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Cyber Monday shoppers urged to know their rights

The NCA says there are certain risks with online shopping, particularly the non-delivery of goods or if consumers wish to return an item.

Image: 18percentgrey via Shutterstock

TODAY IS CYBER Monday – one of the busiest online shopping days of the year. It falls on the last Monday of November after the American holiday, Thanksgiving and their subsequent shopping frenzy day, Black Friday.

This year, Irish shoppers are expected to spend around €420 million on online gifts during the period with the average consumer spending about €227 online for Christmas, according to figures published by Visa Europe.

Sales

For the occasion, a number of online retailers have ramped up their deals to get shoppers to click on their websites by starting sales at midnight.

The date shows how Irish people’s shopping habits are evolving during the holiday shopping season, a time when stores can make up to 40 per cent of their annual revenue.

But Cyber Monday hasn’t always been the biggest online shopping day, up until three years ago, that title was earned by the last day shoppers could order items with standard shipping rates and get them delivered before Christmas. That day changes every year, but usually falls in late December.

Busiest day

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) received almost 1,350 queries relating to shopping online this year, mainly relating to faulty goods, goods not being delivered, returning goods, and what consumers should do if they change their mind. On the busiest day of online shopping, they are calling on consumers to know their rights.

Karen O’Leary, Director of Public Awareness and Financial Education, has this advice:

Consumers have a seven-day cooling off period in most cases from the date the item was delivered to cancel the order and return the product. Consumers should be mindful that if the reason for returning it is just because they don’t like the product, it is up to them to pay for the goods to be returned.

In order that consumers don’t waste their hard earned cash and avoid the disappointment of goods not arriving on time for Christmas, we would urge consumers to check for expected delivery dates, shipping and handling fees, warranties, return policies and any other key information which may affect them. It is also a good idea to do an online search for companies that you don’t recognise to see if there are any negative references. It is important that consumers know their rights and what solutions are available to them, in case something goes wrong.

- Additional reporting AP

Read: Average Irish consumer ‘will spend €227 online this Christmas’ >

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Amy Croffey

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