With Christmas approaching, December is one of the busiest periods for shopping in the year. Whilst many of the deals you come across can be extremely tempting, it’s important you stay vigilant, shop safely and understand your basic consumer rights. 

Shopping in-store

Shops are not legally required to accept returns by law, but more often than not they will have their own returns policy that they must honour. You can find this on the receipt, by asking in-store at the checkout or on their website. 

If the item is faulty, you are legally entitled to a 30-day period to return the item under the Consumer Rights Act, regardless of the store’s returns policy. Once this 30-day period ends, you are still able to return the item if it’s faulty, but the store is entitled to repair or replace the products instead of refunding. 

Shopping online

If you’re purchasing from an online store, you are automatically entitled to a 14-day cooling off period from the day you receive your order. However, some items are exempt: bespoke items, make to measure items, or items with a digital or hygiene seal. Once you have informed the online store you’d like to return your purchases, you have another 14 days to do so.

If the product you bought was faulty, you have the same consumer rights as you would if you bought the product in store.

Avoiding Scams

Around this time of year, scams become much more frequent and it’s important to be vigilant and know how to recognise one.

If you’re shopping online, make sure that the web address starts with ‘https’ and includes a padlock symbol. You can also check whether a company is registered and is legitimate here. If you think you’ve found a bargain that’s too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you read reviews asif there’s a lot of negative reviews, it’s likely to indicate a scam.

If you think you’ve found a scam, you can contact the Citizens Advice Scams Action number of 0300 330 3003.

Budgeting and Buy Now Pay Later

Something that can be very important to consider when shopping around Christmas is sticking to your budget. Whilst some deals may be extremely tempting, it’s not really a deal if you weren’t going to buy it at full price anyway. Spend some time shopping around the different deals to find the one that is right for you.

If you need to borrow money, make sure you are aware of the full amount you will need to pay back and ensure you have those funds, and never borrow money in the heat of the moment.

You should also be wary of Buy Now Pay Later options. They may look like a good option at the time, but you need to make sure you can pay the money back on time.

If you need help or advice on your consumer rights or Christmas purchases, get in touch with our team today – call us free on 0808 278 7804, visit one of our in-person drop ins or visit cabb.org.uk.

Please Note

Our Bolton office will be closed Monday – Wednesday for the foreseeable, we are still open on Thursdays and Fridays.

Should you require advice, you can reach our advice line service on 0808 278 7804.

Emergency contact details for local authorities in both Bury and Bolton are as follows:

Bolton – https://www.bolton.gov.uk/council/emergency-contacts

Bury – https://www.bury.gov.uk/emergencies/emergency-contact-numbers

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

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