Skip to main content

National Consumer Week 2018

National Consumer Week 2018

National Consumer Week has been taking place this week, the focus of this year's campaign has been to raise awareness of online marketplaces and to explain how consumer rights differ when buying online

While there are many benefits to buying online, people are having a range of problems when using online marketplaces.

The main issues which consumers reported to the Citizens Advice consumer service were:

  • being sold faulty goods, or goods that went faulty shortly after sale.
  • goods not arriving or not being sent by the seller.
  • goods being misdescribed in the sales adverts.

In addition when problems occur, consumers often don’t know their rights might be different because they are using an online markerplace:

  • Nearly half of people (48%) didn’t think that there was a difference in their consumer rights when buying online compared to buying in a store, despite the fact that they usually have enhanced rights on returns for online purchases.
  • A significant proportion of people didn’t know their rights changed depending on the type of seller - for example a trader or private seller - with over a third (35%) saying there wasn’t a difference in their rights and a further 9% saying they didn’t know either way.

Buyers can also have problems when seeking redress.

  • The most common redress issue reported to the consumer service was where the consumer wanted a refund but was struggling to get one.
  • 4 in 10 people (39%) said they were unaware of the consumer dispute resolution services that may be open to them.

The rise in online purchasing, combined with the problems reported to the consumer service, shows that there is a clear need to make sure that consumers are aware of their rights when using online marketplaces.

Some useful links if you need more information about using online markplaces:

-This National Consumer Week, learn all about your rights when using online marketplaces with this great video from @CTSI_UK  #NCW

- Fact sheets and Training packs can be found at Fact Sheets National consumer week 

- Pass the parcel an interactive journey of a parcel from buying to arriving at your home

- Online marketplaces information video - created by the UK European Consumer Centre.