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Top 5 ways to protect yourself as a consumer

How to protect yourself as a consumer - Savewallets

What do we know about the UK consumers? According to the latest PwC figures, we know that 38% start product searches at Amazon.com, that another 38% buy products online at least once a month, and that 22% of them believe that mobile sites are complicated to use. With all the Christmas shopping going on currently we need to ask ourselves how much do we know about our consumer rights in the event of a problem?

Here at Savewallets, we believe in buying smart and spending smart and part of this attitude as a consumer is guarding what is yours. Therefore, we’ve put together a brief set of points on how to be ready to act in case there is a problem with a products or services that you have bought. Being cautious and aware of remedies to potential problems puts you in a better position to protect your money and savings. Have a look!

1. Cards before cash: leaving a trail helps

A simple first step to be ready to protect yourself as a consumer is to keep receipts or proof of purchase. This is why in a recent Savewallets #WeeklyLifeHack we mentioned that using credit and debit cards instead of cash can help you in case something goes wrong.

2. Know your consumer rights!

We are all protected by law whenever we buy something or use a service. So remember that you are entitled to a claim if you experience an unfair situation with faulty goods, problems with contracts, issues with builders, rouge traders, poor service, credit and store cards or rouge traders. This includes financial services and products for which you need to complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. If you are unhappy with the services you received from your lawyer or claims management company you can contact the Legal Ombudsman to sort out complaints. If you have a complaint about a communications provider get in touch here for a free and fair resolution.

3. Make use of the services available to you

First of all, keep in mind that you can always request to make a claim at the store or service you had a problem at. Don’t be shy and remember that whatever the money involved, even if you’d like to seek a small refund, it is worth it.

Then, know that you can always get help from Citizens Advice (call them on 0345 404 0506). They can give you information about your consumer rights, as well as refer you to further departments. They also provide very detailed information tailored to the different types of services and products you might what to issue a claim about: from insurance to internet, event tickets to vets and pets. Visit http://citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer

4. Be picky (in a good way)

A consumer trends report by Euromonitor International shows that global consumers are more picky than ever before. And this doesn’t have to be an annoying quality necessarily. It means consumers are much more aware of their power, options and choices. Why not honor this trend with pride?

5. Everything counts! Speak up even if what’s at stake seems little, and be informed

Protecting your own consumer rights is an extra tool to build more solid savings and having better control of what you earn and spend. So don’t be shy, or lazy, and keep in mind that everything counts. Also, search for your options regarding specific services and products. Some processes can be quite specific, like claiming after a flight delay (Guardian), or potential credit card compensations (The Independent).

All set? Keep these tips in mind to be a smart consumer. In these cases, it’s always better to over prepare than to find yourself at a loss when you need to pick up the phone in your own defense. Then, to celebrate a win in future battles in your quest as a consumer, have some friends over to celebrate, with these 5 top ideas to host a party… at home! For other tips on personal finance, check out our blog on “Credit Score: What it is and 5 ways to boost it”.

 

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