As Gold Coast families race to have their gifts delivered in time for Christmas and click fever is at its highest it’s a great time to highlight ways to reduce online shopping disasters.
It is crucial that consumers understand their rights when it comes to buying goods online.
Purchases made online with Australian retailers attract the same rights to a replacement, repair or refund as those found in a bricks and mortar store. But buyers should exercise caution when purchasing goods from overseas online businesses where it may be difficult and expensive to enforce the same rights.
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Before shoppers hand over their hard earned cash to any online shopping outlet and to avoid being ripped off, it’s important you:
- Check it’s a reputable business or product by checking things such as online reviews and making sure the company has a physical street address and landline phone number – this is especially important when looking for a refund or repair.
- Read the fine print! Check the terms and conditions of sale, including refund and returns policies and any additional charges like currency conversion fees, postage costs and import duties and taxes.
- Compare the product with other websites, their prices and conditions of sale.
- Ensure all payments can be made using secure payment systems on a secure website.
- Keep a copy of your purchase confirmation and check the details are correct against your credit card or PayPal statement.
The other crucial thing to check is whether your purchase requires additional items not included at sale. Because no one will get over the year that Santa forgot the batteries.
Online shoppers looking for further assistance can contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission at www.accc.gov.au or the consumer protection agency in the country where the goods were purchased from.