Medway Citizens Advice

Advice for Medway

Citizens Advice Medway is a registered charity that offers free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to the whole of Medway on a range of issues including Housing, Welfare Benefits, Employment, Debt, Family Law and many others.

Online self help

National Consumer Week 2016

29th November 2016

National Consumer Week 2016

Buying Electrical Goods


Electrical goods cover everything from tumble dryers to mobile phones and drones. Knowing your rights and understanding product safety will help you make informed choices when buying electrical goods. Find out more about our campaign here.

Before you buy:

If youíre thinking of buying an electrical item make sure it:

  • is fit for purpose and as described
  • fits in the space you want it to go
  • works as advertised
  • is not damaged


Counterfeit items are widely available and can cause disappointment and injury as they might not work or meet safety standards.

These can be anything from hair straighteners, mobile phone chargers, game consoles and e-cigarettes.

Check who the seller is, their address and how to contact them.

Real cost:

Sometimes there are hidden costs you need to be aware of.

Work out the true cost of your product by considering the:

  • loan interest
  • delivery
  • installation
  • maintenance
  • need for more equipment
  • extra fees

Supply and fit:

If youíre having an appliance installed, different people or companies might be responsible for each part of the contract. Such as:

  • selling the item
  • delivery
  • installation

If thereís a problem, youíll need to know who to contact.

Know your rights:

Find out what your rights to return or cancel are before you buy.

In a shop Ė you donít have a legal right to return or cancel. But check to see if the store policy allows this.

Online, over the phone or by mail order Ė you get 14 days to return or cancel when you buy something unless itís bespoke or made to measure.

Your rights apply to the seller:

When you buy a product, you have rights, but these are with the seller of the item, who may not necessarily be the manufacturer of the product.

If there is something wrong with your item, donít let the seller tell you to go to the manufacturer to deal with it.

Itís the sellerís responsibility to resolve the problem for you.

What can I do if the goods are faulty:

If you think the item is faulty you may be entitled to a refund, repair or replacement but it can depend on how and when you bought it.

Use our online tool to check your consumer rights before you contact the seller. This will help you negotiate if the seller is being difficult.

Warranties and registrations:

Check what warranty you have for a product. If itís an appliance, make sure itís registered so companies can send safety information if thereís a problem.

A warranty is in addition to your consumer rights. It will state terms and conditions Ė these are what it covers and any restrictions or exclusions.

You can register your appliance and find out more at

Citizens Advice Consumer Service:

If you want to know more about your consumer rights or think an item might be unsafe, contact our consumer service from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, on 03454 04 05 06 or click here.

Medway Citizens Advice

Contact us

Telephone: 01634 383760
Fax: 01634 383767

3rd Floor Kingsley House
37-39 Balmoral Road