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More than half of shoppers unaware of online consumer rights

With the Black Friday shopping bonanza approaching, a survey has found that the majority of UK shoppers don’t know that their rights differ when we shop in store and online.

According to consumer watchdog Which?, more than half of shoppers assumed that their rights when returning non-faulty goods were the same whether shopping in a store, or on the web.

A survey of more than 2,000 shoppers found that three in 10 knew that there was a difference, but 20 per cent were unaware that online shops guarantee a 14-day returns window for non-faulty items.

However, on the high street the rights of customers can vary from store to store.

Only four in ten of those surveyed knew they weren’t guaranteed a full refund if they bought an unwanted item in store.

Alex Neill, managing director of home and legal at Which?, said: “As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, it’s important to do your research so you know your shopping rights before you buy, just in case you change your mind.”

Which? Has offered the following guide to Black Friday shopping rights

If you’re planning to start your Christmas shopping in the Black Friday sales this week, make sure you’re in the know.

Your return rights may be stronger if you shop online...

You’re legally entitled to a full refund for a non-faulty, online purchase if you change your mind within 14 days of delivery. However, this may not be the case if you bought it in store.

Be aware of online scams...

It’s always best to double-check the domain name of the website you’re buying from and beware of unusual payment methods, such as bank transfers.

Your return rights for non-faulty products may vary from store to store...

While some stores may choose to offer a full refund for a product you no longer want, others may disappoint consumers by offering a credit note, an exchange or nothing.

If you’re shopping on the high street...

Check the individual store’s return policy at the till.

Not all products will be cheapest on Black Friday itself...

Our research found that only 8% of the Black Friday deals we checked from last year were cheapest on Black Friday itself.


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