As Black Friday Nears, A Guide To Your Online Shopping Rights – Forbes Advisor UK | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


The annual retail extravaganza that is Black Friday falls on 26 November this year, and is followed by tech-oriented Cyber Monday on 29 November. 

As ever, it will see a host of offers from shops and big brand outlets. 

With many seeing the benefits of online shopping throughout the pandemic, making purchases over the web is likely to remain popular.

Here is everything you need to know about online shopping and your consumer rights when you shop via the internet.

Online purchases at record levels

Online sales sky-rocketed last year due to the spread of COVID-19 and related social distancing measures. 

According to the Office for National Statistics, online shopping sales peaked at nearly 40% (37.1%) in November 2020 and again in January 2021.

With most of us spending a significant amount of time self-isolating at home last year, using the internet to make purchases became a new norm that has continued post-lockdown.

According to VoucherCodes and GlobalData’s Shopping for Christmas 2021 report, over a quarter of consumers (26%) say they shop online more than they did before the pandemic hit, despite physical stores reopening in April this year. 

The report forecasts a small year-on-year decline (8.5%) in online sales to £32.62 billion this Christmas period, as shoppers make the most of being able to visit stores again. 

However, the amount spent online is still expected to surpass the £22.28 billion spent in 2019 due to shoppers adapting to shopping online, and those who still have safety concerns around shopping among large crowds in physical stores.

As online shopping becomes increasingly popular, it’s essential that you know your consumer rights when making purchases over the internet.

Compare Credit Cards

Find cards you’re most likely to be approved for, without affecting your credit score

What does the Consumer Rights Act have to say?

Items bought online are covered under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This legislation allows consumers to claim a return of payment or a replacement of goods if the delivered item doesn’t meet specific criteria, which include:

Satisfactory quality

Any goods you buy online must arrive in ‘satisfactory quality’, which means, if your items are brand new, they should come undamaged, clean, and in proper working condition.

As described

Items bought online should meet the product description precisely. If you purchased something pre-owned, this criterion is incredibly helpful as the seller must highlight any faults or damages in the product description.

Fit for purpose

Any goods purchased must fit the purpose intended for.

What are my rights if a product is faulty?

If you receive an item that is faulty or damaged, it doesn’t meet the standard of ‘satisfactory quality’. This means you are entitled to a full refund from the merchant.

However, there is a rigid time frame for when you can apply for a refund. If the product arrives faulty or becomes faulty quickly after purchasing, you have 30 days from the date of the sale to claim your refund.

What are my rights on returning items?

If you receive a product that isn’t damaged or faulty, but you’d still like to return it, you must do so within 14 days from the date you received it. However, the product must be in a ‘sellable condition.’

What is considered as a sellable condition depends on the item and the retailer. If you’ve removed the plastic packaging from a CD, for example, you may not be able to return it.

What are my rights if an item doesn’t arrive?

Online merchants have up to 30 days to deliver items from the day of purchase. If your goods don’t arrive within 30 days, you’re entitled to claim for a refund or replacement.

This sometimes applies if you pay for next day delivery and your goods don’t arrive the following day. If you’re unsure, check the retailer’s terms and conditions on guaranteed delivery dates and refunds.

How do I avoid online shopping scams?

The rise of online shopping has also given fraudsters plenty of new ways to try and gain access to your card details or to steal your newly purchased items.

The cost of cybercrime to the UK economy is billions of pounds a year, and the figure is expected to grow. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid becoming a victim of online shopping scams.

First, avoid reusing your password across lots of different websites, email addresses, and social media platforms. If a hacker gets hold of one password from an account, they’ll likely try it with others.

Likewise, make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software downloaded to keep your details safe while browsing.

If you’re making a purchase worth more than £100, it’s best to use a credit card. Under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, any sales over £100 are legally protected, even if you just pay the deposit (of more than £100) on the card. If an item arrives faulty or not as described, or fails to turn up, the credit card company is jointly liable with the retailer.

If you’re feeling wary about using a new retailer, be sure to research the brand. Look up their reviews from people who have purchased items and services from them in the past. If there are a few too many negative reviews, consider looking elsewhere.

Compare Credit Cards

Find cards you’re most likely to be approved for, without affecting your credit score

How do I avoid ‘porch pirates’?

With the growth of online shopping comes more and more ‘porch piracy.’ A porch pirate steals packages and postal items left outside homes, offices, and other buildings. Often these deliveries are taken from front porches and building lobbies where items are left when nobody is home or available to receive them.

Often, there is debate as to who is at fault. Some people blame the delivery companies and their staff members for failing to ensure the safety of the packages. Others blame the thieves, some of which have mastered the trend and follow delivery trucks, stealing items as soon as they are dropped off. Some people attack homeowners for failing to protect their goods.

If you want to reduce your risks of losing online deliveries, consider shipping goods to a work address or a trusted friend or neighbour who will be home. If you’re ordering from Amazon, try using an Amazon Hub Locker, which are sometimes located in local supermarkets or Post Offices.

You can also ask the big delivery firms such as FedEx or UPS to keep a package at one of their facilities until you have the time to pick it up.

What if I fall victim to a porch pirate?

If it appears that you’ve had a package stolen from outside your home, first contact the merchant that sold you the item. Different retailers offer various policies and processes for dealing with stolen items, but most will provide you with a refund or replacement.

Amazon uses its ‘A-to-Z’ Guarantee Protection to cover most stolen goods. However, sometimes purchases via Amazon are sourced from retail partners called ‘Amazon Sellers.’ If you purchase from an Amazon Seller, you must attempt to settle the issue with them first. If they refuse responsibility, there are still some steps you can take to reach reimbursement.

Sometimes, merchants shift responsibility to the shipping company or ask you to file a complaint. You may also have to wait a specific number of days to see if your package will be delivered. In these circumstances, it’s worth filing a claim with the shipping company as well as the retailer.

There are online claims processes for UPS, FedEx, and DHL to report any missing packages and they are also all contactable by phone.

Black Friday and Christmas prospects

According to Mintel, shoppers are equally keen as last year to start shopping early, and have been doing so online since September, as fuel, product and staff shortages create uncertainty, and retailers warn to plan well in advance to ease the pressure on the supply chain.

Whether certain retailers and manufactures will be able to meet the demands of Christmas shoppers this year is yet to be seen.

The electronics sector is currently struggling with a global shortage of semiconductors, but the Shopping for Christmas 2021 report predicts that shoppers will spend the most on electronics, causing overall sales of electronics to rise 3.5% year-on-year to 2.70 billion.

Toy purchases will stack up to a considerable £2.34 billion, but will be 1% down on last year, while clothing and footwear sales will add up to £2.06 billion, an increase of a whopping 44% on 2020.



Original Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twenty five + = 29