Citizens Advice Dorset has offered advice to shoppers after a survey revealed a quarter of all consumers experienced problems with purchased items. 

The charity's new study has worked out that consumers have spent an average of £64 and 94 minutes per person trying to fix issues with items since October 2023.

Further analysis revealed 57 per cent of shoppers experienced delivery issues, 28 per cent of those reported products arriving late with 27 per cent not arriving at all.

In response to these findings, the charity is sharing tips to shop confidently, marking the start of its annual Consumer Awareness campaign.

Their advice is as follows:

  • Check the delivery address given to the seller and contact them to ask where your order is. If they claim they've delivered it or don't know where it is, you can ask for a redelivery. You might be able to get a refund in some circumstances.

  • You might be entitled to a refund, repair, or replacement, if the item is broken, damaged, unusable, not what was advertised or doesn’t match the seller’s description.

  • Pay by card so you have another form of protection if there’s a problem. The other way would be by making a chargeback or section 75 claim to your card provider.

  • Be cautious if you’re asked to pay in an unusual way like in iTunes vouchers, crypto currency or via bank transfer as this could be a scam.

  • Get proof of your return such as a receipt from a shop or proof of postage.

Rovarn Wickremasinghe, Chief Officer, Citizens Advice Bridport, said: “As we go into the new year, it’s important that people are armed with the right knowledge to shop safely.

“With budgets already stretched, none of us want to waste precious time or money on retail issues that could easily be avoided.”