Avoid disappointment this Black Friday and Cyber Monday with top tips for shopping online

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday taking place on 25 November and 28 November respectively, consumers in Northern Ireland will be hoping to find some great offers online. Some retailers have even started their deals already. However, delivery problems may occur including delayed, lost and damaged parcels.

Michael Legg, our Head of Postal Services, said: “Almost 90% of consumers in Northern Ireland shop online. Therefore, the importance of knowing your rights about things such as delivery costs and returns is increasingly important.

“We have compiled some top tips on some of the most common issues we hear about from consumers surrounding online shopping, from delivery times to returning goods.”

Our top tips when shopping online are:

  • Check delivery terms before you buy – To avoid disappointment always check delivery policies, terms and conditions, and the delivery costs before committing to a purchase to avoid disappointment.
  • Do not assume that all online retailers offer free returns - You may have to cover the cost of returning items so always check before purchasing.
  • Get the item delivered on time - If you need the item by a certain date, factor in enough time as there may not be a next-day or express delivery option to Northern Ireland. Goods ordered online must be delivered within the time frame specified or agreed with the retailer.
  • Think ahead - Will you be there when your parcel is being delivered?  If not, you may wish to consider selecting an alternative address or a safe place, with the retailer. But be aware if you select an alternative location for delivery the item will be considered as being successfully delivered to you should something go wrong.
  • Contact the retailer if the parcel has not arrived - The retailer is responsible for goods up until they are delivered. This means, that in the event of non-delivery or if the item arrives damaged, contact the retailer rather than the delivery company. Check goods quickly after receiving them and raise any issues promptly.
  • Always get a proof of posting if returning goods - When using the designated courier or pre-paid postage label organised by the retailer, it is important to retain a proof of posting. If any delivery problems occur after you have returned the item, the retailer is responsible for sorting this out with their appointed delivery provider.
  • Include your address on the back of sent parcels - In case of problems with the return delivery.

In the event of a postal issue, Michael added: “There are different processes in place for dealing with postal issues, depending on the circumstances. Our website has a postal tool to find out about your postal rights, and whether you are entitled to compensation. Visit www.consumercouncil.org.uk or call us on Freephone 0800 121 6022 to find out more.”

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