Monday 28 November 2016

Consumer Rights - "Black Friday"

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, who is looking out for you?  

With pay-day on the horizon and Christmas ever near, "Black Friday" gets many shoppers excited, and taken care of just in time for the festive break.  

Traditionally an American practice, Black Friday lasts one day with Cyber Monday being its online counterpart. The UK has continued this extravaganza with some added flare as this year stores across the country have enticed consumers with deals up to two weeks in advance of the event - and let's not forget the weekend long extension.   

From household goods and electronics, to holidays and the latest trends in fashion and cosmetics, there is something on the sale rack for everyone. No one is safe from the impulse to spend as visually we are bombarded with adverts of must-have products and the reminder that "Sale Ends Midnight." Some retailers have gone as far as stocking products solely for this event. So what's the catch? Faulty products and restrictions on refunds and returns.  

For those who shop in store and either try or inspect goods before taking them home, this isn't too much of a problem. But, what happens when damage and defects present themselves after the fact? And what can you do when you've chosen to forgo the crowds and congestion by shopping online? 

Kagowa Kuruneri of Garden House Solicitors, Hertfordshire
Article by Kagowa Kuruneri
As a customer you are protected by the Consumer Rights Acts 2015 (CRA). This Act entitles you to return products that are not as advertised. Your rights under this Act are simple, all goods bought either from shops or online must: 

  • Be fit for purpose 
  • Be of a satisfactory quality and standard; and  
  • Be as described, matching any models seen or examined.  

If your purchases do not meet the above criteria, or cause you any injury in any way, you are entitle for a refund, replacement or repair. Whether you've bought your goods online or in-store you have a grace period in which returns can be made (usually 7 - 14 days from the day you receive your items.) It is your right to return unsatisfactory products, no matter what bargains seduced you. You also have a right to cancel orders made online.  

That being said, online shoppers beware! There are some purchases that cannot be undone. Certain items that come specially sealed cannot be returned or refunded if their seals have been broken (e.g. CDs, video games or software.) Similarly, intimate items such as underwear and earrings cannot be returned for hygienic reasons, nor can you return items made to personalised specifications.   

So as you participate in the mad dash that Cyber Monday brings, exercise caution and shop smart. Keep your receipts and pay attention to the fine print. Before you check-out, read the returns policy and information about your right to cancel orders. If you are concerned about a recent purchase, believe you have a claim against merchants or manufacturers, or feel that you would like some legal advice regarding your consumer rights, we at Garden House Solicitors are looking out for you.

Email me, or connect with me on LinkedIn

Tel: 01992 422 128

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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