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Do you know your consumer rights?

Dec 12, 2016

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Your Christmas shopping is probably well under-way but do you know your rights when it comes to returning your purchases? Here, we take a look at your consumer rights this festive season.

You have consumer rights when making purchases – whether it in on the high street or online. The Consumer Rights Act 2015, replaced three other key separate pieces of consumer law which were in force and includes online and digital purchases.

Do you know your rights? Here’s a brief breakdown:

What are your rights when returning an item? 
The rules surrounding returning your item depend on whether there is a fault with your purchase or not. Either way you should always try to keep your receipt - especially if you buy something as a gift.

If your item is faulty:  When you buy anything, either from a shop or online, your goods should always be in a satisfactory condition - free from defects, as described and ‘fit for purpose’. You have up to 30 days after your purchase to claim a full refund if the goods are faulty.  If you have lost your receipt you can provide proof of purchase e.g. your credit card statement.

What if you have just changed your mind?
High street retailers are under no obligation to provide you with a refund if your item is of good quality. However, many stores will take back goods as a gesture of goodwill. Most companies offer 28 days to return an item and this is sometimes extended over the festive period. You can check specific rules from retailers on their websites, in store and on receipts.

What if the item breaks after 30 days?
If your item breaks or a fault is found within the first six months, retailers must be given one opportunity to repair or replace the faulty item. If they cannot repair or replace the item then retailers are required to give a full refund or a price reduction if consumers choose to keep the goods. 

What about digital content?
If you download or stream something - including apps, music, movies, games and ebooks, then you now have the same rights as other purchases to have the item repaired or replaced if not of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose or as described.  

What if I bought the item online?
When shopping online you still have the same consumer rights with regards to faulty items. You also have additional rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations to return your items. This is because your purchase decision might have been made on a short description or a photograph, so it may not be as you expected. This means that you can cancel your order immediately after you buy the item - and up to 14 days after you receive it. 

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