12 Top Tips of Christmas Sales!
Out to the sales? Are you really buying a bargain? What can you do if you change your mind? What if the item is faulty? Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow blogger and author of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results shares her 12 top tips for ensuring you know your rights when shopping in the sales.
1) Have a price in mind for the amount(s) you are prepared to spend on an individual or total items. It is easy to get carried away especially in store as retailers put out items to entice you to spend more and that’s when you are most likely to buy things you don’t want or need! Keep an eye on your list of items and prices!
Make a list
2) Start a list of things you want and/or would consider buying and add to it as you think of things. Have a list of likely stockists and current prices. Use comparison websites to find these. This preparation will stand you in good stead even if you hit the stores as well as shopping online.
Change of mind
3) Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, consumers have 14 days cooling off period for changing their minds when buying something not on the retailer’s premises. There are some exceptions to this such as bespoke items. Check the terms and conditions for returns though as you may have to pay return postage if the item is not in breach of the CRA.
4) You are not entitled to a refund if you simply change your mind when purchasing items in stores although many of the larger retailers will refund or exchange.
5) Remember that some stores have a price promise but this doesn’t always mean online as well, it could be just in store. For example, John Lewis will not price match online only retailers or mail order companies. But price promises should include items in a sale in another store.
Know your rights
6) Under the Consumer Rights Act (CRA) 2015, the item must be of satisfactory quality, match the description be fit for purpose and last a reasonable length of time.
7) You have 30 days to return for a full refund, after this time you may have to accept an exchange or repair. This is the same for goods in sales unless the fault was pointed out a point of purchase. So for example if a kettle was marked down because it had a mark on it you couldn’t ask for a refund, if however, it has a mark and it doesn’t work you can!
8) These rights also apply to digital goods although the 30 day rule does not apply to non tangible digital goods such as downloads.
Spread your risk
9) Sometimes shopping early will get you some fantastic deals, but as some stores start, other companies may follow suit and match price or reduce prices further so there is no ideal time to buy! Give it a week and what you’ve just bought will either be sold out or reduced further! So spread the risk and buy some things now and wait until later for others.
10) Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 goods must be delivered within the time frame agreed with the seller. If one hasn’t been agreed (you have agreed a time frame if the listing supplies a time frame) the trader must deliver ‘without undue delay’ and at the very latest not more than 30 days from the day after the contract is made. After this time you are entitled to a full refund.
11) You are entitled to any out of pocket expenses if the company don’t turn up when they say they will, such as recompense for time taken off work.
12) Your contract is always with the retailer to whom you gave the money. It is NOT the courier unless you have paid your money directly to the courier. Always insist on redress from the retailer company, IT can get the money back from the courier!