About this blog

Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Thursday 28 November 2019

Black Friday and Xmas Shopping Legal Tips

Here goes: pin back your lugholes for how to avoid tears according to the law of England and Wales. And for much more info and template letters and forms, buy my book Breaking Law. No, the pages will not fall out. 
  • If your purchase is defective you are at your legally strongest in rejecting within 30 days. You might like longer just in case the defects fail to show up within 30 days. The seller can agree to extend. Get them to write on the invoice/till receipt Your right to short term rejection is extended to x days. Say you will only buy if they do this.
  • If your purchase costs more than £100, buy using a credit card so that you can claim against the credit card company as an alternative to the trader where the trader has gone out of business or is difficult. This may not be legally available where an intermediary has processed the payment. That will be the case with a Pay Pal purchase, for example. In order to get this protection, it is not necessary for the entire purchase price to go on the card. £5 on the card and £100 in cash would be good enough to make the credit card company have to stump up 100% compensation. That compensation can include consequential losses on top of a refund of the purchase price.
  • If you bought using a debit card, then the card issuer may refund the purchase price where the goods are not up to legal standard. But you won't get consequential losses as with a plus £100 credit card purchase.
  • Changing you mind isn't a valid reason for getting the price back so long as the goods were up to legal standard. But the seller may run a returns policy. If so, you must comply with its conditions. Where there had to be a return within 14 days, you can't complain on being told you are too late because you tried to return after 14 days. Where you had to produce a receipt, you can't complain on being told 'no receipt, no return.' However, if these conditions weren't brought to your attention before you bought - on a conspicuous notice or by an assistant - you would not be bound by them. If they were brought to your attention on the till receipt and you weren't aware of them previously, that would be too late to enable the seller to rely on them.
  • If the goods were not up to legal standard, your inability to produce a receipt should not be fatal to securing a refund and any compensation to which you are entitled. The law dos not provide Thou shalt wave a receipt at the visage of the vendor. It is reasonable that the seller should be satisfied that you purchased the item from them but if no receipt, no credit card statement and no  other helpful document, your word should be good enough. Provided you are not an inveterate liar, it can be good enough for a judge in the county court. It has been good enough for me.
  • Where it is the person to whom you gifted the item who is complaining it is not up to legal standard, then the seller is entitled to say Push off. It wasn't you who made the contract to buy. There are two ways to overcome this in the case of a gift purchase. Get the seller to agree that if you buy they will write on the invoice/till receipt For Nellie and Macfarlane who can enforce all legal rights against us. If this wasn't done, write on the gift card I hereby assign all rights and remedies under the contract with x for the purchase of this gift to you Nellie Macfarlane and Nellie can notify the seller you have done this.
  • Rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 are given to individual consumers and not someone buying for a business. But if the dominant purpose of the purchase is private, the Act may still apply as it would if you bought a lap top for say 75% personal use and 25% business use.
  • Online you should generally have the right to cancel within 14 days of delivery just because you changed your mind.
  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies to sale and other discounted purchases. You cannot complain about a defect which was brought it your attention before purchase. And if you examined before you purchased, you cannot complain about a defect which that should have revealed. The price you paid may be relevant to whether the item is of a legally satisfactory standard but even with a 95% discount, it must still work!
Good luck!