Author: Odette Vella

Who doesn’t love a bargain? We all do, and that’s why sales are so popular with consumers. Buying a product at a discounted price makes us feel we are getting more value for money. But is this really the case? What if during sales the attractive discounts entice us to buy things we don’t really need? What are our rights and responsibilities if we make a wrong buying decision or if the goods we buy turn out to be defective? As consumers we are responsible for the purchases we make. To make an informed choice we need to shop around…

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The sixth edition of Premju Servizz bi Tbissima was launched last week by the Office for Consumer Affairs at the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority. The award recognises local retailers and service providers who, through good customer care and aftersales service, provide the best shopping experience to their customers. The award also encourages and promotes commercial practices that provide more benefits to consumers than those stipulated by law. Speaking at the launch of this year’s edition of the award, Consumer Protection Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista said “through such initiatives, economic operators that offer a good quality service and place…

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A sales contract is entered into when a consumer buys or hires a product or service for their own personal use from a person acting for the purpose of their trade, business, craft or profession. A sales agreement is binding whether concluded verbally, in writing and even electronically. Sales contracts that are concluded in writing/electronically often include specific terms and conditions of sale which consumers accept when they sign the contract. Should a problem arise with the sale, consumers’ right to a satisfactory remedy may depend on the agreed terms and conditions. In view of this, it is in consumers’…

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When returning a product, your consumer rights may vary depending on why you want to return it and also from where and how it was bought. The reason why a consumer wants to return a product they purchased is very important and may affect the type of remedy they are entitled to. The consumer affairs act gives consumers the right to request a free remedy from sellers when, for instance, the goods purchased are defective or not fit for purpose. In these situations, consumers are entitled to claim a money refund if the problematic goods cannot be repaired or replaced…

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An increasing number of people are opting for online shopping. The type of products being purchased online has also become more varied, with people buying all sorts of items, including power tools, electrical and electronic items, toys and childcare articles. As these types of products have specific safety requirements, the MCCAA advises consumers to be cautious and to only buy products that comply with the applicable European legislation. This is both for safety reasons as well as to avoid problems at border control where non-compliant products may be withheld. But one may ask, how would I know if a product…

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As from July 1, all goods imported into EU will be subject to VAT regardless of their value Consumers who shop online have an infinite choice from the convenience of their own home. So it is no surprise that eCommerce continues to gain increasing popularity. But despite the indisputable benefits of online shopping, consumers must still be vigilant, and before purchasing goods imported from outside the EU they should make sure they are provided with all the relevant information. In the first instance, consumers should make sure they have the seller’s complete contact information. They should check that the products…

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