Manchester City Council and Citizens Advice are calling on residents to use their new consumer rights as they start their Christmas shopping this year.
The city council and Citizens Advice Manchester will be giving advice from a stall on Piccadilly on from 9.30am-3pm on Friday November 6 as part of this year’s National Consumer Week.
They will be highlighting how the new Consumer Rights Act, introduced last month, helps people to shop with confidence, compare deals and get their money back when things go wrong.
Nationally, the Citizens Advice Consumer Service dealt with nearly 600,000 enquiries over the last year from people who wanted help resolving problems with goods or services or more information about their rights.
Now, Citizens Advice Manchester and the city council are encouraging people to ‘know their rights’ by sharing the five big changes that will help people to understand exactly what they are buying, and how to resolve problems:
● Got a dodgy download? Previously, it wasn’t clear if you could get a replacement when digital content such as films, games, music or e-books were faulty. Now, the law is much clearer and you’ve got a right to a repair or replacement.
● Want your money back? You may have tried to take a faulty item back and been offered an exchange or a credit note. From 1 October, if you get a product that’s faulty, poor quality or not fit for purpose, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.
● Bamboozled by the small print? In the past, terms and conditions were often tucked away in the small print. Now, important terms and conditions must be made more prominent. This makes it easier to know what you’re signing up to, but also makes it easier to compare contracts so you know you’re getting the best deal.
● Poor quality purchase? It can be hard to prove that something just isn’t as good as you were expecting. The new Act states that products must match the description given. If they don’t, your rights to a refund can come into play.
● Can’t resolve a dispute? Resolving a dispute has been made easier. Previously consumers would often have to pay to take businesses to a small claims court to get their problem sorted. Now it’s easier for people to go via alternative dispute resolution, which uses other routes to solving disputes such as going to an Ombudsman for free.
Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, said: "Millions of people will be coming into the city centre over the next two months to buy their Christmas shopping. The vast majority of Manchester traders provide an excellent service, but residents should always know where to go when things go wrong."
Rosie Hunter, from Citizens Advice Manchester said: "Shopping should be hassle free but time and again we see people caught out by the small print or struggling to get their money back.
"It’s now easier for people to know what they’re signing up for before they buy, and what they’re entitled to when a product isn’t up to scratch. We’re encouraging people to compare deals, to make sure they get what they pay for, and to use their new rights to solve their consumer problems."
Anyone who needs advice on goods and services they’ve purchased can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06, go online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or contact Manchester Citizens Advice on 03444 111 222.