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When you buy something, you enter into a contract with the seller which means you have certain rights. To protect your rights, you should know that:

  • The goods you buy have to be safe to use and in satisfactory condition
  • If they are damaged, the seller should point this out to you before you buy
  • If the goods turn out to be faulty, you should get your money back, or the seller should replace or repair them
  • Your complaint needs to be sorted out with the seller - not the manufacturer. Even if you have a manufacturer's guarantee, it is still the seller who sorts it out. Make your complaint as soon as possible
  • The seller must not mislead the buyer. This means that the seller cannot give false information about the goods, or about their price 
  • If you buy goods through a private seller, on eBay, for example - be careful. The seller only has to make sure that the goods are sold as they were described. Take a witness and get a written description of the item for sale, so that if you later find a fault, you can claim your money or the cost of repair back
  • Don't pay a deposit on anything unless you really have to. If a company goes out of business, or you change your mind about buying the item, you'll lose your money
  • If you order something, make sure you fix a date by which time the goods will arrive. Get it in writing so that if it doesn't arrive, you can cancel your order
  • Keep your receipts and any other records that prove you've bought the goods
  • If you want to make a complaint about goods you've bought, speak to the shop manager.  If this doesn't work, take it to the customer services manager or the head office, if there is one
  • If you are still unsatisfied, you may want to take up your claim in court. You can get more information at your local Citizens Advice Bureau


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