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SMEs: Remember the Rules on Black Friday

As a business owner, you may be thinking about slashing your prices to make the most of Black Friday, but you must remember to stick to the rules whether you are having a sale or not.

Consumers have the right to return any product that they are not happy with, for a refund, a replacement or a repair. This doesn’t matter whether they bought it full price or at a knock down, bargain price on Black Friday.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 stipulates that you must allow consumers to return items, whether they are faulty or just not suitable. You can say that certain items can’t be returned such as DVDs, CDs, underwear and earrings. The consumer has 30 days in which to reject an item and expect a full refund.

The Act also states that:

  • Consumers have the right to reject goods within 30 days of supply (less for perishable items such as food) if they’re faulty, and to request a refund. However, the consumer has to prove there’s a fault.
  • You can offer to repair the goods instead of giving a refund. If the consumer accepts this, then the ‘clock is stopped’ on the 30 day period. The clock then starts again when the consumer receives the repaired item and they then have the rest of the 30 day time period (or 7 days if this is longer) to ascertain if the repaired item is still faulty.
  • If there’s still a problem, the consumer can reject the goods and claim a refund or replacement. Alternatively, the consumer can agree to keep the faulty item but at a reduced price, in which case you would agree (at least) a partial refund. You could offer to make a second repair instead, but the consumer doesn’t have to accept this offer – and if they do, they may lose their right to reject the item and have to accept a further repair or replacement instead.

If you’re selling online, over the phone, or via catalogue, the consumer has the right to return the item under Consumer Contracts Regulations for any reason. You must explain the details of how the consumer can exercise any right to cancel and who is responsible for the cost of returning the goods.

A consumer’s right to cancel an order starts from the moment they place the order and doesn’t end until fourteen working days after they receive the goods. This is the minimum and many businesses give a longer period for returns. A consumer doesn’t have to return the item within the fourteen day period but should make you aware that this is their intention.

If you need advice about the Consumer Rights Act 2015 for your business please get in touch with our specialist business lawyers at Slater and Gordon. Contact us on 0800 112 4959 or contact us online and we will call you.

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