There are new rules which give you more protection when you shop online or if you buy from a salesperson in your home. The rules also cover you if you download or stream digital content, such as a movie or a game.

The main changes include:

  • you must be given clear and upfront information before you buy and when you decide to make the purchase. This includes information about your cancellation rights


  • you’ll have up to 14 days to change your mind about something you bought and get a refund – this is known as a cooling-off period and was previously only 7 days long. But you’ll have to return the unwanted product within 14 days of the cancellation, and in good condition


  • traders will have to be open about any fees, so they can no longer hide costs such as fees or payment charges. You won’t have to pay for any ‘extras’ you weren’t told about before you made the purchase. In addition, websites and paperwork will be banned from including pre-ticked boxes for additional payments, such as for insurance or warranties.


The new law is known as The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 and the changes started on 13 June.

As well as shopping online, the new rules cover shopping over the phone or by mail order, and other ways of buying away from trader’s premises, for example at your workplace or in the street.

For help with any consumer problems you can use the national Citizens Advice Consumer Advice service on 08454 04 05 06.

(Text phone dial 18001 followed by Citizens Advice consumer helpline number 08454 04 05 06.)

The helplines are open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm.

For help from Salford Citizens Advice visit your local bureau in Eccles, Irlam and Cadishead, Salford City, Swinton, Walkden or at Salford Royal.

Telephone our advice line: 0844 826 9695 (if calling from a landline or if calling from a mobile 0300 456 2554). Our phone lines are open over six days a week, including Saturdays.

Happy shopping!

Tom Togher