People don't know their rights when they're shopping

9 March 2010

online_shopping--

On February 9th, we reported on studies by the Office of Fair Trading that said we dribblers who stare at computer monitors all day long know more about our consumer rights than ever before.

However, some government research reveals quite the opposite and that we're a bunch of slackjawed morons, all blindly walking into each other like idiots looking for the corners in a lighthouse.

Apparently, more than 60% of shoppers were less likely to take back goods bought online, compared with items purchased direct from shops.

We consumers also appear to have no idea  about our legal rights when it comes to refunds. Did you know about the right of a seven-day cooling-off period? No. You didn't, because someone else said so.

Yet, despite all this, us lot based in the UK are ranked as Europe's biggest online shoppers. We spent £38bn on useless shit last year... that's 10% of everything we bought in retail terms.

This research was carried out by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for a Know Your Rights campaign run by the government-funded Consumer Direct.

They discovered that three-quarters of UK consumers didn't know there were differences between online and high street consumer rights.

In fairness, the survey also showed that consumers didn't have the foggiest when it came to shopping in actual shops on the high street. One in ten (a number on a leest!) believed that you couldn't return stuff after they'd left the store. Blithering idiots.

The consumer minister, Kevin Brennan, said: "It is important we all know that most online goods can be returned with no questions asked within seven days. We want confident consumers who can assert their rights and get a good deal."

Michele Shambrook, operations manager for Consumer Direct, said: "We want consumers to be more confident when shopping on the high street or online. People who are knowledgeable about their rights are more likely to get a fair deal, save money and resolve problems when things go wrong."

[Guardian]

6 comments

  • Nobby
    > Apparently, more than 60% of shoppers were less likely to take back goods bought online, compared with items purchased direct from shops. I've never taken something back that I bought online. Although, occasionally, I have sent something back. I reckon part of the reason that people don't send items back if they decide they don't want them (as opposed to them being broken) is that they need to pay postage to return them. Taking something back to a shop is seen to be free, whereas posting something back costs money.
  • @Jack
    "One in ten (a number on a leest!) believed that you couldn’t return stuff after they’d left the store. Blithering idiots" They're absolutely right! You can only return an item if they the shop, have a returns policy in place. Have you not heard that Argos exempt some items from their 30 day money back guarantee?
  • LanceVance
    @Jack Argos or any other shop/store can have whatever returns policy in place they like. If an item is not fit for the use then they have to take it back.
  • andyofyarm
    Yes you have the right to return an item bought online,wouldn't it help the reader to cite the relevant legislation ,which is the EU DISTANCE SELLING REGULATIONS. Also perhaps it would be handy to draw attention to the fact that most on line vendors of media operate from jersey and guernsey that sticks a thumb up to these regulations,has there trading standards people who don't give a stuff about mainlanders and crucially operate a massive VAT dodge. The UK loses hundreds of million in VAT income from the massive tax dodge that is the channel islands
  • Nobby
    @andy - The UK loses hundreds of million in VAT income from the massive tax dodge that is the channel islands That's true. But the people of the UK save millions a year in VAT because they choose to buy from these companies that base themselves in the channel islands. If they were located in the UK, then people buying this stuff would just end up paying more to the government so that they could waste it. Personally, I'd prefer to use a channel islands company, pay less, and keep the extra bit of cash, rather than give it to the government to spend on soemthing that I would not benefit from.
  • Pokey
    "we reported on studies by the Office of Fair Trading..." Er, no. You ripped off the Register who reported on the Office of Fair Trading survey. Likewise, this story is basically plagiarised from the Guardian. Crediting the original source with a link doesn't make it any less so. Keep up the good work.

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