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Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 – Retailers Beware!

November 22, 2016

Now key events on the UK shopping calendar! “Black Friday” traditionally the name given to the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday when shops and retailers drop their prices for 24 hours. In recent years this has crossed the Pond to hit our stores, businesses and online retailers. This year runs to Cyber Monday so expect websites to crash and people to fight over electrical goods in your local supermarket!

But what do you need to do if you are a business selling goods in a store or online via a website? With the introduction of new consumer control regulations in this country last year make sure you are now legally complaint especially with the busy shopping weekend ahead!

The Consumer Rights Act came into force last year and it gives shoppers more protection than ever before whether they have bought an item in-store or online. Here is some advice to keep you up to date.

  • Under the Consumer Rights Act you must give your customers a 30-day window to receive a refund if the item you have sold them is faulty.
  • If you have to refund one of your customers you must do so within 14 days of being notified by them.
  • If the customer comes to you after the 30 day period you are still responsible for providing a repair or replacement for a period of up to 6 months after the sale.
  • You must provide a means of contact for your customer in your terms and conditions of sale. Unfortunately, they need someone to complain to!
  • You may or may not have a returns policy in place. You are not required by law to have one but if you do then you must stick to it! If you say a customer has 28 days to return an item then you must honour this deal.
  • In addition under the new laws online customers have 14 days from the point they received your item to return it to you for a full refund if they change their mind. This is annoying for you but they are entitled to this “cooling off” period.
  • Make sure your online descriptions of goods match the item you sell. Otherwise, the customer again can rely on the 14-day rule!
  • Late delivery may not be your fault but if the item doesn’t reach your customer for whatever reason you may still have to refund them in full! It’s not a case of blaming your courier anymore. If it’s stolen from your customer’s doorstep, damaged or late you may have to stump up a refund.
  • The Consumer Rights Act includes new rights if you sell digital content and that isn’t up to scratch! So where you sell that ebook, app or game you are now subject to the law. If it is of unsatisfactory quality, not fit for purpose or not as you described it on your website be prepared to refund your customer!

Make the most of the coming weekend but keep ahead of the game legally and know your position.

Hannah Newell – LawBite LawBrief. For further legal advice, you can contact Hannah via our online legal advice portal.