Con­sumers urged to be aware of their rights

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - We also rec­om­mend read­ing pre­vi­ous reviews and sav­ing screen­shots of your pur­chases

Con­sumers have been urged to con­sider the dan­gers of us­ing on­line mar­ket­places this Black Fri­day af­ter more than 13,000 is­sues were re­ported to Cit­i­zens Ad­vice across the UK last year.

Re­search shows that 73% of UK adults now use on­line mar­ket­places, which are web­sites where busi­nesses and pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als list and sell their prod­ucts, but more than 50% do not know they have fewer rights when they buy from a pri­vate seller, com­pared to if they buy from a busi­ness.

Around 1,390 cases were re­ported in Scot­land alone last year, with more than a quar­ter of peo­ple say­ing they were sold faulty goods or goods that be­came de­fec­tive shortly af­ter sale.

Sub-stan­dard ser­vice from sell­ers and a fail­ure or de­lay in goods be­ing de­liv­ered were also among the top bug­bears re­ported.

Derek Mitchell, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Scot­land, said: “To­day is Black Fri­day – the big­gest day of the year for on­line pur­chases – and next week is Na­tional Con­sumer Week, kick­ing off with Cy­ber Mon­day.

“So this seems like a good time to re­mind Scots that there are spe­cific risks to buy­ing in on­line mar­ket­places, but also that they have con­sumer rights and should be aware of these if some­thing goes wrong.

“Be­fore click­ing the buy but­ton, it is re­ally im­por­tant that you check the prod­uct in­for­ma­tion, oth­er­wise you risk be­ing left out of pocket.

“We also rec­om­mend read­ing pre­vi­ous reviews and sav­ing screen­shots of your pur­chases.

“Also, re­mem­ber that you lose fi­nan­cial pro­tec­tion when you don’t use a credit card or an au­tho­rised trans­ac­tion site such as Paypal.

“The Cit­i­zens Ad­vice net­work is al­ways ready to help peo­ple who feel they have been mis­treated, but the best way to avoid the prob­lem is to fol­low our top tips when buy­ing on­line.”

Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Scot­land said con­sumers should al­ways check the prod­uct details, take screen­shots of the item they want to buy, use a pay­ment method that pro­tects them, and go back to the seller if there’s a prob­lem.

Free ad­vice is avail­able by call­ing Cit­i­zens Ad­vice on 03454 040506.

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