BUYING new furniture this spring? Then take some simple precautions.
The call comes from West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Service.
Graeme MacPherson, Head of Trading Standards, said: “When buying new it always a good idea to pay by credit – not debit card – even if you have the cash.
“You can always pay off the card before any interest is due. However, paying by credit card means if the shop goes out of business, you can claim your money back from the credit card company. This is good advice whether you are buying in a shop or remotely.
“The same applies if you are buying second-hand furniture.
“But in addition make sure any upholstered furniture is properly labelled as complying with the correct UK fire safety regulations. This should be a permanently attached label usually under the cushions.
“Without this label there is the possibility the item may catch fire easily and give off toxic smoke.”
If shoppers are buying an item over the web or from a catalogue, they are urged to make sure they are given details about the ‘cooling off period’ and how orders can be cancelled during this time.
“The ‘cooling off period’ allows you to change your mind. It starts from the time you pay a deposit or in full and ends eight days after you receive the details about how to cancel.
“You are legally entitled to change your mind and receive a full refund during this time – if you let the trader know of course.”
Pete Bradbury, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “Buying furniture can represent quite an investment. Following this advice from our Trading Standards Service will help consumers protect their hard-earned cash.”
If you need further advice or want to let trading standards know of any sharp practices, please contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. You can also visit our website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tradingstandards for more detailed shopping guidance.