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The old adage of ‘let the buyer beware’ has changed. Since the introduction of the Consumer Protection Act, potential buyers simply need to be aware of the rules which protect them. By keeping the following tips and advice in mind, you can protect your consumer rights.

Tips & Advice

  • ‘Shop around’ before you buy to ensure you find the best deal. Businesses are not required to give your money back if you find a cheaper price elsewhere or change your mind about wanting the product. They only have to give redress in certain circumstances, for example if the product is defective or unfit for its intended purpose.
  • ‘No exchange, no refund’ notices are illegal in any form. They should not appear on signs, receipts or even be communicated verbally. Furthermore, this rule applies even to items that are on sale.
  • Never sign a contract before reading it. Never sign a blank contract that a salesperson says will be filled in later.
  • Always keep your receipts, cancelled cheques, warranties, estimates, contracts and instructions. They will be useful in problem solving if you run into any problems with products.
  • As a customer, you have certain rights of redress - for example, to have the item repaired, replaced or a refund. Businesses can offer a credit note but you only have to accept it if you choose to do so.
  • The company that sells you a product is the party responsible if the product turns out to be faulty. You do not have to deal with the manufacturer, nor does it matter that the product may not be under guarantee or warranty. Your rights to redress lie with the retailer/supplier.
  • When buying second hand goods, you have a right to expect them to still be in a reasonable condition for their age and price. Also, remember that while second hand goods may have faults, these should be pointed out at the time of sale. If other faults become apparent after purchase, you have a right to redress.
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