Posted on Monday 23rd December 2019
SCC Trading Standards are advising people to know their consumer rights over the busy shopping period
Shoppers looking for bargains online during the Boxing Day and January Sales period are being urged to get to know their rights.
The reminder, from Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team is asking people to be aware of their consumer rights before they shop, particularly online.
Boxing Day and New Year’s Sales are traditionally a busy time for retailers when lots of goods are heavily discounted.
Philip Atkins, leader at Staffordshire County Council said:
“The sales start earlier every year and the end of the year tends to be one of the busiest days for shopping and we simply want to remind people of their rights.
“Unfortunately, internet shoppers are increasingly targeted by criminals and scammers and that’s why it is important people follow some simple safety tips when buying online. We want people to be able to shop with confidence online and stay safe.”
Recent changes to consumer laws have given people greater clarity when they shop in store or online. The Consumer Rights Act clarifies consumer law and includes legislation to allow people to obtain a full refund on faulty goods within 30 days of purchase, an ability to challenge unfair terms and conditions and to demand poor services are redone or that there is a price reduction.
People should also be particularly wary of goods being offered for sale on bogus websites and social networks. Quite often these are counterfeit goods which are potentially dangerous and of poor quality.
To avoid counterfeit goods, consumers should also look out for the "3 P's":
- PRICE: If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.
- PACKAGING: If the product is being sold without its packaging, or the packaging appears to be of low quality, or includes printing errors (for example, blurry pictures, typos, spelling or grammatical errors) it is probably counterfeit.
- PLACE: Consider where the product is being sold. If it’s In-Store, ask yourself if you would normally expect to find the product sold in this type of environment. Deal only with legitimate, established retailers. If buying online, counterfeiters often steal pictures and formatting from the real websites to make their websites look legitimate, so don't be fooled by a professional-looking website. If you find typos, grammatical and spelling errors, or incomplete information, then the site is probably fake.
People with concerns about shopping online should visit Citizens Advice on www.citizensadvice.org.uk or telephone Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 03454 04 05 06.