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Cyber Day is 29th November Christmas online shoppers be prepared

With Monday 29th November predicted to be the biggest and busiest online shopping day of the year, Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is providing Christmas online shoppers with some timely advice on their internet shopping rights.

Experts are predicting that over £537m will be spent online in the UK on 29th November - £22.4m every hour and Christmas online sales are expected to reach £11.5 billion, up £2.6 billion on last year (a 28% rise).

Warwickshire County Councillor, Richard Hobbs, Portfolio Holder for Community Protection said: “The Internet has created a global market place for people to buy and sell goods and services. In the UK online shopping has really taken off in the past few years and now accounts for between 10 and 15% of all retail sales.

"However, many people are still unsure about their consumer rights when they shop online. These rights vary considerably from those you have when you buy from a high street shop and change depending upon whether you are buying from an UK or foreign based company or bidding in an auction for example.

"So when you shop online, take the time to check our online shopping guide – then you’ll be prepared if your purchase goes wrong.”

Warwickshire Trading Standards Service’s shopping online guide:

If you shop online and buy from a UK based company you have consumer rights under the Distance Selling Regulations. These rights are in addition to those you have when buying from a high street shop.

Whether you buy online or from a shop you have the right to a refund on faulty goods or poor service.

However, when you shop online, you should also be given clear information about the order and the trader, including their name/address, an accurate description of the goods/services and delivery costs.

And, because you can’t handle the goods until they arrive, you also get a cooling off period during which you can change your mind and return most goods or cancel the service for whatever reason. This period is 7 days from the day after to receive the goods or sign an agreement for the service.

Some stores may give you longer time periods to cancel a contract or return goods, but in law you only have 7 days. If you are buying presents for Christmas, check first if you can return afterwards if they are unwanted.

These laws only apply when you buy from a UK retailer. Buy from a business based in another EU country and some of your consumer rights may be lessened. Buy outside the EU and you may have no consumer rights at all!

Goods not covered by the regulations include perishable goods and unwrapped DVD’s and CD’s. Nor do these laws apply when you bid in an online auction. If your are successful in an auction your only consumer right is that the item must be as described.

Your internet shopping rights are extensive, so for full details, visit our website: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards.

To make a consumer complaint contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.