Your rights when shopping
If you bought goods before 1 October 2015, you have rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. If you buy goods after the 1 October 2015, you have similar rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Your purchase must:
- Correspond with any descriptions on labels, packaging, advertisements and catalogues – including photos.
- Be of satisfactory quality – ie of a standard a reasonable person would consider acceptable, given its price and description.
- Be fit for its purpose.
If a purchase does not meet these requirements, you are entitled to reject the item and return it for a full refund within a thirty days.
Sometimes you may have to wait for months for a plant to flower, and then discover the blooms aren’t the colour specified on the plant label. In this situation you will be outside of the time period for rejecting the item, but you will still have the right to a replacement of the plant for up to six years from the date of purchase.
Your rights when shopping online or by post
The following additional rights apply when shopping from home:
- Retailers must deliver your goods within an agreed deadline or, if no deadline has been agreed, within 30 days of the day after the order was sent. If they don’t, you’re entitled to a full refund.
- You’re entitled to return and be refunded for some goods that you no longer want, even if there’s nothing wrong with them, provided you cancel your order in writing no later than fourteen days of the day after the goods were delivered. If you cancel an order before the goods arrive, you should avoid paying the cost of returning them. This right to cancel doesn’t apply to items made to your specification or that have been personalised, goods that quickly deteriorate (such as many non-dormant plants) or DVDs, software and CDs that have been unsealed.
When returning unwanted but otherwise satisfactory goods, you may be liable for the cost of sending them back – check the seller’s terms and conditions. If these don’t say that you’re liable, then the seller is.
Tips when shopping at garden centres
- Before travelling miles to buy something specific, phone to check it’s in stock and to reserve one.
- Try to restrict buying plants to spring and autumn when they’ll need less cosseting.
- Plants needing a tidy up or that have passed their most interesting season are often sold off cheaply. Only buy healthy ones.
- Before buying a heavily-promoted plant, check whether similar, less heavily-promoted ones are better quality and/or value.
- Never buy a plant without knowing it’ll be happy in your soil, its sun/shade preferences and the conditions it'll need to over-winter.
- Find out if and when outlets offer over 60s a discount. Under 60s note that discount days will be busier!
- Joining favourite retailer's mailing lists should ensure you’re told about special offers and when seasonal goods will be in stock.
- Keep receipts to make claiming refunds easier.
- Some outlets have wheelchairs available for customers to use.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help with heavy items.
Tips when shopping online and by post:
- When comparing prices, include delivery charges.
- If you may not be at home when goods will be delivered, opt for delivery to your work address or to a trusted (and willing!) neighbour.
- Keep copies of completed order forms and order acknowledgments.
- When ordering online, check the order page is secure – the web address should have 'https' in front of it and there should be a padlock or unbroken key symbol at the bottom of the page.
For more information on your rights when shopping, visit which.co.uk/advice/your-rights