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What is a consumer?
You will usually be classed as a consumer if you are an individual buying goods or services for your personal use. However there are exceptions, including:
- if you use a trade counter or account to buy goods for personal use, you will be classed as a trader
- if you buy goods from an auction you can attend in person (including some online salerooms) you are likely to be classed as a trader
- if you are a landlord buying goods or services for a property you are letting out, you will be classed as a trader.
What are my rights?
When buying goods or services, the law says you have certain legal rights. These include:
- goods being of satisfactory quality
- goods being as described
- goods being fit for any purpose they were supplied for
- services and installations being carried out with reasonable care and skill
- services and installations being carried out within a reasonable time, where it is not already agreed
- services and installations being carried out for a reasonable price, where it is not already agreed.
Can I change my mind?
If you have bought goods in the trader’s shop or at a stall you won’t normally have the right to change your mind. Some traders will allow you to change your mind though, so check your receipt and any notices they have displayed.
If you have bought goods or services online, by phone or by mail order, you usually have the right to cancel the order within 14 days.
If you have bought goods or services that cost more than £42 from a trader visiting your home, you will usually have the right to cancel.
You should check any paperwork or emails you received from the trader, but there are some situations that are excluded from these rights to cancel. You can find out more on the Citizens Advice website.
How do I find out more?
The Citizens Advice consumer helpline provides advice and information about consumer rights and complaints on behalf of Trading Standards.
For advice or to report a trader, please complete the online form or call 0808 223 1133. Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.