Black Friday has been and gone, and for many of us December marks a month of frantic shopping. To ensure you don’t risk losing out on any money if things go wrong, you need to watch out for common shopping pitfalls.
Use a card for expensive items
First of all, if you are planning on purchasing something expensive on card so that you can worry about the bill later – stop! Check your financial situation first and ensure you have the funds to cover the cost. You should use card rather than cash when purchasing something over £100 (and under £30,000) so if it arrives damaged or doesn’t arrive at all – you can claim the money back from the card company.
Keep your cards safe
Unfortunately at this time of year there are many cases of theft. Keep your cards in a safe place and be sure to call your card company/companies if they do get lost or stolen. If any transactions were made after you reported your card missing, you should be fully refunded. Keep in mind that if the card company can show that you’ve failed to take reasonable measures to keep your card or PIN safe, you could be responsible for the first £50 or any disputed transaction.
Be cyber savvy
If you plan to do any online Christmas shopping, be sure to shop from reputable sites that are secure before parting with your payment information. There are many bogus online shops out there that offer goods that don’t exist and other sites that sell fake goods.
Know your refund rights
The Distance Selling Regulations will protect you if you buy something over the phone or online, so you’ll have seven working days from the day your goods arrive in which to cancel your payment. Confirmation of your cancellation should be sent by letter, fax or email.
On the high street, refunds have a different set of rules. You are only entitled to a refund if the item is faulty or not as described. If you simply don’t like something, you are not legally entitled to a refund. Most shops will offer a refund or exchange however, as long as you have proof of purchase, the goods are in a sellable condition and you return them within the designated time frame.
Whenever you purchase a gift, find out what the company’s Christmas returns policy is so you are well informed before spending your money.