Council issues online buying advice

Denbighshire Trading Standards officers have provided some handy tips for consumers to consider when shopping online this festive period.

  • Start your shopping early to ensure that presents arrive before Christmas. The law says that, unless otherwise agreed, online retailers have 30 days to deliver your goods.
  • When shopping online, you usually have the right to change your mind and cancel your order for up to 14 days from when you receive the goods. Please note there are some exceptions such as perishable items or personalised items, or items bought from a private individual.
  • If you do cancel your order, online retailers must refund the full cost plus the original delivery charge, although you may be required to pay the cost of returning the item. Traders are not entitled to charge restocking or administrative fees if you cancel within the 14 day cooling off period.
  • Don’t know the company? Before you buy online, take a minute to search for company reviews on the internet.
  • Avoid counterfeit goods – they are usually poor quality and could be unsafe. Try using www.brand-i-org which directs you to trusted websites.
  • Avoid “spoof” links to fraudulent sites sometimes found in spam emails. If you know the website address you want, type it in your browser directly, rather than follow a link. If you hover your mouse over a link, the address will be shown at the bottom of the browser – does it look right?
  • Only order from secure sites with the padlock symbol in the address bar. The address should begin with https://. Make sure the padlock is on the address bar and not in the web page itself.
  • Check there is a postal address and telephone number on the website. Do not assume that a company is in the UK just because it has “.uk” in the web address.
  • If something does go wrong and the goods you receive are not of satisfactory quality, you now have a 30 day right to reject them and get a full refund. Also, if you pay for an item worth between £100 and £30,000 with your credit card, your credit card provider is jointly liable.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: “It is important for everyone to understand and abide by their rights and obligations, it is good for the trader as a positive impression gives repeat business and it is good for the consumer to buy from trusted traders.  Remember – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is”.

For advice on your consumer rights call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh Language or online via www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales .  

Posted on Wednesday 13th December 2017