Here are 5 of your most basic rights when shopping online or in-store
Brought to you by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC)
This should make shopping a lot easier.
With the Black Friday sales just around the corner and Christmas creeping up quickly, you might have a lot of shopping ahead of you over the coming months.
Whether you're hitting the high street or browsing online, it's always handy to know what you're entitled to from retailers, and your own responsibilities as a customer too.
When it comes to your consumer rights, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has a lot of handy information on their site to help you sail through the shopping process.
Whether it's returning faulty items or navigating the rules surrounding gift vouchers, you can find all the information you need on their site here.
With that in mind, here are just some of your basic consumer rights when shopping in-store or online.
1. You have the same rights shopping in the sales as you do any other time of year.
With the Black Friday sales fast approaching, it's good to remember that your consumer rights are still the same as they would be at any other time of year.
Any items you buy in a sale should be of merchantable quality, fit for their intended purpose and as described to you. Plus, if an item is faulty, you're still entitled to ask for a repair, refund or an exchange.
2. When an item is faulty, you can ask for a refund, repair, replacement or reduction in price.
When it comes to returning faulty items, you actually have a number of different options available to you.
Consumer protection law says that you and the business who sold you the item should agree how the fault will be sorted out. You and the seller can agree on a refund or a replacement, but some retailers may also offer to repair the item or reduce the price.
3. Some gift vouchers are not covered by consumer rights legislation.
Vouchers are always a popular gift idea for that friend or family member you struggle to shop for, but it turns out not all gift vouchers follow the same rules.
Gift vouchers for one specific shop or shopping centre are covered by consumer rights legislation, meaning they need to have a minimum expiry date of five years, you don't have to use the voucher in one go and you can use multiple vouchers in any transaction.
However, loyalty programme vouchers, coupons and electronic money cards are not covered by this legislation, meaning you won't have the same rights and you may also have maintenance charges.
4. You have the right to cancel most items you buy online, over the phone, at your doorstep or by post
For most items you buy online, over the phone, at your doorstep or by post, you have 14 days from the day you receive them to notify the seller that you have changed your mind. However, there are some exceptions to this including:
- Perishable goods such as food
- Goods that are personalised or custom-made
- Items that have been unsealed and cannot be returned for health protection or hygiene reasons
But, even with these exceptions, you still have the right to clear and accurate information. This means that the business should tell you before you buy if the item or service falls within the exclusions.
5. If you change your mind about an item bought in a shop and want to return it, you don't actually have any consumer rights.
We've all picked up an outfit that looks perfect on the hanger, only to take it home and realise it's not really for you.
And while many retailers are happy to accept returns in these circumstances, it's worth remembering that you're not actually covered by consumer rights legislation here.
Consumer rights only state that an item needs to be of merchantable quality, fit for its intended purpose and is as described to you. So if an item is in perfect condition and you've simply changed your mind about it, you have no consumer rights and you'll need to rely on the shop's return policy.
Visit ccpc.ie/myrights to learn about your consumer rights.
Brought to you by Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC)