We live in a consumer society. We work to earn money which we can then use not only for sustenance and housing but also to spend it on various amenities. Unfortunately, there are many who seek to abuse our desire to buy things and try to trick you into giving them your money without providing you with the promised product or service. Luckily, there are regulations that protect your rights as a consumer, and that you need to know in order to avoid getting scammed.
What are some of the basic rights you have as a consumer?
Your rights, most basically speaking, can be subsumed under three criteria for the product in question. In other words, the product or service needs to meet three conditions; otherwise, you are entitled to a replacement or a refund.
1. Satisfactory quality
The product you purchased must satisfy certain standards of quality, and withstand standard use it was designed for. Different products are treated differently in this category; if you purchased a second-hand item, you should not expect the same criteria that apply for a brand new item.
2. Fit for purpose
Every product that is made is required to fulfill a certain purpose or perform a certain task. Rubber boots, for example, need to be waterproof. The product you buy must be able to perform the task it was designed for.
3. Described state
When you buy a product, it needs to exactly match the description that is advertised, or shown during the purchase of the object.
Consumer rights for regular purchases
Your rights differ based on how much time has passed since the purchase has been made. If it has been no longer than a month, you have the right to ask for a full refund if the product does not meet some of the three criteria. After a month, you can no longer ask for a full refund, but you may ask the retailer or the manufacturer to replace or repair your product. Within the first six months, you still retain the right to contact the retailer or manufacturer and ask for repair or replacing. If they agree, they need to perform either of the two free of charge. After six months, it will be very difficult to convince the retailer that the product was faulty from the beginning.
Consumer rights for online shopping
Every customer has full right to cancel the purchase within fourteen days of having received the product, and get a full refund. If the product is somehow damaged, you need to refer to the retailer where you ordered the product, as it is their obligation to deliver you your package without any damage. If you specified delivery date, and the retailer fails to deliver the product up to that point, you also have the right to cancel for a full refund. Things are slightly different with second-hand purchases.
Buying second-hand goods
When purchasing second-hand products, you need to take into consideration the party you are buying it from. If it is a person which does not represent any retail store, you may not be able to get your refund unless you can prove that the product was not accurately described; retailers can reimburse you if the product does not match the three criteria.