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Buying goods online

Your consumer rights

The good news is that when you shop online you have more consumer rights than when buying goods from a shop on the high street.

Faulty goods

As with items bought on the high street, all goods sold online must be of a satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described when sold and comply with the Sale of Goods Act 1979[1] or the Consumer Rights Act 2015[2]. If an online shop breaches any of these, the remedies available to you will depend on the legislation that applies to your purchase and may include the short-term right to reject (up to 30 days from the date of purchase under the 2015 Act), a repair, replacement, a reduction in price or rejection. 

Cancelling an online order

If you change your mind about the items you’ve bought online, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 gives you a cooling-off period. This starts from the moment you place the order and ends 14 days from the day after you receive the goods. During this period you can cancel without having to give a reason. 

Which? Legal can help

We provide easy-to-understand legal advice on your consumer rights when returning faulty goods and cancelling online orders. This includes legal advice on helping you tackle situations such as when:

  • An online seller refuses a refund or repair of a faulty product
  • An online seller says you must contact the manufacturer of the goods directly
  • Claiming under a manufacturer’s guarantee
  • An online shop won’t allow you to cancel an order
  • Identifying goods that can’t be returned for a refund such as perishable
  • Items and personalized goods

Our Which? Legal team of specialist advisers can help you understand your consumer rights when you shop online and make sure that you have the necessary legal knowledge to take action in a dispute.

[1] Applies to contracts entered into prior to 1st October 2015

[2] Applies to contracts entered into on or after 1st October 2015

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