Black Friday shoppers should know their rights before splashing the cash – Hayes
Bargain hunting Christmas shoppers should take time to familiarise themselves with their consumer rights ahead of bumper shopping day, ‘Black Friday’, said Fine Gael MEP, Brian Hayes today.
“Black Friday is a relatively new phenomenon here in Ireland, which we’ve adopted from the USA, where retailers traditionally hold sales straight after Thanksgiving,” he explained.
“Savvy Irish and European retailers have spotted an opportunity to increase sales in the run-up to Christmas and last year, after a disappointing October, retails sales enjoyed a bounce in November, with Black Friday proving to be something of a boon.
“Crossborder and online shopping has increased in the wake of Brexit, as we’ve seen a weaker Sterling rate,” Mr. Hayes continued. “Many retail websites will be seeing this Friday as an opportunity to attract new business to their sites, so shoppers may find themselves using websites they are not familiar with. In this instance, make sure you have the trader’s full contact details, including a postal address – never rely on just an email address or a PO Box.
“Don’t assume that a website is based in the country indicated by its web address For instance, a website ending in .ie doesn’t necessarily mean the website is based in Ireland. If you purchase from a trader based outside the EU, European Consumer protections may not apply. You may also face unexpected customs and tax bills.
“Most shoppers will want their goods delivered in time for Christmas. The trader must deliver the goods or perform the service within the agreed time period. If no period is agreed on, the goods/service must be delivered within 30 days of the order being placed. If the trader fails to do this and no delivery follows within an appropriate amount of time, you are entitled to a full refund.
“Never send cash or use a money wiring service. Funds sent this way are untraceable and consumers have no recourse if something goes wrong .Consider using payment methods such as cards, that offer chargeback in the event of a dispute. When inputting your card details, look for a padlock symbol in the bottom right of the browser window and ensure the website address begins with ‘https://.
“Retailers should look forward to an upsurge in sales over the coming weeks, which will be good news for the domestic and European economies. Shoppers should also bag themselves a few bargains, but should be sure to know they’re covered before they part with any cash,” Mr. Hayes concluded.