Know your consumer rights and how to keep safe this Christmas.

We have chosen 12 tips to avoid most common consumer issues that come with other festive-season favourite activities.

  1. Tis the season to be shopping online. Shopping online can be a very handy way to purchase gifts this Christmas, but know the risks and do your homework. Everything you need to know before you buy online Shopping and Buying Online.

  2. May your house be merry, bright and safe. Don’t buy or use Christmas lights that don’t have a normal plug you would use at home. Check all the lights for broken or cracked sockets or loose connections. For more advice on safely installing Christmas lights visit the Worksafe(external link) website.

  3. Door to door sales – your choice. While many door-to-door salespersons are legitimate, the Christmas period sees an increase in uninvited direct salespeople preying on vulnerable people. Remember you have the right to say no, if you feel pressured don’t agree to anything, and don’t give the salesperson your name or other personal details. Learn more about how to protect yourself from uninvited direct sales Door-to-door Sales.

  4. Give safely this Christmas: the ‘Six S’ guide to safe toys. A good rule of thumb is to avoid the toy if any parts can drop through the neck of a 2L milk bottle - which is about the same size as a child’s windpipe. For more information on what to look for when buying toys head to the Toy Safety.

  5. All I want for Christmas is something that works. When you have asked for a service and it is poorly done or has taken far too long, go back to the provider as soon as possible with information on the problem. Familiarise yourself with Returns and refunds this gift giving season.

  6. Don’t get caught up in Christmas overspending. Take the extra second to ensure you’re making an informed decision before you borrow money. “Consumer Protection has an assortment of information on our Understanding loans and credit page.

  7. Knowing your rights with gift cards this Christmas. While many consumers opt for gift cards to avoid the risk of giving the wrong gift, some are unaware of the consumer risk associated. Everything you need to know before you buy gift vouchers or products on layby.

  8. Splish splash safely this summer. Inflatable swimming pools and buoyancy toys are favourites to adorn the backyard with over summer, but they are not designed to keep children safe in water. Everything you need to know before you buy inflatable pools and toys, including how to use water toys safely.

  9. Add protective gear to the Christmas list.

  10. The proof is in the pudding, or rather the quote. Don’t forget to get the price in writing when engaging with tradespeople. Everything you need to know to prepare for your summer repairs and renovation on our Getting Quotes and Estimates page.

  11. Didn’t get what you expected this Christmas? The first step if you discover a faulty product this Christmas is to return it to the retailer and explain the issue, as well as how you would like the problem to be resolved. Check Faulty Products page to find information on your rights and what you need to know before entering negotiations.

  12. Returning unwanted Christmas presents. If you simply change your mind or don’t want the gift, the retailer is under no legal obligation to provide a refund or exchange. The retailer also doesn’t have to return or swap the product if you have no proof of purchase. However when the product is not damaged and you have a proof of purchase, some retailers may let you return it. What each store does will be subject to store policy, so make sure you ask how the store would handle an unwanted gift before you buy it. Learn more about Returns and Refunds.

Read full stories here on the MBIE website:

Don’t get caught up in Christmas overspending(external link)

All I want for Christmas is something that works(external link)

‘Tis the season to be shopping online(external link)

May your house be merry, bright and safe(external link)

Door to door sales - your choice(external link)

Give safely this Christmas: the ‘Six S’ guide to safe toys(external link)

Don’t get caught up in Christmas overspendin(external link)g

Knowing your rights with gift cards this Christmas(external link)

Splish splash safely this summer(external link)