Christmas shopping made easy
We want to help make sure a bad shopping experience doesn’t take the joy out of your Christmas and New Year, so we’ve put together all our best festive advice.
Check you’re really getting a bargain. Browse the websites of similar retailers to make sure they’re not offering a better deal.
Think hard before you buy a Boxing Day “bargain”. If you make a spontaneous decision then regret it, a retailer has no obligation to take back an item.
But keep in mind, a retailer does have to put things right if the item you bought is defective – even if it was on sale. The only exception is if the defect was pointed out to you before you bought the item.
Consider spending those gift cards you received on Christmas Day. Our Drop the Dates campaign has been putting pressure on retailers to ditch expiry dates from their gift cards, but some have refused to budge. If you use it quickly, there’s also less chance you’ll lose out if the business goes bust.
If there’s nothing you want to use your gift card on yet, some can be registered so they can be cancelled and replaced if lost or stolen. Check the retailer's website to see if it's obvious how to do it or contact it to see whether if it's possible.
Buying something electronic and asked if you want the extended warranty? In most cases we don’t think they’re worth it. That’s because the Consumer Guarantees Act means retailers have to repair or replace faulty goods or refund your money.
Check your receipts and bank statements. It’s a busy time of year and mistakes happen.
Uh-oh. Despite putting so much effort into finding the perfect gift, it didn't go to plan. Can you return it?
If it's just because the recipient doesn't like the gift, you're not within your rights to ask for a refund. The retailer is under no legal obligation to give you your money back or exchange the gift. However, some retailers will do so in the interests of good customer service, so it's worth asking. It's also worth asking when you buy the gift if the shop has exchange cards. The retailer also doesn't have to take the product back if you can't prove you bought it there.
This all changes if the present is faulty or doesn't match how it was described in ads, on websites, or by the salesperson. If the fault is minor, the retailer can choose to repair the item, replace it, or refund your money. If the fault is major, it’s your choice whether you opt for a replacement or refund. And keep in mind it doesn't matter if you bought the item on sale. A retailer can't palm you off on the manufacturer - you have the right to just take the item back to the shop and have it sort the problem.
Boxing Day is heaven for bargain hunters. But the satisfaction from saving dollars soon dulls if your bargain doesn’t perform as well as expected. That’s why you should check our test results before temptation takes over. Here are our latest test results.
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