Your consumer rights have changed, just in time for Christmas

3 November 2015

know your rightsAccording to the Citizens Advice, complaints about toys, gadgets and DVDs, all rocket around January, and to mark National Consumer Week, they're urging people to find out about their rights, so they don't end up having a load of admin to sort out after Christmas.

They've developed a 'Know Your Rights' guide, which explains the changes in consumer law that were brought into place in October.

If you don't know, if you bought a defective product, or found something you'd purchased was poor quality, you can now return it within 30 days for a full refund. This applies to anything you've bought online, including downloads.

Here's what you need to be familiar with.

WHEN DID YOU BUY IT?  The new rules only apply to things bought after 1st October 2015. Check the date on your receipt.

I WANT MY MONEY BACK! The law now says that you can get a full refund within 30 days of purchasing if the product is faulty or of poor quality. Shops might try to make you exchange the product or give you a credit note. You can flatly refuse if you want, and now ask for your money back.

THEY DIDN'T TELL ME THAT! If a salesperson doesn't explain something to you, or doesn't make something clear that would have affected your decision in buying a product, this changes your rights. If you feel that you weren't told about cancellation fines, delivery charges or feel misled about return policies, then this could extend a right to cancel from 14 days and, in some cases, up to a year.

WHAT'S THIS SMALL PRINT ALL ABOUT? Likewise, if the small print is frying your brain, the law says that important terms and conditions must be made more prominent, and easier to understand.

HOW CAN I SORT THIS OUT WHEN THE RETAILER WON'T HELP? If a shop or company isn't being helpful and your dispute is not getting sorted, it is now easier to get things fixed. No longer do you have to fork out money to take businesses to a small claims court, but rather, you can now go to Alternative Dispute Resolution, which will offer free alternatives. Have a look at that here.

I'M STILL STUCK! If you have a problem, you can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06. If you'd rather not talk on the phone, then get yourself over to

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