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Your Statutory Rights
At Choiceful.com we want to provide you with an excellent service and great choice each and every time you shop with us. Occasionally though you might want to return a product or make a complaint so on this page we’ve listed how the government and Choiceful.com operate its policies to protect your rights as a consumer.
The law currently states that under these pieces of legislation, a consumer has the right to goods that are deemed to be of a satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and 'as described'. Satisfactory quality implies that the goods are free from any faults or manufacturing defects, safe, resilient and long-lasting, and have a satisfactory appearance and finish.
Fit for purpose entails that the goods are fit for the specific purpose for which they were made. Examples of fit for purpose include waterproof or water resistant goods. The term 'as described' means that the goods on offer should accurately concur with the description applied to them. This includes descriptions such as the size of colour of the goods.
At this point it's worth noting that when entering into a sale with an individual the only consumer right that applies in this instance is that the item is 'as described'. You should also consider that when buying second hand goods, your basic consumer rights still apply, except the law states that it is reasonable that expectation about the durability and performance of the goods should be lowered. Consumer rights also apply to goods bought in sale (stock clearance), but if the goods are on sale because of a defect, then the consumer cannot demand a refund due to that fault at a later stage.
Refunds and Complaints
In law, when purchasing from an online store, a consumer is not automatically entitled to a refund if they simply change their mind. Many shops will offer a refund, alternative or replacement purely as a gesture of goodwill, alongside proof of purchase. Unless stated, proof of purchase does not necessarily mean a valid order ID - bank and card statements can also be used.
When making purchases via distance selling methods, consumers are also covered by the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. The Distance Selling Regulations bring a European Directive into UK Law. Distance Selling refers to purchases made when the consumer isn't physically present to complete the contract - for instance by mail order, digital television, email or via the Internet. These regulations ensure that consumers have access to written prior information (such as final costs, contact details of the supplier, delivery arrangements and cancellation policies) before making a final purchase.
Under these regulations consumers also have what is commonly referred to as a 7 day cooling-off period. During this time consumers may examine the goods as they would in a shop, change their mind and cancel the contract. The supplier is then expected to make a full refund within 30 days of the delivery of goods or start of the provision of the service.
However, the right to cancel doesn't always apply. This includes instances where goods have been personalised or customised, are perishable (such as with fresh food and flowers), have been unsealed as in the case of CDs and DVDs, or certain services that have been employed for a specific time and location.
The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (UTCCRs) seek to protect consumers against unfair standard terms in contracts made with traders that diminish common law and statutory rights. An unfair term is not considered legally binding, as it inflicts unreasonable burdens on the consumer. The definition of an unfair term is a term that "…contrary to the requirement of good faith…causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations under the contract, to the detriment of consumers"