Get switched on to your Christmas rights

17-07-2013. Picture Michael Gillen. GRANGEMOUTH. Mobile phones. Mobile phone.
17-07-2013. Picture Michael Gillen. GRANGEMOUTH. Mobile phones. Mobile phone.

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service is raising awareness of the public’s consumer rights in the build up to Christmas.

Electronic products are the main focus. In particular mobile phones are a massive consumer issue around this time of year, says Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service

The CAB launched its campaign during National Consumer Week (28 Nov – 2 Dec) to help stop people falling prey to bad sellers and common mistakes.

Issues around parents being guarantors for their children and racking up huge debt as well as sellers’ wrongly referring people onto the manufacturer have been major issues in previous years.

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service is inviting Dumfries & Galloway locals to contact the consumer helpline at 03454040506 or their local Citizens Advice Bureau if you have a problem with an electronic good or phone.

Christine Sinclair, Operations Manager of Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service said: “Many people are unaware of their rights when doing their Christmas shopping.

“There was in a change in the law in 2015 that gave us all much stronger consumer rights, and we need to make people aware of that.

“With so many new mobile phones being released this year, we know that the so called ‘must have’ gifts this Christmas mean that people need to know how to deal with retailers and sellers.”

A South of Scotland consumer phoned the consumer helpline regarding a fault which had occurred with the screen of her new phone.

She returned the phone to the high street retailer where she purchased it who sent it away for a repair. When she got it back the fault had not been fully fixed so she returned to the shop again.

They informed her she could not have a refund but they would have to send it away for a repair again and it would take over a month.

What the Consumer Rights Act 2016 says: The consumer has a right to a refund after one attempt to repair or replace. If this has failed the consumer is entitled to a full refund or keep the faulty phone and get a partial refund if the consumer prefers, not the retailer.

Christine Sinclair added: “If you have a consumer problem get advice and report it to Trading Standards through your local Citizens Advice Bureau or through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.”

There are CAB offices in Annan, Dumfries, Castle Douglas and Stranraer.