What Are Your Rights When Shopping Online? | MommyMandy l California Mom Blog
MommyMandy l California Mom Blog

What Are Your Rights When Shopping Online?

mainlogoEveryone should know their statutory rights for shopping – the rights under law, which cannot be changed by a shop. When you know these, you are in a better position to enforce fair treatment. For example, shopping deals at DailySale promises satisfactory quality as described, fit for the purpose intended and last a reasonable length of time. This should apply to whether you are purchasing items in a sale or using a discount voucher, and it’s your right to have these promises fulfilled.

Here are a few simple do’s to help you protect yourself online:

Do Spend Gift Vouchers Fast

Use gift vouchers or cards as soon as possible in case the store collapses. The first course of action when businesses go into administration is stopping the acceptance of gift vouchers. When this occurs, the company no longer exists in its former capacity and does not have to fulfill all its promises, including honoring gift cards.

A gift card is a promise that enables you to spend some amount of money in the store or their website. Under the insolvency law, the administrator may choose whether or not to accept vouchers. In most cases, administrators do not accept them.

However, this does not mean that you throw away your voucher. Some administrators eventually change their minds later regarding gift cards, with some even allowing their customers to exchange their vouchers for others.

If you have paid for your gift cards, there is a chance that you may get a refund, but be prepared for the worst. You also have the alternative of chargeback option on your debit and credit cards. Should you make a claim within 120 days of things going wrong, American Express, Mastercard, and Visa may give you your money back regardless of the amount.

Do Return Items ASAP

Simply, return faulty items in 30 days and in most cases you will get a full refund. If you miss this deadline, your rights reduce. The best route is to complain as soon as you realize there is a problem with the product. The longer you let the problem sit, the less durable the item, and the harder it will be to fight for a full refund. In other instance, the retailer may offer to repair the product.

If you take longer than 30 days to return the product, the online retailer will have you choose between having the item repaired or replaced. However, retailers may veto either way if it is impossible to repair the item or replacement costs are much higher than repairs.

If an item is still not performing as expected after a repair attempt or replacement, you are then entitled to ask for a refund – this may be for the full amount you paid for the product within a 6 month period or even a partial refund.

When you notice there is something wrong with an item you bought online:

  • Stop using it as soon as you can
  • Keep a diary of what went wrong, relevant people you called and what you agreed
  • Collect evidence, including receipts, terms and conditions documentation, pictures, a credit card statement, bank statement or check book stub
  • Keep a log of extra costs incurred

Do Plan Your Purchase

Use the following tips to ensure that you avoid any problems and are making informed decisions as you shop online:

Carry out research:

  • Have a budget
  • Decide in advance what product specifications and features you require
  • Ask trusted friends and family about their experience with a certain brand or product
  • Learn more about the website you are about to purchase from
  • Review product test results from experts and past customers
  • Check whether the product has ever been recalled

Make the purchase:

  • Get quotes from various retailers
  • If you product requires financing, get a copy of your credit report
  • Ensure that the seller has the appropriate licensure
  • Get copies of guarantees and warranties
  • Read and understand the sellers refund, return and order cancellation policies
  • Find out who you should contact if you have a question or problem
  • Read and understand any legal document or contract you are required to sign either online or offline
  • Consider paying by credit card, in case of a problem, you can always dispute the charge made to the card
  • Do not purchase on impulse, this includes charity donations

After you make a purchase online, save all of the paperwork that comes with your product. Read and follow the instruction manuals included. At all times, be alert to price reductions, as you may get a big discount on an item you have been looking for. Knowing your basic rights will make resolving disputes with retailers a lot easier. However, the best method of protection against bad online retail experiences and fraud is ensuring that you are dealing with a trusted company or online retailer in the first place.

About the Author

Amanda Acuña an influential Mom Blogger. She created MommyMandy as an online resource to the parenting community. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has three daughters, ages 13,10, 4 and a baby boy born in February 2015. They currently reside in sunny Southern California.

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