Consumer Rights

Online Shopping for Black Friday Deals – What are Consumer Rights?

Black Friday has become a South African phenomenon in recent times. This is because retailers provide immense discounts on current products that are in high demand. However, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic means that, consumers have turned to online shopping to assist with their retail needs. This article will consider a few of the rights that consumers have that are useful to recall for both Black Friday deals and other seasonal sales.

The delivery of goods is often an issue when dealing with online transactions because consumers sometimes make purchases without being aware of the agreed upon terms. The Consumer Protection Act states that: unless the contract of agreement expressly states otherwise, the supplier will always be responsible for the delivery of the goods. Most online suppliers stipulate their delivery timeframe in their delivery policy. By engaging in the online transaction, consumers agree to this window period for delivery. A consumer is thus able to expect timely delivery and notice of any unexpected delays. A consumer can also (upon request) inspect the goods being delivered, to ensure that it is the correct item ordered and that the quality is satisfactory.

The CPA establishes that all goods carry a six months implied warranty. This means that once goods have been delivered, if they show a defect within six months of purchasing a consumer is allowed to return them. The customer may choose whether to have the goods replaced, refunded or repaired as long as the defect is material and the customer did not tamper with or damage the products.

Black Friday sales often lead customers to make purchases that they wouldn’t usually make. It is important to be aware of the supplier’s return policy when dealing with change of mind returns. However, a consumer is greater protected regarding online credit purchases because, The Electronic Communication and Transaction Act provisions for a ‘cooling-off’ period. A consumer is entitled to cancel any transaction and any related credit agreement for goods within seven days after the date of the receipt of goods. The customer here need only settle the cost of returning the goods to the supplier. While consumer rights are always applicable and valid, the safety net created by our laws can only be used to protect consumers who understand how to use them.

Should you require any assistance with any scenario relating to this article, please don’t hesitate to contact Tuckers on 011 897 1900 or info@tuckers.co.za.

Article contributed by Ra’eesah Akoon of Tuckers Inc.

For more information on COVID-19, visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za