Know your rights this Black Friday and Cyber Monday…a short and sharp legal guide from Steve Pattison, a solicitor in the disputes resolution team at Wilkin Chapman.
Bargain hunters are ready for the largest sales of the year, with offers of hundreds of pounds slashed off goods in shops and online. But do you know what to do if things go wrong?
Online: If you have bought online, the Consumer Contracts Regulations gives you a cancellations period that starts when you place the order and ends 14 days from receipt of the item/items. You then have a further 14 days from the date you notify the retailer that you’d like to cancel your order to return the goods to them.
HELP, my goods are faulty! The Consumer Rights Act gives shoppers the statutory right to return something and get refunds if it is faulty and you could be entitled to a repair, replacement or refund even if the warranty has expired. You have the legal right to a refund if you return your faulty good/goods within 30 days of receiving them, regardless of what the store’s return policy says. If you don’t reject the goods within the first 30 days and find a fault within the first six months of possessing your faulty goods, you will need to give the retailer a chance to make a repair or replacement. If that is unsuccessful, you can then ask for a refund.
So, you have bought in store and don’t like the purchase! Many retailers will offer a ‘goodwill’ returns policy offering an exchange, refund or credit note for most returns so long as you have the receipt, the credit card you made the purchase with and the original packaging. You can only return store-bought non-faulty goods for an exchange or refund if the retailer has a returns policy and shops are not required by law to have one – so look out for it. Most retailers impose time limits for returning non-faulty products, such as 28 days and remember if you paid using a credit card you are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Beware, however that items must be unused, in perfect condition and in their original packaging. Perishable items are unlikely to be accepted, and that may also be the case for items that are made to order or personalised.
The receipt is missing! There is no legal obligation for a retailer to refund with no receipt, however you may be able to exchange or get a credit note. If your goods are faulty and you don't have the receipt, you still have the right to a repair, refund or replacement under the Consumer Rights Act providing you can show proof of payment, for example a bank statement.