PEOPLE are being advised to know their shopping rights this Christmas to avoid new year nightmares.

Worcestershire Regulatory Services is advising consumers that there is NOT an automatic legal right to return unwanted gifts. Every store will have a different policy and consumers should check before buying.

Customers’ legal rights cover goods that are not of satisfactory quality, are misdescribed or are not fit for purpose. This means that damaged, faulty or unsuitable goods can be returned.

Some stores, however, offer a returns policy where consumers can return goods when they have changed their mind, in addition to normal legal rights.

Steve Jorden, head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, said: “Don’t be fobbed off by notices such as ‘no sale goods exchanged’ or ‘no cash refunds’ and don’t let the store tell you it’s up to the manufacturer to fix the problem. If the goods you buy are faulty or misdescribed then you do have a claim against the trader.”

For more information about consumer rights go to or contact the Trading Standards Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.