Christmas shopping 2013: consumer advice


Almost nine in 10 Brits (88%) bought their Christmas present online last year, according to research by Which?

And a third of us now buy most of our gifts online, with 5% doing all their shopping from the comfort of their home.

As Mega or Cyber Monday gets under way – with online retailers slashing prices for one day only – the consumer watchdog has published a new guide to consumer rights when buying online or on the high street.

When it comes to online purchases, getting your goods on time can be a problem, with one in five (22%) of the 2,025 people surveyed having experienced delivery problems last Christmas.

A quarter of shoppers who were left waiting had ordered their gifts more than a month before the company’s delivery cut-off date for Christmas.

Returns are another bugbear for consumers, with half (52%) of those polled complaining that retailers tried to fob off responsibility for faulty goods on to the manufacturer.

Which? Legal Service’s free 16-page ‘Shop Smart’ guide includes advice and case studies, including how different payment methods affect your rights, dealing with faulty goods, returns, replacements, shopping in the sales and non-delivery of goods.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said:Many of us now prefer to complete our shopping online rather than brave busy shopping centres, but it’s important to know your consumer rights however you buy your Christmas presents.

“Unhappy shoppers lose millions of pounds annually by not exercising their rights to return goods and a fair chunk of this comes over the festive period.”

For a free copy of the guide, call Which? on 0808 250 8371.