National Consumer Week is a yearly campaign which aims to raise people’s awareness of specific consumer issues.
This year’s campaign will focus on raising awareness of consumer rights when shopping online, and what people can do if something goes wrong. It will take place 16 – 22 November.
An estimated 87% of UK shoppers buy domestic goods or services online. Most of the time they’re happy with what they buy and the service they receive. But this isn’t always the case, and as more people are shopping online during the pandemic, complaints have risen.
Figures from ONS reveal a considerable shift in consumer retail habits:
- Huge numbers of people are using the internet to buy things. In 2019, data indicated that 8 in 10 internet users had shopped online
- In February 2020, figures showed that 19% of retail spending was online
- This rose to 33% of retail spending in May 2020, during lockdown
This shift to online spending is increasing. People in the UK are now spending on average almost £2 billion per week online, almost half a billion pounds more than the same time the year before.
Given the likelihood that we’re all going to continue buying things online more and more frequently, we want to help you to make informed choices when you do. It’s also important that you understand what to do if something goes wrong and where to go if you can’t solve the issue on your own.
Knowing what to look out for before you buy will help save you time and money. But, even the most diligent shoppers can have problems and need help to resolve them – especially when it comes to online purchases.
1 in 3 people (33%) don’t think there’s a difference in their consumer rights when buying online compared to buying in a store, and another 1 in 8 people (13%) believe consumer rights are better when buying from the high street.
But you actually have stronger rights on returns for online purchases than you do if you’re buying them in person.
Keep an eye on #NCW20 and #safeshopper for tips you can put into practice right away.
Advice and further information
Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/NCW20 for all the information you need to understand your rights, and how to resolve problems, when shopping online.
Or, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service at 0808 223 1133 if you have a consumer problem you’re struggling to solve on your own.
For a Welsh-speaking adviser contact: 0808 223 1144
If you want to report an international scam, visit econsumer.gov to file a complaint.
- How ‘free’ is this trial? Tips for avoiding unexpected charges
- Advertising Standards Authority is supporting National Consumer Week 2020
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