If your packages are snow-delayed this Christmas, you’ll be glad if you ordered online. The simple fact is you’ve more rights. Distance selling regulations mean if you no longer want them, you’ve a week to return goods bought online. With goods ordered instore for delivery, you only have a right of return if they’re faulty.
That means if goods arrive too late, rather than relying on the ‘Christmas delivery was guaranteed’ rights, you have the option to simply send ’em back and get a full refund.
Therefore if things need delivering the rule is simple: order online (or phone / mail order) rather than instore. We change our minds far more than we think, so it’s a strong extra safety precaution (see my Mrs MSE’s a Robo-shopper blog for more on this growing trend).
Should we order everything online?
This therefore raises the question, ‘should we order everything online?’ as after all you’ve more rights. Yet the counter argument is there’s just no better guarantee of delivery than buying instore and getting the goods there and then.
Therefore assuming you could buy goods straightaway in the shops, you need to balance the following (I’m only looking at consumer rights – not price and convenience which of course should always be factored in too):
- Advantage of Buying online. The key strength here is a no-quibble right to change your mind; a big advantage for furniture or clothing. Provided the store is a reliable one (eg, tesco online vs. tesco instore) this is worth considering.
- Advantage of buying instore. The key strength here is there’s no risk of delivery delay or the company going bust before the goods arrive. Yet if the goods are wrong, you can only take them back if faulty, many wrongly think you have a legal right to ‘take something back because it doesn’t fit’ (for a full explanation of these, see the consumer rights guide).
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