Your Black Friday shopping rights

The Consumer Rights Act, which came into force in 2015, gives you clear rights if you're buying Black Friday deals in store or online.

It also includes new rights if you buy digital content that isn’t up to scratch. 

1. A faulty Black Friday deal

Hunting for the best Black Friday deals can be stressful enough without discovering that you've bought something that's faulty.

We recommend that you go to the retailer in the first instance, rather than using a warranty.

This is because there are strict rules under the Consumer Rights Act that retailers must follow. 

Move quickly, though, as you only have 30 days in which to reject something that's faulty and get your money back.

Your rights don’t end after 30 days but, from then on, the retailer has the option of repairing or replacing the faulty product, rather than having to give you a refund. 

Read our full guide to make sure you know what to do if what you’ve bought in the sale is faulty.

2. Unwanted purchases: online vs offline

You can only return non-faulty goods for an exchange or refund to a high street retailer if it has a returns policy. 

It's worth noting that shops aren't required by law to have a returns policy but, if they do, they must stick to it.

Most shops' returns policies state time limits for returning non-faulty products, often 28 days. But sometimes they extend this period – especially at Christmas – so you might have more time than you think. Check when you buy.

If you buy online, you have additional rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations. These give you the right to cancel your order and get a refund, even if it's not faulty.

The Consumer Contracts Regulations allow you to cancel your online order at any time from the moment you paid and up to 14 days from the date the goods were delivered to you.

Once you've notified the retailer that you'd like to cancel, you then have a further 14 days to return the product.

Read our full guide on returning goods bought online or in person at a store.

Spot a dodgy deal

Don't get duped by dodgy deals this Black Friday, follow our tips on how to check if a Black Friday deal is real.

3. Digital content that doesn’t work

In 2015, the Consumer Rights Act introduced new digital rights. This essentially means that anything you download or stream – including apps, ebooks, games, music or movies – is now covered by the legislation.

The retailer has one opportunity to repair or replace any goods or digital content that are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described, before you can demand a refund.

Crucially, for the most part, these rights only apply to digital content you pay for, not the free stuff.

4. Problems with a Black Friday delivery

It’s always the retailer's responsibility to deliver your goods to you. If your parcel doesn't turn up on time, goes missing altogether, arrives damaged or is stolen from your doorstep, the retailer needs to rectify the situation.

You shouldn't have to chase the delivery courier if there is a problem. Know your delivery rights and always speak to the retailer in the first instance.

5. Avoid scams on Black Friday

There has been an increase over recent years in goods being sold by unscrupulous sellers on social media and marketplace websites, as it’s easy to set up multiple accounts that don’t require too many details.

According to the latest annual Intellectual Property Crime Report, Facebook and Instagram continue to be a focus for scammers selling counterfeit and often unsafe counterfeit goods. 

So, be careful you know your rights and watch out for scams when buying on Facebook Marketplace.

Other platforms such as Twitter, Gumtree, Amazon and Alibaba are also favourites for counterfeiters who use the world-wide reach of such platforms to sell their infringing products.

When making purchases around Black Friday and Christmas, try to pay using a credit card as this will offer you more protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if something goes wrong. 

If you are the victim of a scam, read our guide on how to get your money back after a scam which explains the various options depending on how you parted with your money. If you didn't pay by credit card, you still may be able to claim through a chargeback scheme.

We advise caution if you see any Black Friday deals advertised on social media that look too good to be true.

Stay one step ahead of the criminals – use our seven tips to spot and avoid a scam.

Take the test 

Do you know where you stand if your festive bargain is a flop? Does a cut-price Christmas deal mean your consumer rights are given the chop? Complete our quiz and find out.

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