Consumers urged to understand their rights this National Consumer Week

Highland residents are being urged to seek redress from retailers that sell faulty electrical goods this Christmas after a survey carried out by Citizens Advice found that two-thirds of consumers have bought problem goods in the last two years.

The advice comes at the launch of National Consumer Week which runs until Sunday 4 December and encourages people to get #SwitchedOn to their consumer rights and shop with confidence.

The Citizens Advice research reveals 1 in 4 (28%) people were initially turned away by retailers when they tried to get a repair, replacement or refund, despite the retailer having a responsibility to offer a solution under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

However, the research also showed that persistence paid off, with 61% of those who were turned away eventually getting some form of solution from the retailer.

It is hoped that focusing consumers’ minds during the busy Christmas period will help them to understand their rights which they can exercise all year round.

The campaign is run by Citizens Advice, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Highland Council Trading Standards are also supporting the campaign by helping businesses to understand their responsibilities under the act.

Trading Standards Manager David MacKenzie, said: “Highland Council Trading standards are keen to help businesses and ensure they don’t fall foul of the law.  By taking a proactive approach and fully understanding their responsibilities businesses can avoid difficulties further down the line.

Equally, it is also important that consumers know their rights to enable them to shop with confidence, saving time and money.  This is particularly important around Christmas where consumers may be making more purchases than usual.”

Alasdair Christie, Inverness, Badenoch and Strathspey CAB manager says “We anticipate a rise in consumer related queries over the festive season and into the New Year.  If you have any problems resolving a complaint over faulty goods, contact the helpline or come and see us at the CAB.”

Consumer advice is available from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or online on www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Free and impartial business advice on a host of trading standards legislation is available on the government-sponsored website, www.businesscompanion.co.uk

29 Nov 2016
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