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More online retailers step up to clarify return rights following Which? investigation

Our investigation prompts further six retailers to review unclear returns information

Six retailers including Superdrug and The Body Shop have made changes to clarify their returns information following a recent Which? investigation.

Clarks, Lego Shop, Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, The Body Shop and Toolstation have each changed website information on returning faulty and unwanted goods purchased online.

In March 2018, our investigation into the online-cancellation and faulty-goods-returns information retailers provide online found 45 out of 46 had misleading or unclear information about your returns rights.

Of the 46 retailers we looked at, 10 made changes to the information we highlighted across their returns information and FAQs, and Lego Shop and The Body Shop made changes to their terms and conditions.

Paper boxes in a shopping cart on a laptop keyboard. Ideas about e-commerce, e-commerce or electronic commerce is a transaction of buying or selling goods or services online over the internet.

A further seven retailers told us before and after our publication that they would be reviewing their returns advice in the coming months.

Since the investigation we have continued the conversation with these retailers, encouraging trusted consumer brands to clarify your returns rights.

Going above and beyond

It wasn’t clear on Superdrug’s faulty goods returns guidance that personalised items can also be returned if they are faulty – a shopper could have mistakenly thought that a faulty personalised item wasn’t eligible for a return.

Previously, Toolstation didn’t offer timelines for faulty goods returns in its after-sales support information.

Superdrug and Toolstation both made thorough changes to their returns information following our investigation, going beyond their statutory obligations to meet our high standards.

Both retailers not only clarified the unclear or misleading information on their returns information, they also added detailed information on statutory timelines and named the relevant parts of the law.

Toolstation also provided links for shoppers to learn more about their rights and has since been named a Which? recommended provider in the high street shops survey.

Much improved

Clarks and Sainsbury’s also made changes to expand on their faulty-goods returns advice.

Both had information which appeared to limit a shopper’s right to return faulty goods.

The unclear information, which could have misled a shopper into thinking their rights were more limited than they are, has now been updated with correct advice.

Lego Shop and The Body Shop have since reviewed the returns information in other areas of their site to be consistent with their terms and conditions.

Your returns rights explained

If you’ve bought a product that’s not fit for purpose, is of unsatisfactory quality or is not as described, it’s a faulty good in the eyes of the law.

You have rights under the Consumer Rights Act to return your faulty good and get a refund, repair or replacement, depending on how long you’ve owned the product.

You have additional rights to cancel your order and return something you bought online if you don’t want it any more – it doesn’t need to be faulty for you to do this.

Read more about your faulty goods returns rights under the Consumer Rights Act and your online cancellation and returns rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations.

About our investigation

We reviewed the information retailers provide about returning unwanted and faulty goods ordered online, by searching for advice on their websites in the way that a shopper is most likely to.

We assessed the advice given in returns policies and frequently asked questions sections, and in the terms and conditions if we couldn’t easily find advice elsewhere.

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