UKICC | The UK International Consumer Centre

Buying Goods and Services

UK consumers enjoy protection under a variety of different laws when they purchase Goods and Services - and even Digital Content. Click on the following titles (in red) to jump to the section explaining your consumer rights in more detail.



Did You Know?...

  • When you purchase something from a person or company, the law dictates that you have entered into a contract. This may sound very formal but this is not always the case in practice. You may not have signed a contract or even been given a receipt but even something as simple as buying a newspaper from the local shop is considered to be forming a contract. 
  • You are considered to be a consumer if you are a private individual purchasing goods or services for your own private use. 
  • Consumer laws use the term 'trader' frequently. This is the legal term used to describe a business. These laws do not usually offer the same protections for items purchased from private individuals.
  • It is helpful to keep copies of all documents, in case an issue arises with the product or service. 
  • If an issue does arise with the product or service, or you wish to return it, it is best to contact the company as soon as you realise there is a problem or to let them know you have changed your mind, as there may be time limits to do so. 
  • We recommend corresponding with the business via email or letter, as if the problem escalates it will help to have the thread of communication documented. If you have a phone conversation, request confirmation of what is agreed in writing. 
  • We can assist if you need help asserting your rights against a company based overseas. If you are experiencing problems with a company based in the UK, the Citizens Advice Consumer Service may be able to assist.