The retail arena may tempt shoppers during event sales, but it is more important than ever that you don’t get your consumer rights overlooked. You may think you know your rights when you purchase something from a business, but might not be aware of the 10 facts detailed below.
1, Don’t like it..
Say you purchase a product, take it home and decide you don’t like it. Many people believe that you have the legal right to return the goods and receive a refund. This isn’t strictly true, most businesses will permit an exchange or refund, but they do not have to by law. The only factor that supersedes this is the businesses returns policy – if that allows a refund, then by law, the business will have to agree a refund.
2, Bought it online but don’t like it..
There is an exception to number 1 above. If you purchase a product on the Internet, as a consumer you are entitled to a 7 day ‘cooling off period’. If you change your mind and don’t like the product, you can return it and receive a refund if it is within the 7 day period.
3, What about gifts..
By law, the only individual entitled to return the product, is the person who bought the gift. Most businesses will allow other people to make returns. The way to avoid the situation is to make a note on the receipt saying it is a gift. This means that the legal rights will be transferred to the gift recipient.
4, Pork joint.. for £0.70..
You may have spotted a product that appears to be reasonably cheap. Unfortunately, the business is not required by law to sell the items at the displayed price. This means that they do not have to honour the display price, and they can charge you the correct price.
5, Damn.. lost my receipt..
If you have a product that breaks and you want to return it, you may not be able to find the original receipt. The business could argue that you can only have store credit as you do not have the receipt. This is incorrect. All you need to evidence is proof of purchase. This could be a bank statement.
6, I meant to return it last month..
If you have a faulty product, but have left it a prolonged period to return it, your consumer rights do change. It is advised to return a faulty item to the business as soon as the fault is noticed. Should you leave it for a long period, the business could (within its rights) offer an exchange or refund.
7, I didn’t mean to sign that..
You should be wary of contracts. Many people do not read the small print. You do not have the absolute right to cancel a contract. It must be stipulated in the clauses of the terms of conditions for someone to cancel a contract.
8, I missed the postman..
If you have ordered a product, which is to be delivered to an address and there is no one around, the delivery person is not under a duty to return it to the warehouse. This applies if the parcel does not fit through your letter box. Legally, the parcel can be left on your doorstep or you could be charged for the delivery man to take it back. You should examine the delivery policy to determine your position.
9, Birthday delivery..
If you purchase products online as a gift for someone, they must be delivered within the time period the business has specified. If no time period is specified, the general statutory time limit is 30 days. If the business cannot meet this deadline, they must inform you before the end of the 30 day deadline. The business may arrange an alternative date for delivery – but you are under no duty to accept and can request a full refund.
If you purchased the product in-store and no date is specified, the legal position is deliver in ‘reasonable time’ which is rather vague!
10, I bought it on my credit card..
If you purchased products over the price of £100.00 on your credit card, you are afforded extra legal protection. The credit card company is held jointly liable for the retailer if a product is faulty.
So what can you do..
If you are having trouble enforcing your rights against a business, we can advise on a fixed fee basis. If all else fails you can make a claim through the Small Claims Court.
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