UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: You still have your rights, even when it’s a bargain, consumers reminded

Press Release   •   Dec 28, 2009 10:51 GMT

When you head out into the post-Christmas sales looking for a bargain, or take back that awful Christmas present that your Auntie gave you, do you know your consumer rights?

The “Know Your Consumer Rights” campaign and consumer direct website ( has useful information to help you.

It sets out the key rules that you should know, when looking for a bargain or taking something back, such as:

·                     Anything you buy must be accurately described

·                     Products must be of satisfactory quality

·                     Anything you buy must be fit for purpose, and if goods are faulty it is the retailer’s responsibility not the manufacturers

·                     If you buy something off the internet, in most cases, you have a cooling-off period when you can cancel your order without giving a reason and receive a full refund

The campaign is part of a major initiative by the Government to make sure that you know how to get a fair deal when you’re shopping and to make sure that you know what to do if things go wrong.

Consumer minister Kevin Brennan said:

“Just because you’ve bought something in a sale, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the same rights as someone who paid full price.

“About a third of people have said that they felt their consumer rights had been ignored at some point, and I want to do everything possible to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future. Consumers deserve better.

“If you know your rights, and are confident in what you can ask for, you’re much more likely to get the right result when things go wrong.”

Note to editors:

1. The research was conducted by BMRB for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and questioned 2,009 people in England, Scotland and Wales. Further information is available at

2. The ‘Know Your Consumer Rights’ campaign is a joint initiative between the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Consumer Direct, Consumer Focus and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

3. Best practice for business is provided through the Businesslink website to help educate and train their staff on key consumer rights.

4.   Retail partners who have joined the “Know Your Consumer Rights” campaign to help educate customers about their rights include: Asda,, B & Q, Wickes,,, and Gray & Osbourn.

Please contact the Department for Business press office on 0207 215 3496 for more information.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.


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