Thursday 27 October 2016

Think Before You Buy

This is a collaborative post with Kent County Council

Think before you buy, this was a phrase I was told often when my husband and I were looking to purchase our first house, I can't believe that it was almost two years ago. Although it feels like we've lived in this house forever, I still remember the process that led to us finally becoming homeowners and I won't lie it wasn't stress free and of course as I'm sure many of you will know when you move in there is so much to do. From simple decorating, to repairs and even renovating and the task of finding the right people to do these jobs is a tricky one.

Kent County Council recently carried out some research which showed many residents like myself are completely unaware of their rights when they buy things, for example one of their findings was that 26% of the county's population are at a risk of falling victim to rogue traders and doorstep criminals. I've had plenty of salesmen at my doorstep for windows and doors, changing energy suppliers etc and they can be quite persuasive in trying to sell their products.

Now I'm lucky in the fact that my husband works in the construction industry so he can do a lot of the jobs and he also knows others that can do them too but other people aren't in my fortunate situation.

However it isn't just tradesmen that you need to be weary of, even online shopping poses certain risks and at this time of year when everyone is beginning to do their Christmas shopping. Were you aware that even the smallest of purchases means you are entering into a type of contact? With all the small print that we so often ignore, you can easily to be misled into buying something that isn't exactly as you thought it would be.

This is where Kent County Council's 'Think Before You Buy' campaign aims to help. Just take a look at the video below, with the help of some lovely Lego people, it highlights this important issue and urges you to simply stop and think about things before you purchase anything, whether it be something small or big like a second hand car perhaps.

Citizens advice carried out some research of their own and found that most consumers are likely to call their helplines in January complaining about defective items, misleading descriptions for items bought for Christmas. And what this video aims to highlight is that a lot of these complaints could easily be avoided.

A couple helpful tips when thinking about entering into any sort of contract :

* Do plenty of research, whether that's look at a certain site to buy from or deciding which plumber to come and fit your bathroom, google is your friend here.

* Read the terms and conditions, I'm definitely guilty of skimming these in the past but it always worth and extra few minutes to make sure there isn't anything your missing.

* Don't be afraid to ask for more details.

For more tips about online shopping, traders and buying second hand cars you can take a look on the Kent County Council site.

With consumer rights crimes become more and more common clearly isn't it time that you think before you buy.

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