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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 06:03 GMT
Your rights when shopping online
Internet shopping
Stay safe shopping on the net this Christmas
There may be only just over five weeks until it's Christmas but nowadays there's no need to panic if you haven't started buying your gifts.

That's because more and more of us are buying online, from the comfort of our homes, with delivery straight to the front door.

But do you know what protection you have when you buy online?

  • Breakfast had more on this; we spoke to Susanne Lace, Senior policy officer from The National Consumer Council and Dylan Armbrust Editor of Computer Active Magazine

    Click on the link to the right to see that interview

  • You can also find some links to organisations offering help and advice on the right of this page

    Trend

    One recent survey suggested that up to 30% of us are now doing all of our Christmas shopping online, but as this trend grows so does concern over consumer rights if a delivery doesn't appear, or arrives damaged.

    What you need to know

  • Credit card transactions on foreign sites are not covered by the Consumer Credit Act, which covers consumers for compensation for goods over 100.

  • Some online banks have said they will not honour all debts of internet fraud victims - where customer carelessness led to the fraud - for example revealing your pin number.

  • Consumers have pretty much the same rights buying online as in a shop

  • You should be given clear info about the goods or services, written confirmation and a cooling off period of 7 days in which you can send back the goods regardless of the reason.

    The exception to this is if the item can be consumed and you have used it.

  • If goods arrive damaged, contact the trader and they should replace them. If the trader is not cooperative, contact your local Trading Standards or Citizens Advice Bureau.

    The Office of Fair Trading also produces fact sheets on what to do

  • Always try to buy from UK based internet companies, and ignore spam e-mails which might appear to have tempting Christmas offers

  • BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
    Christmas Shopping on the Net
    Your rights explained



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