TRADING Standards officers are urging Christmas shoppers in Warwickshire to know their rights.
During what can be a stressful and expensive time of year, Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Trading Standards Service is offering advice to residents to ensure they buy quality goods and don’t get ripped off.
WCC safety spokesman Andy Crump said: “What we want is for customers to know their rights and to shop safely.
“First of all, be wary of offers that seem ‘too good to be true’. A sign might read ‘80 per cent off’ from a distance, but a closer look might reveal the words ‘up to’.”
“Shop around – even a ‘massive reduction’ doesn’t mean you can’t buy the same item at a lower price elsewhere.
“Finally, be careful where you shop this festive period. Buying from trusted and reputable sellers will help you avoid being ripped off and ending up with gifts that could be fake or of very poor quality and potentially dangerous!”
Before you buy
Ask for a gift receipt so the item can be returned if necessary. Always keep your receipt as you may be asked for it if returning goods.
If you want to be extra protected during your shopping, pay with a credit or debit card.
Need to return an item?
Under the law, a shop only has to accept a returned item from the person who originally bought it – although many shops overlook this.
However, gift receipts ensure the recipient can change it themselves if necessary.
If the goods are faulty or described inaccurately, the buyer has 30 days to return them for a full refund. Although, after 30 days, you do still have the right to a repair or replacement and a full refund in the event it is not possible. Do not be fobbed off by notices such as ‘no sale goods exchanged’ or ‘no cash refunds’.
Help and support
To make a consumer complaint, obtain advice on your consumer rights or report an issue to Trading Standards, phone the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/consumeradvice.
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards for more information.