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10 top tips for people who want to know their consumer rights


BIS Department for Business Innovation and Skills - Expert Author

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Issued on 01 March 2010

The ‘Know Your Consumer Rights’ campaign is a joint initiative by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Consumer Direct and Consumer Focus to make sure shoppers get a fair deal.

Top Tips for ‘knowing your rights’ when shopping:

1. Not my style – some might be surprised to learn that you do not have a right to a refund if you simply decide you don’t like what you have bought.

2. Six month rule - if you make a claim for a repair or replacement of faulty goods within six months of purchase it’s actually up to the retailer to prove that the goods were not faulty when sold to you

3. No receipt required - you do not need a receipt to obtain a refund for faulty goods. However, you may be required to show proof of purchase with a credit card slip, bank statement or cheque stub.

4. Online is fine - if you buy goods on the Internet you also have the right to a seven working-day ‘cooling off’ period from the date you receive the goods, with the right to a full refund regardless of the reason for return.

5. Returning it to the retailer - when you buy goods, your contract is with the retailer not the manufacturer and you should always go back to the retailer to make a claim.

6. Fit for purpose - the goods you buy from a retailer should be fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality. If they are not, you are legally entitled to make a claim for a refund, repair or replacement.

7. Act quickly - if goods are faulty and you wish to claim a full refund you must return the goods to the retailer within a reasonable period of time.

8. Smarter sales shopping - you are not entitled to a refund on sale goods if you were made aware by the retailer that the goods were faulty or if the fault was obvious. Also, if you change your mind about liking the goods you aren’t entitled to a refund.

9. Nearly new –you have similar rights to a refund, repair or replacement as you do for new goods but remember that the law doesn’t expect second goods to be of the same quality as new ones.

10. Stick up for your rights – if the retailer is failing to acknowledge or respond to your consumer rights, in the England and Wales, you can file a claim (under £5,000) with the small claims court.

To find out more about your consumer rights visit Consumer Direct at or 08454 04 05 06


 Your consumer rights are protected by a number of laws, including the Sale of Goods Act 1979 as amended, the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and the Consumer Credit Act 1974. These tips relate to the legal rights you have under these and other relevant laws.

About Consumer Direct: Consumer Direct is the government-funded telephone and online service offering information and advice on consumer issues. Consumer Direct is funded by the Office of Fair Trading and delivered in partnership with Local Authority Trading Standards Services.

For further information contact: Betty Nwosu / Jo Dyson Tel: 020 7261 8849/ 020 7261 8942 Email: k

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

About the Author

© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-03-03 23:55:10 in Business Articles

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