Know Your Online Shopping Rights
Let’s face it, we are all going to be buying more of our Christmas presents online this year. When I did a poll on Instagram it seems not as many people are aware of their rights when shopping online. Luckily for you, knowing all the details of the law especially for online buying and selling is basically one of my weirder hobbies…!
Everything I refer to will be in line with UK laws and rights and Consumer Contracts Regulations (although don’t take this instead of proper legal advice as I am not legally trained. I just love geeking out about laws) and is all about buying products online. There are different laws covering purchases in store.
Even quite a lot of big retailers seem to ignore or not fully know Consumer Contracts Regulations so it is important to know your rights so you don’t end up out of pocket
One of the main objectives with Consumer Contracts Regulations is to allow consumers to buy products online (previously this was covered by Distance Selling laws) and see them in their own homes to the same degree as they would be able to in a store which seems fair. So you can try on a dress to see if it fits but not wear it out and then try to return it! Stores can deduct the “value of the goods is diminished by any amount as a result of handling of the goods by the consumer beyond what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods, the trader may recover that amount from the consumer, up to the contract price.” This is why retailers will say that products must be returned in a new and unused state.
You have 14 days from the day your order arrives to let the online seller know if you would like to return your order. You never have to give a reason and should not feel pressured to either.
You then have 14 days from the day you inform the online seller that you’d like to return your order, to then do the physical returning of your order.
A lot of larger online shops will include an online returns system or a returns form and will then add these two 14 day periods together to give you 28 days to return your order.
Online shops must also let you know in their delivery information or terms and conditions if you are responsible for paying the return postage cost. If the item is faulty, then the retailer should pay for the return postage. If they don’t have any information on this at all, then the burden is on the retailer to pay for the return postage.
The amount you originally paid for your order to be posted to you must be refunded to you unless you upgraded your shipping (say to a next day delivery service). In this case, the retailer only needs to refund what the cost of their standard postage would have been.
The right to a return excludes certain items such as dvds if you have opened them, perishable items such as food, items with a hygiene seal if it has been broken such as a earrings for pierced ears and personalised items.
Made to order products in sizes offered by the maker are not considered personalised and therefore you can return them if they are made to order from options given by the retailer online. If you sent your measurements in for a dress made to your exact size, then this would be personalised. A dress that is made to order but in a set range of sizes is not personalised and so is eligible for returns.
Items on sale or discounted items cannot be excluded from these rights and you are still entitled to return them for a full refund.