clients such as shareholder agreements and negotiating on commercial ...

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