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Press releases 2002 -

North East shoppers urged to know their rights

OFT offers 'hot shopping tips' to consumers

PN 36a/02     18 June 2002

North East shoppers are being targeted as part of a major OFT consumer awareness campaign on shoppers' rights.

Following a local radio advertising campaign in the region, the OFT will be visiting the Metro Centre in Gateshead on 19 June to distribute 'Hot shopping tips', its new pocket guide on shoppers' rights. Local trading standards officers will also be present to give free help and advice to shoppers on anything from rogue traders to internet shopping.

The visit forms part of the OFT's regional roadshow programme which aims to raise awareness among local consumers of their rights on the high street, so they can make informed decisions when buying goods and services.

The 'Hot shopping tips' guide includes the following helpful tips and advice for North East shoppers:

  • any goods you purchase must be of 'satisfactory quality', 'as described' and 'fit for their purpose'
  • a retailer cannot avoid giving a refund on faulty goods by blaming the manufacturer as the contract is with the seller
  • a credit card provider is liable as well as the retailer if the item bought costs between £100 and £30,000 and is faulty, broken or doesn't arrive
  • consumers who shop from home have additional rights, including a cooling off period (usually seven days) in which to change their minds.

The OFT is also holding a seminar on the morning of 19 June in Newcastle for small and medium sized businesses in the North East to explain the OFT's role, listen to their views of how markets are working and help their understanding of competition and consumer protection laws.

Launching the North East roadshow, Penny Boys, Deputy Director General of Fair Trading said:

'The OFT wants to know first-hand how markets are working for consumers in the North East and across the UK.

'An informed consumer is in a better position to get what they want. If you know your shopping rights and shop around, you are more likely to get the best deal.'

The OFT stand will be located in the Town Square Alcove, on the ground floor near House of Fraser, in the Metro Centre between 1000 and 1700 on Wednesday 19 June.


1. Media copies of 'Hot shopping tips' are available from COI or the OFT press office.

2. Non-media copies of 'Hot shopping tips' are available by calling 0870 60 60 321.  You can also download hot shopping tips in pdf format (16 kb).

3. The North East is the fourth in the OFT's new series of regional roadshows. The first roadshow took place in Bristol on 27 February 2002 (see OFT release 11a/02), the second in Leeds on 20 March 2002 (see OFT release 13a/02) followed by Northern Ireland on 23 May 2002 (see OFT release 30a/02). For further details on the roadshows programme see OFT release 11/02.

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