UK ECC newsletter - Christmas shopping hints

The countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun – there are just 16 shopping days left to Christmas 2020! We don’t want UK consumers to become a post-Christmas statistic so we’re advising everyone to follow our Christmas shopping hints.

Every year after Christmas, the UK ECC receives complaints about Christmas gifts – either about presents that don’t work, aren’t what was ordered or worse still, simply don’t arrive.

Andy Allen, Service Director at the UK ECC, said: “While Santa is reliable, it’s unfortunate that not everyone’s like that. ‘Gift-stress’ is a fact most years but maybe more so this year, given the difficult time we’ve all been having in relation to COVID-19.

“Our database shows that we get an influx of complaints about Christmas goods in the first three months of each year, and obviously that’s bad news for UK consumers, especially where disappointment is caused by gifts not arriving in time. So this Christmas we are encouraging UK consumers to take extra precautions to reduce any ‘gift stress’ this year.”

The UK ECC advises when buying Christmas gifts online:

  • confirm with the seller that your order will arrive before Christmas

  • goods should be delivered within 30 days, unless a fixed delivery date is agreed

  • if you need to receive a product by a specific time, make a written request to the trader before making the purchase and await confirmation that your request can be accommodated

  • if you are buying goods costing more than £100 you could pay on your UK credit card. Under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the credit card provider may be jointly responsible (along with the seller) for resolving any problems

  • when buying anything from a distance (online, email, phone or post), the Consumer Contracts Regulations mean that consumers have a 14 calendar day cooling-off period in most cases, starting as soon as an order is placed and ending 14 days after the goods are received. During this time the contract can be cancelled for any reason, including a change of mind

  • consumers must notify the trader of the cancellation and can then expect to receive a reimbursement within 14 days of returning the goods. Unless otherwise stated in the terms and conditions, the return fee is payable by the consumer

  • if your goods turn out to be faulty you may have the right to a repair or replacement

  • the E-Commerce Directive dictates minimum levels of information that a web trader based within Europe must provide to consumers for online purchases, including the name of the trader and geographical address plus email address. An acknowledgement of receipt of the consumer’s order must also be sent