People in South Tyneside are being urged to know their consumer rights as they head off to exchange Christmas presents or bag a bargain in the sales.
South Tyneside Council’s Trading Standards Team says the Consumer Rights Act 2015 was updated last year and gives buyers greater protection.
Coun Nancy Maxwell, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “The new Consumer Rights Act makes it easier for shoppers to understand their rights and simplifies the law for businesses.
“Having this knowledge will enable consumers to return faulty or unwanted items with greater confidence. It is also very useful for people to know their consumer rights while out looking for bargains in the New Year.”
The Consumer Rights Act simplifies and clarifies consumer law, provides new cover for consumers buying digital content, such as music downloads or ebooks, and sets out what should happen when goods or services do not live up to their description.
If a problem does occur, the Act makes it easier for disputes between consumers and businesses to be settled. It also aims to help encourage businesses to improve their goods, services and customer relations.
Trading standards have the following tips for consumers:
•Keep all receipts, including gift receipts, as proof of purchase.
•If items turn out to be faulty, consumers are entitled to a full refund for up to 30 days after purchase.
•Gifts paid for by credit card costing more than £100 affords consumers additional protection through the credit card company.
•People who change their mind about a purchase bought in store are not automatically entitled to a refund or exchange, unless it is faulty.
•Online shoppers have the right to return goods (except bespoke and perishables) and receive a full refund within 14 days of goods being delivered.
*When entering into a service contract online consumers have the right to cancel that service within 14 days provided that work hasn’t started within that period.
For consumer advice contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 404 0506 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer