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Five Questions About: Your rights in the sales

Do I have fewer rights if I shop in the sales?

Many people believe that they don't have the right to complain about items bought in the January sales, but this is not the case. In fact, your statutory rights remain exactly the same on sales items as they do when you buy goods at full price. The only difference you may find is that some shops will alter their returns policies, meaning you cannot return items just because you change your mind. Giving customers a full refund on items because they have had a change of heart is a goodwill gesture and not a right.

What are my rights?

If an item is damaged, not fit for purpose or not as described, you are entitled to your money back, an exchange or a repair. The retailer has a responsibility to resolve your complaint and cannot simply direct you to the manufacturer. Your rights are the same for online shopping too. Bear in mind that if your purchase causes other damage, you could be entitled to compensation, for example, if there is a fault with the dye of a new top and it runs when you wash it, spoiling other clothing.

What if I lose my receipt?

If you've lost a receipt in the chaos of the sales then don't panic. As long as you can show a credit card bill or bank statement as proof of purchase, the retailer still has to honour your rights.

Can I increase myprotection?

Using a credit card for purchases can give you an extra layer of protection. Under the Consumer Credit Act, if you are using the card to buy an item valued between £100 and £30,000, the card provider is jointly liable for your purchase, so you have another company to chase for a refund if things go wrong.

Do I ever lose my right to complain?

Sometimes an item will be in the sale because it has a fault or is slightly less than perfect. If this is the case and you were told about the problem before you made your purchase, then you do not have the right to return it because of that fault.