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Shopping Online
High street stores
Safe Shopping Tips
Consumer rights

Safe Online Shopping. . .

The internet – whether accessed through a computer, digital TV or mobile phone – offers convenience, choice, competitive prices and access to a wealth of information.

By following a few simple tips, it is possible to shop safely online.

Shopping Hints & Tips
  • Payment: If your credit or debit card is used fraudulently in the EU, the card company must refund you.
  • Websites: Use shops you know or which are recommended. Get the supplier's phone number and postal address.
  • Records: Keep a copy of what you've ordered, plus the supplier's confirmation message.
  • Quality: Your high street consumer rights apply online.
  • Cooling off: In many cases in the EU the law lets you change your mind and get a refund within 7 working days of the delivery.

Your high street rights apply

Your high street rights apply equally when buying over the internet as when shopping on the high street. So remember, goods must be of satisfactory quality and adverts and descriptions must not be misleading. The Advertising Standards Authority and the Office of Fair Trading websites have further information.

Online protection

Don't forget that you must be given key details before you buy such as the supplier's postal address. Also, items must be delivered within 30 days unless otherwise agreed. The DTI website contains more details.

Technology helps

Look for a closed padlock sign at the bottom of the screen. It shows that your details are protected when being sent.

Safe payment

If you use your credit card to buy online and the goods fail to arrive or are faulty, the card company should refund you for any single item costing over £100. For further information visit the Association for Payment Clearing Services or the Office of Fair Trading websites.

Data protection and unwanted e-mail

Remember, if you do not want your personal details to be used for direct marketing, you have the right to object. Your internet service provider or the Direct Marketing Association's e-mail preference service may be able to help. The Information Commissioner's website also has more information.

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