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Know your shopping rights

PUBLISHED: 22:09 07 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:09 03 March 2010

THIS year the average Christmas shopper is set to notch up a staggering £836 bill.

But when things go wrong, what redress have you got against a Del boy telling you to "do one", or the sales assistant saying "no refunds"?

You may think you're a savvy consumer, but even the best-informed shopper can get caught out.

THIS year the average Christmas shopper is set to notch up a staggering £836 bill.

But when things go wrong, what redress have you got against a Del boy telling you to "do one", or the sales assistant saying "no refunds"?

You may think you're a savvy consumer, but even the best-informed shopper can get caught out.

Did you know that a store is responsible for a faulty product for SIX years after it is sold – years after the guarantee may have run out.

Consumer magazine Which? sent undercover reporters to 24 well-known electrical retailers complaining about an 18-month old VCR that had broken down six months after the manufacturer's guarantee had expired.

In 80 per cent of the visits, staff wrongly stated the problem had nothing to do with them.

So can you only take a present back if it's faulty, or is the fact you hate Aunt Ethel's Christmas jumper enough to ensure a full cash rebate?

Latest research from the Consumers' Association says less than two pc of shoppers who have received a raw deal complain to trading standards.

Mark Reeves' wife was devastated when she was unable to return a £50 pair of boots bought for her husband to an Ipswich store.

Mr Reeves who lives in Pinewood said: "I couldn't believe it. I didn't think there would be any problem returning the boots and getting a refund. But I was told it wasn't store policy.

"I was cross at the time because my wife was so upset but now I see it more as an embarrassing mistake. I've learnt my lesson and now I'll check the returns policy before I buy anything."

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