Bought a bad wig online?

Consumers have taken to buying online like a duck to water during the pandemic, but this more convenient way to buy comes with its problems if you’re not careful.

Fortunately, consumers who buy online are protected by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.

When you buy online, your rights as a consumer include having what you order delivered. The product you buy must look the same as the picture on the website.

Therefore, if you are buying a wig, for example, it should look exactly like the picture.

@thecitizen_news Your #consumer #rights when #online shopping | read an article on #thecitizen_news #fyp ♬ original sound – The Citizen

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Consumer Protection Act

The CPA protects your rights to choose or view goods and when you can return goods, as well as your right to safe, good quality goods and the implied warranty of quality applicable to all goods.

Section 20 is very important in case of online shopping. It states that you have the right to return an item within ten working days if you were unable to view it before you bought it.

You can also return goods if you are sent the wrong products, if you receive goods you did not purchase or if the goods are not fit for purpose.

The company has to pay for the return of the goods and also bear the risk if something happens to them while they are on the way. If the product is still in the packaging, the company must refund the full amount. If you have removed it from the packaging, the company may charge a reasonable fee for repackaging it, unless you have had to remove the packaging to inspect it.

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False or misleading claims for online purchases are not permitted

In addition, section 41 prohibits companies from using false, misleading or deceptive statements about material facts in relation to goods. Companies are also not allowed to use exaggeration, innuendo or ambiguity, and failure to disclose a material fact is also not permitted.

The Company is also not entitled to state that a product has ingredients, performance, accessories, uses, benefits, qualities, sponsorship or endorsement, that it does not possess or adhere to a particular standard, quality, grade, style or model, if it is it is not so.

Products also may not be sold as new or unused if they are not or if they have been repaired or reconditioned, used for a period to an extent or in a manner materially different from the facts, delivered in accordance with a previous performance or available or can be delivered at a specified time if not true.

Under section 18 of the CPA you have the right to select or look at goods and therefore, when you buy goods online based on a description, the goods must correspond in all material respects and characteristics to what an ordinary vigilant consumer would be entitled to expect.

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Delivery of goods you buy online

Section 19 protects your right to delivery of goods and states that it is an implied condition of any transaction where you buy goods that you receive the goods within a reasonable time or at the agreed date and time. If the delivery does not happen on time, you can cancel the transaction.

In addition, section 47 states that a company is not allowed to accept your order if it does not plan to deliver your order. If the stock is out of stock, the company must refund you.

Under section 55 you also have the right to receive safe and good quality goods. The goods must be fit for purpose and of good quality, in good working order and free from defects, fit for use and durable for a reasonable period of time.

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Section 56 then states that all goods have an implied warranty of quality and that you have the right to return the goods within six months to the company who must pay the cost of returning them and bear the risk if they fail to comply with the terms of section 55 .The company must repair or replace the goods or refund you if this cannot be done.

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Law on Electronic Communications and Transactions

Consumers are protected by sections in Chapter 7 of the Act, which cover the transactions to which it applies, the information that must be provided, the cooling-off period, unsolicited goods and delivery. According to section 42, the law only applies to electronic transactions, but section 44 does not apply to financial services, such as investment, insurance, reinsurance, banking or securities trading.

It also does not apply to online auctions or delivery of food products, beverages or other goods intended for daily consumption, where the price for delivery of goods or services depends on fluctuations in the financial markets that cannot be controlled by the supplier.

Goods which are made to your specifications or which are clearly personalized are also not returnable, as are goods which spoil or expire quickly, unsealed audio or video recordings or computer software, newspapers, periodicals, magazines and books. Electronic transactions for the provision of accommodation, transport, catering or entertainment services are also not covered.

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Websites must provide you with this information when you buy online

Section 43 of the Act provides that you must receive the following information:

  • The full name of the company and legal status.
  • Tts physical address and phone number.
  • His website address and email address.
  • Membership and contact details of any self-regulatory or accreditation bodies.
  • Any code of conduct the company subscribes to and where to find it.
  • Company registration number, names of officials and place of registration.
  • The physical address.
  • Description of the main characteristics of the goods or services offered.
  • The full price of the goods or services, including shipping costs, taxes and any other charges or expenses.
  • How can I pay.
  • Any terms of agreement, including any warranties.
  • How much time will the delivery take.
  • How you can get a complete transaction record.
  • The return, exchange and refund policy.
  • How your personal information is protected.
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You must also be given the opportunity to review the transaction and correct any errors or cancel the transaction before ordering. If you do not get this option, you have the right to cancel the transaction within 14 days and send the goods back and get a refund, but you must pay the costs.

Companies must also use a payment system that adheres to accepted technology standards.

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Cooling off period

Section 44 gives you the right to cancel the transaction without penalty within seven days of receiving it and receive a refund within 30 days. You must pay the shipping fee to return the goods.


Under section 46, delivery must be made within 30 days, unless you have agreed another time. If your goods are not delivered within 30 days, you can give the company seven days’ written notice that you wish to cancel the transaction. If the delivery still cannot be made, the company must notify you and refund you within 30 days.

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