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When you buy goods or services you have certain protection under consumer law and also you have made a contract with the seller.

A contract is a legally binding agreement and, if something goes wrong with an item/service you’ve bought, it is important to know if you are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement under the terms of the contract and through your rights as a consumer. The checklist below will help you understand some of your consumer rights. If you need further information or help drop in to one of our offices in Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow or Monmouth or ring Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 040506.



  • Contracts set out the basis on which we buy goods and services and don’t have to be written to be legally binding.
  • A verbal agreement with someone to do work for you or sell you goods is a contract.
  • Some contracts have to be in writing, for example mortgages, leases, credit cards, personal loans.
  • A proposal, estimate or a confirmation of a provisional holiday booking are not contracts.


Terms and Conditions (Ts&Cs)

  • These are important and govern the way the seller expects to do business with you.
  • Ts&Cs should be clearly set out in the contract but they are often in small print and/or towards the end of the contract. You will normally be expected to keep to them even if you haven’t read them.


Returning goods

  • You may be entitled to a refund, repair or replacement if the item is broken/damaged, unusable or not what was advertised.
  • You don’t have an automatic right to get your money back if you just change your mind about something you’ve bought. Check the shop’s policy on returns.
  • When you buy something you haven’t seen in person – online, over the phone or mail order, you automatically get a 14 day cooling off period to change your mind.
  • If you are returning goods, cancelling a service or subscription or complaining about goods or services, keep a copy of your correspondence (paper, email or text), and insist on receiving written confirmation of what was agreed.


Buying by internet, mail order, phone or TV

  • You should be given clear information about the goods or services.
  • After the sale is agreed you should receive confirmation of the contract, for example by email, text or on paper.

More information can be found at

Citizens Advice

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