UK consumers shy away from returning online purchases: Study news
10 March 2010

Though they may be the biggest online shoppers in Europe, UK consumers are less likely to return goods bought via the Internet than those purchased on the high street, according to research.

A survey for the government found that more than 60 per cent of shoppers were less likely to return goods purchased online as against those who purchased items directly from shops.

Also consumers seemed ignorant and confused about their legal rights for both types of purchase when it came to refunds and many did not know, for example, that online purchases were allowed the extra right of a seven-day cooling-off period.

UK consumers rank as Europe's biggest online shoppers with purchases of 38 billion last year, accounting for 10 per cent of total UK retail sales.

The research was conducted by the department for business, innovation and skills, for a 'know your rights' campaign run by the government-funded Consumer Direct.

The survey found that more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of UK consumers did not know there were differences between online and high street consumer rights, while more than one in 10 (13 per cent) admitted to not knowing their consumer rights while making online purchases.

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UK consumers shy away from returning online purchases: Study