10 tips to help you exercise your consumer rightsMake sure you get the redress you're entitled to

22 September 2010

Do you know when you're entitled to a refund? How to return faulty goods? Or what your rights are when buying online? If you don't, you're not alone.

Experts from the Which? Legal Service regularly receive calls from people who are shocked to discover that their rights were not what they originally thought, or that they had rights that they knew nothing about.

This National Consumers Week make sure you know your rights by reading our top tips and taking a look at our Consumer Rights advice.

Top tips from Which? Legal Service

1. Check the returns policy for items bought in a shop before you make your purchase. You do not have the legal right to a refund if you just change your mind about your purchase.

2. You don’t always have the right to cancel a contract so always read the small print. If there’s no cancellation provision, then there’s probably no right to cancel.

3. If goods are purchased with a warranty and prove to be faulty, you can choose to claim against the warranty company or the retailer that you bought the goods from.

4. A shop does not have to sell goods to you at the price displayed.

5. Retailers can’t rely on a seven day returns policy for faulty goods bought online. The Sale of Goods Act means you can reject faulty goods within a reasonable period of time, usually three to four weeks.

6. Beware impulse buys! A car dealership wouldn’t have to refund a spur of the moment purchase unless it was written into the deal.

7. If you tick the box stating you’ve read the terms and conditions, the law presumes that you have read them, understood them and accepted them. You can’t later claim that you didn’t read them if you’re faced with a problem.

8. Holidays booked via a travel agent and paid for by credit card may not be covered if the holiday company goes bust, as many card companies will not pay out when you’ve paid an agent.

9. You have the same rights when buying a second hand car as you do when buying a new one.

10. If you have an item delivered and the delivery man can't get it through your door, don't expect them to just return it to the warehouse – they could legally leave it on your doorstep or charge you to take it back.

Help and advice from Which?

For more information on your rights, read our Consumer Rights advice.

Or find out more about the Which? Legal Service.