22/12/2011

Shoppers Urged To Know Their Rights

Consumerline is urging shoppers to know their consumer rights when buying clothes for the Christmas party season or in New Year sales.

Problems with clothes are consistently amongst the top ten complaints received by Consumerline with over 300 complaints having been received so far this year. January is the peak month for complaints about clothes – this year complaints were around 40% higher than during an average month.

When you buy clothes – even when they are in a sale – your purchase must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.

If this is not the case, the items are faulty and you are within your legal rights to ask for a repair, replacement or refund. The Office of Fair Trading’s Know Your Consumer Rights campaign advises you to:

* Check the shop’s return policy when buying on the high street. If you simply change your mind, you won’t have any legal right to a refund. However many stores do offer additional opportunities to return as part of their customer service

* Check the clothes you’ve bought before using them. If you do find a fault, don’t wear them and contact the trader as soon as possible

* When buying clothes online you usually have up to seven working days from when your clothes arrive to change your mind and ask for a refund.

Stephen Thompson from Consumerline said: "It is not acceptable for party clothes to fall apart after just a couple of outings, for a waterproof coat to leak or for your new winter boots to be scuffed when you get home, and people have clear rights to a refund, repair or replacement when purchases are faulty.

"However, people shopping on the high street have no legal right to return an item simply because they have changed their mind. Many stores do offer additional opportunities to return goods, but these refund policies vary from store to store. Businesses need to be upfront about what they offer, but you can do your bit by keeping the receipt and making sure you understand your rights before you return the goods."

(GK)

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