Christmas shopping awaeness campaign
The Department of Consumer Affairs in Gibraltar will be having their usual Christmas Shopping Awareness Campaign on the 9th of November this year. The decision to bring forward the date of its campaign has been made in order to accommodate for the ever increasing numbers of internet shoppers who may choose to do their
This year, in addition to the usual Christmas Shopping guide; further emphasis will be made on shopping on the internet. The Department will be handing out leaflets and offering advice on the subject to the general public in Main Street from 11am until
2pm this Friday.
The Department for Consumer Affairs feels it is important for people to be able to shop with confidence. One of the ways that the department feels this can be achieved is by ensuring that the general public is well informed of their rights and responsibilities as consumers. For this reason, the Consumer Affairs Department would like to take this opportunity to make the public aware of some general suggestions that they should bear in mind.
1. In order to allow for any eventualities (include delays of delivery due to unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather) we would recommend that, consumers planning to make Christmas purchases over the internet, do so early in order to avoid disappointment. Consumers should bear in mind that any deliveries not received within a period of 30 days, from the day of purchase, can be cancelled and a full refund requested.
2. Under the Sale of Goods Act items purchased should be: Fit for purpose
as described of merchantable quality
3. Consumers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the policy of the shop they are purchasing from and the guarantees that are offered with the products they are buying. It is important that consumers realise that traders are only obliged to offer a redress if goods bought do not conform to the Sale of Goods Act. Consequently, if there is a possibility that the gifts bought may be returned, you should follow the company guidelines carefully and acquaint yourself with the money-back or guarantee periods. Also, it is advisable to shop from businesses that offer product exchanges or full refunds as a matter of policy.
4. The European Union allows a period of seven days during which you may cancel your purchase from the day of its arrival but some traders may offer you a longer period of grace. Bear in mind that you may be faced with a hefty postage bill to return them.
5. If the customer has bought something that does not conform to the above, they should return it immediately to the seller accompanied by some proof of purchase. If the customer has problems seeking redress, or is unsure of what level of redress they should be entitled to, please contact us immediately for advice, involvement and assistance.
6. Our advice to consumers, who have experienced problems with their purchases, is to firstly approach the trader, either in person or by phone, in order to try and resolve the issue amicably. If this does not have the desired outcome, the customer may wish to bring the matter to our attention. Finally, if and as a last alternative, the consumer may take the trader to court if they fail to comply with their obligations.
7. We advise Customers that the safety of products, especially toys and electronic goods, be observed and that goods should be checked for their EU Certification in the form of the CE symbol. It is also essential to check goods for compliance and safety on every occasion.
8. Customers are advised that, with the increased use of the Internet, online shopping can expose you to having more problems, such as the product not arriving on time and not being what you expected, items may also be damaged in transit. Remember that any problems like faulty goods or non-delivery may be difficult to deal with before the Christmas season.
9. We encourage consumers to purchase only from trustworthy sites that have been established for several years. Internet traders are obliged to give consumers their full business and contact details, written confirmation on their order, the delivery costs involved, refunds or money back guarantees and how to cancel the order.
Should an internet site not offer these details we recommend great caution.
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