Channel Island shoppers are being warned not to get caught out by bad Black Friday deals. Guernsey Trading Standards says it's easy to fall victim to fake suppliers and other scams.
With Black Friday today (27 November) and Cyber Monday following the weekend, Guernsey's Trading Standards has put together a guide to help islanders shop safely in the run up to Christmas.
It includes a list of frequently asked questions that the team usually get asked at this time of year.
If you are buying goods sold in a shop they should be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described. If they aren’t, you are entitled to a remedy, which can either be a refund, repair or replacement depending on the circumstances. You don’t have to put up with a substandard product.
If you are buying locally, make sure you check the returns policy of the shop. Although they are not obliged to accept goods back if you change your mind, many will have some form of returns policy in place.
If you are returning a faulty product to a UK seller, they must bear any reasonable cost of that return. If you are not sure whether to keep something you’ve bought online from the UK, don’t handle it too much as if you do, it may reduce the chances of you getting a full refund.
If you are buying online, make sure you know who you are buying from. Check the seller’s history, feedback and reviews. Review the website. If there are spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, it’s highly likely it isn’t genuine. If it’s a co.uk web address, it doesn’t mean the seller is from the UK. Check the address and phone number. Remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The latest generation of games consoles are almost impossible to get hold of, so be very wary of any site you’ve never heard of claiming to have stock.
If you are buying online from a UK-based seller, you can cancel the order from the time it is placed until 14 days after you have received it, although you will have to pay the cost of returning the item(s) unless the trader has agreed to cover this beforehand. The seller is also responsible for getting it to you. If it arrives damaged, you need to contact who you bought it from.
The EU has similar consumer legislation to the UK and if you buy anything from other parts of the world, their local consumer protection laws will apply.
Using a credit card for purchases between £100 and £30,000 will give you additional protections as these are covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
Lastly, recently they have seen a rise in the number of scams targeting Bailiwick residents claiming to be from online retailers, in particular from Amazon. It’s likely this will increase during Black Friday to Cyber Monday and the Christmas shopping season. Scammers will claim your Prime needs to be updated or that fake transactions have taken place on your account, before asking for your bank or other personal details. The advice is simple: just hang up. If you’re concerned, contact Amazon through legitimate and advertised routes.