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Christmas shopping all wrapped up with Ten Top Tips

Christmas shopping rights you need to know

Christmas shopping can be a stressful time – who to buy for and what to  buy them? Where are the bargains? What to do if the recipient doesn’t like what you have bought? What happens if you change your mind? What can you do if there’s a delay in an order?

Here are my Top 10 tips for ensuring you know and use your rights when shopping for Christmas presents and in the sales!

 

 

Change of mind

 1) When purchasing something as a gift, get a gift receipt. Stores do not have to take anything back and give a refund or exchange just because you changed your mind (or in this case the recipient doesn’t like it) but many do and are more likely to do so with a receipt (or any proof of purchase). Many shops will also need this for an exchange too.

2) 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. Whether or not return postage has to be paid depends on the trader’s terms and conditions.

Delivery

3) 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 no more than 30 days from the day after the contract is made. After this time you are entitled to a full refund.

4) 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. See Your Rights, Mail Order, Online and Deliveries.

5) 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, so that IT can get the money back from the courier!

Faulty goods

6) Your purchases are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and you have 30 days from the date of purchase to demand a refund if the item is not of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, doesn’t last a reasonable length of time or match the description. After this time the trader can offer a repair or replacement. So you can check the item or give a gift receipt with the present.

7) These rights also apply to digital goods although the 30 day rule does not apply to non tangible digital goods such as downloads.

8) Your rights remain the same in the sales unless a known fault was pointed out at the time of purchase.

Christmas meals out

9) When you have a works or office Christmas meal you also have rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Your meal should be of satisfactory quality and of a similar price to a comparable establishment. If you are not happy with it don’t eat it and take photographic evidence should you need to complain later. You can refuse replacement courses and claim a refund. More here.

10) When you have made a booking for a hotel/restaurant for a Christmas “do” you are entitled to that booking! If it isn’t honoured speak to the manager about immediate compensation, such as free drinks, whilst you wait for your table. If this can’t be done and you have to make alternative arrangements, the establishment is liable for any out of pocket expenses you may incur. More

If you need to complain follow these Top Tips.

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

And see How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results, for load of advice, information, tips, templates and your consumer rights!

 

 

 

Top 20 Tips for Complaining Effectively

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How to use Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974

So few people use the Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Even people who think they know their legal rights rely on the Sale of Goods Act.  (Now Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) for items bought after October 1st 2015.) However, what if the company goes bust that you bought the item from? No money in the company to pay you back. That’s where the Section 75 rather usefully comes into play. Buy something for over £100 and under £30,000 and you are covered. (You don’t need to spend the full amount) Covered how? Well…..

A few years ago we had some curtains made with a furniture and furnishings company. We paid the deposit on a credit card. The company wanted cash for the remainder. We wouldn’t pay the cash. Even though we would have been covered because we used the credit card we knew something was wrong and if they were going to fleece customers by getting cash and not declaring it to receivers at a later point we would not let them get away with it! Eventually guess who won? So the curtains were put up. As suspected they weren’t good enough.

Nope, not good enough
Nope, not good enough

If you look closely, not at the dust(!) but at the slight differentiation in colour you might agree with me that the curtains were not good enough. As expected, as soon as we tried to get our money back, we could not get any response. Had we have given them cash they would have done a runner with it one assumes and many people who were left out of pocket I’m sure would be pleased that at least the owners didn’t pocket over £1,000 in cash.

So, I contacted the credit card company. It isn’t always as easy as just them paying up. I had to get an independent report. (That was good, the chap forgot to bill us!)  I then had to return the curtains to the warehouse. Quite ridiculous given that we knew that no-one was there, but the credit card company insisted. So we sent them back via a courier company (which messed up the delivery by not doing it within specified time and I got my money back for that too!) Anyway, the curtains were brought back to us as undeliverable. Credit card company paid up, we got curtains, not perfect but hey they were free!

If a holiday company goes bust, or a store sells you a faulty cooker etc., it is easier to prove so the process of getting your money back will be easier. I had to prove that under the Sale of Goods Act that the items were not satisfactory, which I did, obviously! (Would now be CRA as mentioned above).

You can use this Law even when a company hasn’t gone bust. That said, it is easier to go straight to the retailer. If the retailer doesn’t pay up you can always go to court like I do, that’s fun. Remember that a debit card does NOT cover you in the same way as a credit card does. Also useful to know is that this Act covers store cards. If the credit card company refuses to help report it to the Financial Ombudsman.

Have you used Section 75?

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

For further help, advice, tips, information and consumer laws GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!