Savvy Shopping

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We’ve outlined some of the common traps to beware as well as offering tips on smarter shopping.

Text of Savvy Shopping

  • Guide

    Savvy shopping

    SHOP SMARTRefunds

    WarrantiesOnline shopping

    Digital downloadsInterest-free deals

    Gift cardsManaging your debt

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    3

    Welcome

    Zoya Sheftalovich, CHOICE investigative journalist

    Its holiday time, and you know what that means. Its a time for celebration, relaxation and catching up with friends and family and possibly eating and drinking too much.

    But for many, its also a time of shopping not just battling the crowds in bricks-and-mortar stores, but also increasingly jumping online and clicking up a buying storm.

    Whether youre planning on stuffing your stockings via your laptop or in-store the traditional way, weve outlined some of the common traps to beware as well as offering tips on smarter shopping.

    Being armed with information is essential to standing your ground and not taking no for an answer when retailers and manufacturers want you to. And thats where CHOICE comes in.

    So happy shopping from all of us!

    2

    PLUS! Join CHOICE today and youll receive the latest issue of CHOICE Computer and

    a CHOICE multi-mini tool set FREE! Enter the promotion code CCTOOLOFFER

    at the checkout to receive your giftsOFFER ENDS 31 DECEMBER 2013 OR WHILE STOCKS LAST

  • Contents

    Refunds & your rights 6 Dont take no for an answer

    Warranties 8 Should you buy that extended warranty?

    Online shopping 10Browse, choose, click done! But there are some traps to beware

    Digital downloads 12Work around the pricey roadblocks that online international traders set up for Aussie shoppers

    Interest-free deals 14 Buy now, pay later in spades. So what are your alternatives?

    Gift cards 16 The gift that can keep on taking

    Managing your debt 18 Get the debt monkey off your back once and for all

    How CHOICe can help you 20 Find out why you should sign up and become a member today

    4 Back to cover 5

    Did you know?

    Regardless of lapsed warranties, consumer

    guarantees require a product to be of acceptable quality

    throughout its reasonable life

  • Refunds & your rights

    Back to cover6 7

    Its a common problem. You give or receive a present, unwrap the packaging and discover its broken or doesnt work. Or, it fails to perform in the way it promised. Or, it stops working a few days after the warranty expires.

    So where do you stand if you need to return something?

    MajOr Or MInOr?For gifts with major failures,

    you may reject the goods and

    get a refund or an identical

    replacement. Under the

    Australian Consumer Law, there is a major failure with

    a product when: you would

    not have purchased it had you

    known about the problem;

    it is significantly different

    from the description, sample

    or demonstration you were

    shown; it is substantially unfit

    for its normal purpose and

    cannot be easily fixed within

    a reasonable timeframe; or it

    is unsafe.

    For minor failures, the

    seller may choose to offer

    you a refund, replacement

    or repair. This must be

    provided free of charge and

    within a reasonable time

    period. In this case you cant

    immediately reject the goods

    and demand a refund you

    must give the supplier a

    chance to fix the problem.

    Minor failures include small

    problems with products that

    do not fit into the major

    failure categories, such as

    loose threads on clothing.

    You dont have the

    automatic right to a refund

    if you change your mind,

    although many retailers will

    offer you this option if you

    return the product within a

    certain time period.

    Watch out for these common

    breaches of your rights:

    no refund store credit only Consumers are entitled to a

    refund for products found to

    have a major fault or failure.

    Out of warranty = no remedy Regardless of lapsed

    warranties, consumer

    guarantees require a product

    to be of acceptable quality

    throughout its reasonable life.

    This length of time can often

    be longer than the warranty

    period, especially in the case

    of an expensive product such

    as an oven or fridge.

    no packaging = no remedy Your rights are not affected

    or negated just because you

    havent kept the original

    packaging of the product

    youre looking to return.

  • Warranties

    Back to cover8 9

    All goods for sale in Australia come with a statutory warranty. This means that goods should function properly for a reasonable period, bearing in mind their price and the way they were described when you bought them.

    This is different from a

    manufacturers warranty

    (also known as a voluntary or

    express warranty), which is

    usually provided as a booklet

    that comes with the product,

    but may only be available in

    certain circumstances, and is

    often for a limited time.

    Your right to compensation

    is not limited to the period

    of the manufacturers

    written (express or extended)

    warranty. So if, for example,

    a fridge develops a major fault

    after just 18 months, it is still

    reasonable to expect a refund

    or replacement even if the

    manufacturers warranty has

    expired after say one year.

    ExtEndEd rIP-OffThis is the third type of

    warranty available in Australia

    and also the shakiest.Youve probably found

    yourself in this situation: just

    before you get ready to pay

    thousands of dollars for a new

    TV, the salesman asks if youd

    like to take out an extended

    warranty. He says it will

    give you another four years

    protection should anything go

    wrong and will only cost an

    extra couple of hundred dollars.

    At that point the extra

    money doesnt seem much to

    help protect your expensive

    investment, so you agree.

    After all, its good to have

    some extra protection, right?

    Not necessarily. Most

    appliances are covered by

    a manufacturers warranty

    usually one year for TVs

    and up to three years for some

    LCD and plasma models. And

    contrary to common belief,

    most products, especially

    big-ticket items such as

    washing machines and

    TVs, are quite reliable.Secondly, if something goes

    wrong with your TV outside

    the warranty period you

    may be covered under the

    statutory warranty.

    A CHOICE survey revealed

    consumers are being pressured

    by sales staff to buy extended

    warranties. If this happens to

    you, you can always come back

    with a witty rejoinder about

    their confidence in the product

    theyre selling while you

    politely decline.

    In the meantime, you can be

    confident that youre already

    covered by the Australian Consumer Law.

  • Online shopping

    10 11

    Traditional bricks-and-mortar stores are slowly but steadily being left behind as more and more

    Australians go online to shop. But there are some traps for young players of the online shopping game. OnLInE fraUd-bUStIng Never give your personal password to anyone, including the business that helped you set

    it up. Legitimate businesses

    dont ask for security details

    via email or phone.

    Only buy from websites that encrypt your payment details. You can tell by the https:// in the address bar

    (instead of http://) and a

    small padlock symbol on the

    bottom right of the browser.

    If something doesnt look

    right, click on the padlock

    to view the SSL certificate

    and check the owner matches

    the online shop and that the

    certificate has not e