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Careful Consumers

26th October 2012

With the tough times continuing, savvy consumers are looking for bargains, but are they aware of their rights? Know your rightsThis week we are highlighting three useful consumer rights that everyone shoul know about.

Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000

If you do not have a chance to inspect something before you order it (e.g. you order online or from a catalogue) you have 7 working days from the day after you receive it to change your mind and send it back. This does not apply to perishable goods like flowers, personalised items (such as an engraved mug or a tailored suit) or CDs, software or DVDs if you have opened the packaging. It also does not apply to things bought at auction, from vending machines, using a public payphone or to contracts involving sale of land. But these regulations will apply to most everyday online or catalogue purchases.

Most online and catalogue retailers will have a returns policy and some will give you longer than 7 days to return items. The returns policy should say who pays to return the item – if it does not, then the retailer has to pay. The retailer can specify how you have to return the item, but they cannot put you off returning things so any charges and processes have to be reasonable. You must take care of the goods while they are in your possession and take care to send them back safely. If you do not the retailer may have a claim against you.

Your money should be refunded within 30 days of the return of the goods.


Sometimes something you have ordered is not what was described, or your items do not turn up or arrive damaged. If you paid for them on your credit or debit card you can ask your card provider to try and get back some (if, for example, only part of your order turned up) or all of the money you paid.

Chargeback is not a legal right, it is something that most card providers agree to do but you will need to check if your provider has signed up to the scheme. Providers have their own rules on things like time limits, so the best thing to do if you have something to charge back is to get in touch with your card provider (usually your Bank) immediately.

If you bought an item worth over £100 and less than £30,000 with a credit card, you might be better using section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (s75).

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974

If you bought goods with your credit card and they cost over £100 and less than £30,000 and they do not arrive, are damaged or otherwise unsatisfactory you may be able to use s75 to get your money back.

s75 makes your credit card provider jointly and severally liable with the person who sold you the goods, which means that you can claim against your credit card provider as well as the seller.

It is usually sensible to try and sort things out with the seller first, but if that has not worked or the seller has gone bust, then s75 could help.

You only need to have paid some of the cost of the product on your credit card. For example, if you bought some lounge furniture for £750, paid the £250 deposit by cheque and the rest on the credit card you would be covered under s75 for the whole £750.

If you have any questions about consumer issues,or any other legal queries you can call Law Express on 08700 434 284.


The information in this ezine is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. LawExpress does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from relying on information contained in this ezine. It is not a substitute for legal advice and specific and personal legal advice should be taken on any individual matter.

This Ebulletin is intended as a general overview and for general information purposes only and is believed to be accurate as at March 2012. It is not intended, and should not be used as a substitute for taking appropriate legal and/or other professional advice in any specific situation. LawExpress will accept no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this Ebulletin. It does not in any way constitute legal or professional advice and specific and appropriate advice should be taken on specific issues.

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