Black Friday Madness – What Consumers Should Know

Black Friday Consumer Rights

If you’ve been paying attention for the past few years then you will have noticed the rise of the shopping phenomenon known as ‘Black Friday’. With the event becoming more popular, it is understandable that people may not be sure of what their consumer rights are when buying those great deals.

We’ll take a closer look at the rights you have as a consumer when purchasing items on Black Friday to make sure you’re fully aware of what you’re entitled to in case you purchase a faulty or damaged item. As well as this, given that this is an event that is not British in origin – we thought we’d also have a quick look at the history of Black Friday!

A Very American Tradition

It may come as unsurprising news to many, but while Black Friday has only become known in recent years it has existed in the United States for decades. That is because it always occurs on the Friday immediately after American Thanksgiving, which is the last Thursday of November. As such, it has no actual set date.

The name is said to originate from the fact that it would often help many shops ‘move into the black, so that they generate enough income to cover their costs while still reducing their prices. It is perfectly positioned in the run up to Christmas, meaning that many people will save to bvuy presents.

In the United States it is often an integral part of Thanksgiving culture, famed for the long queues of people early in the morning, or perhaps  even the day before. It also unfortunately has associations with violence, with people often getting injured both in the United States and the United Kingdom as they strive to get their hands on discounts.

The  United States traditionally use Black Friday, and the following Cyber Monday, to get all their shopping in. In the United Kingdom however, Black Friday is slowly evolving into a week long event with companies such as Amazon, Argos, Game and much more starting their offers up to a week early. This means that there is often a week full of great deals and bargains to be had, which also reduces the chance of any unfortunate accidents or injuries!

Consumer Rights On Black Friday

It’s important to note that Black Friday does not impart special consumer rights on individuals, instead these are rights that already exist but should be made clear given the sales impact Black Friday has. Many people may worry that because they are getting such great deals, they will not be allowed to return an item if it is faulty and so forth.

The Consumer Rights Act was brought into place in 2015 and it specified clear rights for consumers regarding purchases both online and in store. One of those is that if you purchase an item that turns out to be faulty, you have 30 days to reject it and get your money back from the store.

After 30 days, a retailer does not have to give a straight refund but can instead offer to either repair or replace the item. Alternatively, if you find that you simply want to return the item because you do not want it anymore, you can only do this if the company has a returns policy. If they do have one, they must stick to it – even for Black Friday, but it is important to review this first.

Buying products online comes with extra rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations  which state that consumers have 14 days  to return a product for a full refund from time of delivery. This can be done even if the product is not faulty.

Many people may not realise that digital content has also been covered since 2015, which includes music, films, games,ebooks or anthing that can be downloaded or streams. If you consider your digital purchase to be unfit for purpose, not as described or of quality that is unsatisfactory to you then you can demand a refund.

Something important to consider before everything is to make sure to do plenty of thorough research so that you are no accidentally buying into a scam. There will be plenty of legitimate sites out there offering deals for Black Friday, so make sure to check out their returns policy so that you are covered in case of any issues!

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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