As the Christmas shopping frenzy approaches and we reach deep into our pockets for gifts for friends and loved ones, read on to find out about your consumer rights when shopping online, so you can shop with confidence even if the time for giving and the season of goodwill doesn’t quite work out as expected.
You have more rights than you think!
This year in UK we are estimated to spend over £25billion* online between now and Christmas Day with Google estimating that we will spend £1.1billion on just Black Friday. That represents an awful lot of shopping without actually seeing the goods, that will be taking place over the next few weeks. And given that 80%** of us will be doing part or all of our Christmas shopping online, it makes sense to know where you stand if you want to return an item back to the retailer.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015
The first thing to know is that all purchases – no matter where they are bought – are covered by the Consumer Rights Act (October 2015) which replaced the old Sale of Goods Act
In summary any goods purchased must meet the following standards
- They are of satisfactory quality and in working order
- They should be fit for purposes and do what they say they do
- They should match any description given at the time of purchase
You have 30 days to reject and return any goods if they do not meet the standard and claim a full refund from the retailer (not the manufacturer). Outside of this period you still have the right to a repair or replacement.
Additionally, many larger retailers will offer you a ‘goodwill returns policy’ in-store but did you know that you have additional consumer rights when you shop on line?
Additional Rights when shopping online
Most importantly for those of us who prefer the armchair to the high street for their shopping, under the Consumer Contracts Regulation (June 2014) which covers all sales made online, consumers have several additional rights.
Firstly, if you change your mind about an online purchase you can cancel an order for goods at any time from the point of ordering up to 14 days after you receive your goods. You should get a refund within 14 days of the online retailer receiving the goods back.
In some situations, the retailer may make a reasonable deduction as a result of the goods not being in the same condition as when they were new (so always keep original packaging just in case).
Most importantly, if the product is faulty then the retailer must refund the basic delivery costs of getting the products to you in the first place and, the cost of the product itself and the cost of returning the item. It’s worth noting however that they don’t have to refund any enhanced postage options that you may have chosen at the time. Check what the terms and conditions state about the retailers free returns policy as they will vary. Smaller companies such as Lily Charmed will often have no quibble returns policies to enhance customer satisfaction.
Amazon UK is very clear on its refund policy and will refund the cost of returns postage only if items are defective, damaged or incorrect as well as for shoes and clothing returns. However these return postage refunds are limited to the amount up to their standard delivery options.
As ever there are some notable product exceptions (which are quite logical when you think about them):
- CD’s and DVD’s where the seal is broken
- Perishable items such as food and flowers
- Personalized items that could not be resold such as engraved jewelery
- The following items can’t be returned due to hygiene reasons: Earrings, make up and toiletries and sometimes these exceptions include underwear and swimwear
Lily Charmed engraved silver jewelery is an example of personalized goods that can’t be exchanged unless they are faulty (highly unlikely in this case!)
Also a retailer must not charge you for anything else other than the items you have placed in your basket, they cannot add any product or delivery service unless you have actively selected it.
Next Day Delivery Options
One thing to note is that when you select a next day guaranteed delivery service, these services are often signed for, so make sure some on is in to receive them. If the delivery does not arrive on time (which is generally hugely annoying as the whole point was to get it the next day) then you can always return the product for a full refund including your next day postage costs. Still annoying but you won’t lose out financially.
A little bit of knowledge goes along way so shop with confidence this Christmas knowing that you have the right to return products bought in store or online that are either not fit for purpose or if you’ve simply changed your mind.
Lily Charmed prides itself on its 5 star service rating from Feefo independent reviews so if you’re seeking a perfect gift this year, look no further than their unique sterling silver designs. Happy shopping
1 *IMRG and Capgemini Forecast.
2 **We Are Social: Digital Yearbook 2016
For further reading on your consumer rights visit which.co.uk
Tags: black friday, Christmas 2016, Consumer Contracts Regulation, consumer rights, Consumer Rights Act, extend christmas returns, Google shopping, next day delivery, online shopping, Refund policy, return policy, silver jewellery, sterling jewellery