Know your consumer rights this Christmas!

With Christmas a little over 2 weeks away (!), you are probably well into the swing of gift buying but do you know what you are entitled to if something goes wrong with the products you’ve bought? In many cases, it may not be as simple as just returning it to the store. According to Citizens Advice, one in four people have been initially turned down when they have tried to return faulty electrical items. Of these people, 61% did end up getting some level of compensation, but not without having to go to some hassle to get it.

To avoid any post-Christmas refund stress we’ve laid out some of your consumer rights and how you can use them to get your issues sorted, problem free!

Check the company

This is incredibly important, especially if you are doing your shopping online. Make sure the company you are buying from is legit! There will be hundreds of sites out there selling fake goods or offering to-good-to-be-true deals, and you could end up out of pocket if you shop with them. Make sure you check the company out – use Google to find reviews, check the company info on their ‘about us’ page and look for a telephone number and address. If you are at all unsure, don’t make any purchases! It’s far better to go without the item than it is to get scammed!

Broken item?

Nothing is more annoying than having bought something and then it doesn’t work properly. If the product you have bought is faulty or not as described the first step is to contact the retailer you bought it from. You usually have 30 days from the date of purchase to return an item for a full refund, make sure you keep the receipt as proof of purchase. If the 30 days have passed you can get an exchange of item or a repair but you are not automatically entitled to a refund.

What about online?

If you are buying your items online rather than in store you can still get a refund, but the timings are different. When you buy online you have 14 days from purchase to cancel the order, then a further 14 days to return once the order has been delivered. This applies to most goods, but things like perishable may have a different return policy so it’s best to check with the store before you buy. If you return the items you can get a full refund, including the cost of postage to you, but not necessarily the return postage cost. These rule only apply if you have bought from within the EU. It’s always a good idea to check the return policy of online stores as some items may be excluded from returns or some stores will offer you a longer time to return unwanted items.

How to buy

If you are buying gifts online from sites like eBay using PayPal to pay can offer you more protection. PayPal offer ‘buyer protection’ which means they will reimburse you if your ‘item doesn’t arrive, or doesn’t match the seller’s description’. You will get back the cost of the item, plus the costs of any postage and packaging that you paid. The great news is that you can use your Monese card with PayPal! Read our guide on how to link your Monese card to PayPal here.

Remember your consumer right this Christmas and you’ll surely have a fuss-free and happy shopping experience!

Photo credit: litratcher


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