Don’t let Christ­mas lay-by go bye-bye

Bayside and Northern Suburbs Star - - NEWS | WEL­COME -

WITH just over 14 weeks un­til Christ­mas, the Of­fice of Fair Trad­ing (OFT) is re­mind­ing shop­pers who plan to lay-by Christ­mas gifts to read the terms and con­di­tions care­fully be­fore sign­ing on the dot­ted line.

Fair Trad­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Brian Bauer said lay-by could be a great way for con­sumers to pay off gifts and man­age their hol­i­day bud­get, but it was es­sen­tial to un­der­stand lay-by con­di­tions be­fore sign­ing.

“It’s not un­com­mon for there to be a spike in com­plaints in De­cem­ber from con­sumers who’ve en­tered into lay-bys around this time of year and sub­se­quently want to can­cel them,” Mr Bauer said.

The OFT rec­om­mends the fol­low­ing for peo­ple plan­ning to lay-by:

Shop around and make sure you’re happy with the price you’re pay­ing.

Read the lay-by terms and con­di­tions care­fully. If you think there’s a chance you may need to can­cel a lay-by, check terms and con­di­tions about ex­changes, re­funds and can­cel­la­tion fees.

Do your maths and make sure you can af­ford the lay-by re­pay­ments. Fac­tor in the de­posit and any fees.

Set re­minders in your phone, cal­en­dar or di­ary so you don’t miss a lay-by pay­ment.

Re­mem­ber your usual con­sumer rights still ap­ply if a prod­uct pur­chased on lay-by is dam­aged or doesn’t work.

Visit fair­trad­ing or call 13 74 68 for more in­for­matin.

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