Citizens Advice urges Christmas shoppers to know their rights

Annual christmas market and fair to mark the start of the christmas lights switch on in Cleckheaton town centre last year. d308c446

Annual christmas market and fair to mark the start of the christmas lights switch on in Cleckheaton town centre last year. d308c446

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Faulty goods, misleading claims and substandard services mean Christmas presents fly back onto the shelves in January, according to new research from Citizens Advice.

Complaints about goods from people in Yorkshire and Humberside more than double in the new year in comparison to other months. Last January, laptops and tablets, televisions, women’s and men’s clothing and jewellery, were the most complained about.

Christmas shopping in Leeds. Pictured a busy Briggate, Leeds PICTURE GERARD BINKS

Christmas shopping in Leeds. Pictured a busy Briggate, Leeds PICTURE GERARD BINKS

Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre is urging people to know their consumer rights, as they crack on with Christmas shopping.

Nick Whittingham, the centre’s chief executive, said: “Many families save up for their Christmas shopping and it can be a real disappointment when their purchase isn’t up to scratch.

“Time and again we see people stuck with faulty or substandard products struggling to get their money back.

“We’re encouraging people to do their homework before they start their Christmas shop, so they know what their rights are and what they can do when things go wrong.”

Last year's Cleckheaton Christmas market

Last year's Cleckheaton Christmas market

The centre has put together a ‘must know’ list about the new Consumer Rights Act, which applies to goods bought after October 1.

- Poor quality or fault products can be returned within 30 days for a full refund

- If the product doesn’t match the description, you have the right to a refund

- Cancellation rights, delivery charges and restrictions, and returns policies must all be clearly given when shopping online or with a salesperson at your home. If cancellation information isn’t provided, this could extend a right to cancel from 14 days and possibly up to one year

- Important terms and conditions must be prominently displayed

- Disputes can now be settled without the need for a small claims court, through an Alternative Dispute Resolution

Those who need advice on goods and services they have purchased can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06, or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk