Wednesday 13 December 2017

Promotion: Take a Santa Pause to find out your rights this Christmas

close-up of Santa in despair
close-up of Santa in despair

With Christmas just around the corner, the main thing that seems to be on everyone’s mind is shopping for presents. At this stage, you’ve probably thought of things like what you'll buy for whom and when you'll send your cards. But, another important thing to think about is your rights as a shopper this Christmas.

For example, what would happen if a gift you bought for someone was faulty? And what about if you receive a gift that you don’t want, or already have, but you don’t have the receipt? There’s a lot to think about, so thankfully the National Consumer Agency has got loads of information on your rights to help you out this festive season.

Check out the pointers below to get you started, and visit the ‘ Consumer Law and Shopping’ section on the NCA’s website for more information.

Faulty gifts

When you give out your gifts this Christmas, the last thing you want is for them to be faulty.

However, don’t panic too much if this does happen, because you have rights as a consumer if you are sold faulty goods – you are entitled to a repair, a refund, or a replacement from the seller.

You may also have additional protection if you received a guarantee or warranty with the product.

Unwanted gifts

If you receive a gift that you don’t want or need, you are not automatically entitled to an exchange or refund just because you don’t want it. However, some shops may offer an exchange or refund as a gesture of goodwill.

In this case, you will need proof of purchase, so it might be a good idea to agree with friends and family that you will ask for gift receipts when you buy your presents for each other.

Of course, you could all do up a list of things you would like for Christmas and email it to each other.

At least then you can spend the holidays enjoying your gifts, rather than waiting to return them in the post-Christmas rush!

What about the sales?

We all know that feeling of dread you get when you walk into the sales and see your gorgeous Christmas outfit reduced to half the original price.

But what if you bought something at full price before Christmas that you now have a problem with?

Do you have to forfeit the difference between the full price and the sale price? If the item is faulty, the answer is no.

You are still entitled to a repair, replacement or refund – at the full price.

However, if you simply decide you no longer want the item, you have no rights under consumer law, although some shops may exchange or refund unwanted goods as long as they are in the original packaging and condition.

If the goods are on sale when you bring them back, you will only be offered an exchange or refund at the sale price. So before you buy something in a frenzy leading up to Christmas, make sure you really want it!

For more on your rights as a shopper this Christmas – and all year round – check out the ‘ Consumer Law and Shopping’ section on the NCA’s website.

The NCA also has loads of other useful information to help you out this festive season, including tips on toy safety, and information on gift vouchers.

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