Local clients often find themselves badly treated by retailers. Now you might be in line for a better deal. The Office of Fair Trading has published guidelines for retailers. These come with an online tool to be used by retailers to ensure that they are dealing properly with consumers returning or buying goods.
“Sales staff may be unsure of their responsibilities under the Sale of Goods Act as it has been updated over the years and new requirements have been added,” said Jason Freeman, legal director in the OFT’s consumer group. The OFT said that consumers can face real problems in dealing with retailers who do not understand the law. “There is evidence that many retail
staff do not fully understand customers’ statutory rights when it comes to exchange and refunds” it said in a statement. “OFT research estimated that consumers experienced 26.5 million problems with unsatisfactory goods and services and that 34% of the problems were unresolved.”
The OFT said it believes that unsatisfactory goods cost consumers £2billion a year. It said that it developed the ‘SOGA Hub’ website to help those selling goods to understand their obligations. The site was developed in conjunction with the British Retail Consortium and the Trading Standards Institute.
We can help you as a consumer if you believe you have a claim against a retailer. The OFT is currently consulting consumer contracts and the EU has recently made progress on a new directive in this field — the consumer rights draft directive, so change is likely. If you would like guidance before purchasing goods and services, the UK government provides an advice site for consumers, here.