As the summer sales enter full swing and shoppers hunt for bargains, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is advising consumers to be aware of their rights so that they don’t lose out.
Áine Carroll, Director of Communications and Policy at the CCPC, says that during sale times consumers can think they have less protections. “Everyone wants to get a bargain in the sales, and this time of year is a busy time for retailers. However, it’s important that consumers are aware that just because they might pay less for a product, their rights don’t change. This means that anything you buy should be as it was described to you, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality. If this is not the case then, you are entitled to a repair, replacement, a reduced price or full refund, even though it was on sale.
Many stores change their refund policy during the sale season, so for example, they may not offer a refund if you change your mind. Our advice to consumers is to check the store’s returns policy on sale items before you buy, hold on to your proof of purchase and remember if something turns out to be faulty you have rights, no matter what the store policy on returns is.”
The CCPC has the following advice for anyone who is shopping in the sales this summer:
Know your rights
Anything that you buy must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality, sale or no sale.
You should not be out of pocket
If you buy something on sale that turns out to be faulty you have the same rights as any other time of the year. This means you are entitled to a repair, replacement, a reduced price or refund. You must negotiate your preferred option with the retailer. If the retailer offers you a refund, you are entitled to a refund of the original price you paid, not the price the item is now on sale for.
Keep your proof of purchase
If you return something, you will need proof of purchase, that is, a till receipt or a bank statement (for debit card transactions) or a credit card statement. Remember, shops don’t have to give you a till receipt, so make sure you always ask for one.
Check the store policy
While some stores might allow you to return something if it doesn’t fit or you simply change your mind, they are not required to do so under consumer law. So always check the store’s policy when you’re making a purchase. It might be different during a sale.
Know your rights when buying online
Unlike when you buy in a store, if you buy online from a company based in the EU, you are entitled to a 14-day cooling-off period. This means, even if the price was reduced, you can cancel an order up to 14 days after you receive it for any reason and still get a full refund. You may have to pay the cost of returning the item.
If it’s broke, get the retailer to fix it!
If you buy something in the sale and you find out it’s faulty, it is the retailer’s responsibility to fix it – not the manufacturer.
The CCPC has a series of information videos on the key issues consumers face regarding sales purchases – these are available to view here.