21/12/2013 Your Money


21/12/2013

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your shopping? Just about. Maybe one or two little people that I haven't

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forgotten about at all! All that on this week's Your Money.

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Hello and welcome to Your Money here every weekend on BBC News. Bargain

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hunt, we will discover the tricks we need to do to get the lowest prices

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for our Christmas shopping. We will get our rights if it is the wrong

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colour or doesn't work or we don't like it anymore. Toxic tipple, Brian

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Milligan discovers that cheap booze maybe fake and could damage your

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health. So the shortest day is upon us.

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Surmer is on the way! A couple of long days of Christmas shopping to

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get out of the way first. We are taking a look at how to find the

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last minute bargains and what your rights are if the goods just aren't

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right. With two very special shopping elves, sue Hayward and

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Sarah Pennell. Welcome to both of you. Sue, preparation is everything

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when it comes to hunting down the bargains? It is being prepared. You

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don't want to run out in a random rush and grab the first thing you

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see. You need to, before you leave home, print off discount vouchers.

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There are lots of websites you can do this. If you print them off, when

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you see the bargain you can get more discount. With these vouchers, it is

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a case if you are using a voucher, you can't take advantage of an

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instore discount, but in the run-up to Christmas lots of shops have been

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offering double discount so you can get discount as well as your

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voucher... Does this mean you need to know before you leave the house

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what you are going to buy or do you bring a load with you? You need to

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think where you are going and what you are going to buy. There are a

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couple of apps, Voucher Cloud is a good one. It will send you the

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vouchers and the discounts on your phone to the nearest shop. If you

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are going in and think, "I forgot that voucher." You can use the app

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to get the discount. It is all hi-tech. You can show your phone and

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the app to the store and get it there and then which is great.

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Why would you do your shopping in advance? You do it because you are

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Miss Organised! And that's fine. 72 out of 100 stores on sale right now

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before Christmas. The average discount according to Price

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Waterhouse Coopers is 46%. That's nearly half price? The reason I do

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it. I was disorganised a couple of years ago! You learned that lesson.

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The advantage of doing it in advance is you can get what you really want

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and I think I think I buy better presents or more thoughtful ones

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when I am not under time pressure. I might have missed out on the good

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discounts, there isn't any guarantee that something that is well

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discounted will be in the shops or in the online retailers by the time

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you come to get it, it is a game of chicken and if you think I have got

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lots of friends I can buy a variety of presents for, I want to get the

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most with my money. And you don't mind the scrum, fine. You can get

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more choice if you put more thought into it.

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A lot of people would like to order something online, pick it up from

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the local store, but not many days left until Christmas. The clock may

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have run out on that? That's true. Some stores particularly Debenhams

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say they need up to five days for the Click and Collect service. Are

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they carrying the stuff to the store on their back or something? They

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said it is five days from dispatch. So when it leaves the ware White

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House John Lewis and M and Boots, you can click and collect and you

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can do it to 2pm on Monday and you can collect it the next day. If the

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high street is busy, sometimes it can be worth paying for a next day

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delivery to save you the car park charges and the hassle of looking

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for a parking space. It is swings and roundabouts sometimes.

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Check. Check. Check. Absolutely and make sure it is in stock and they

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won't say guaranteed Christmas delivery with a lot of these. It is

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a case that you are taking your chance unless they are guaranteeing

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it for Christmas. You mentioned apps. There are apps that allow you

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to check the price of something while you are in the store and tells

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you where if you can get it cheaper somewhere else? There is a good one

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called Red Laser. You can use your phone to zap the barcode and it will

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tell you where you can buy it cheaper. You may decide, quickly go

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on your tablet or decide to buy it there and then. If you do and

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discover it cheaper, if you keep your receipt, a lot of stores are

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generous with the returns policies which means you can take it back and

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get your money back and buy it elsewhere.

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We will talk about your rights when you are shopping during the sales

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and Sarah will have more information on that in a few minutes. It is time

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to see what the Secret Santa of news brought us. MPs want to tighten the

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rules on pay day loan companies. They say the lenders should be

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banned from advertising on television when children's

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programmes are on the air. The MPs say borrowers who get into trouble

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should only have their loans extended once. That might prevent

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them from clocking up bigger debts. Fewer people are worried about their

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debts. There has been a drop in the number of households concerned about

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the amount they borrow. But did warn that future rises in interest rates

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and it is a matter of when they go up, not if, it warned more expensive

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borrowing costs could squeeze households with big mortgages.

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The council for mortgage listeneders says -- lenders says lending in

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November was 30% higher than a year ago. It insists that's not a boom.

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There is an old rule when it comes to money, if something looks too

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good to be true, it probably is. Christmas shoppers have been warned

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booze maybe fake as it could damage their health. Here is Brian

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Milligan. In this bar in Sheffield, students

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celebrating the end of term have been warned about the dangers of

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drinking fake alcohol. Some admit they found bottles of cheap vodka

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tempting. In my first year, I was silly enough to buy stuff from a

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corner shop which came under the counter and was not a properly

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manufactured alcohol product. I had friends who suffered from temporary

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blindness. Fake alcohol is being sold at shops like this one. The

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owner was found after 600 bottles of counterfeit vodka were found under

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the counter. The number of bottle being found in Sheffield alone has

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quadrupled. Most contain industrial alcohols used in cleaning flundz or

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antifreeze. It is not tested. There is no quality control. These are

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criminals that are manufacturing there are. They are not concerned

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about the council sume -- consumer's health. There could be anything in

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it. Seizures of fake vodka are growing. In August a nightclub in

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Leeds was fined. At cairn Rhine, 13,000 litres were sold and this

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month a pub in Chelmsford was fined for selling fake Smirnoff. Many of

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the changes are not reversible. You can lose your eyesight or your

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ability to walk like a normal person. You can lose your life.

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Spotting a fake isn't easy. On a small bottle like this, this one

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appears to have the UK duty paid stamp, but that's the wrong size. If

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you look closely, you can see sediment in the bottom of that one.

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On this larger bottle, it tells you on the back that it comes from

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somewhere called Russia-Berlin. On a big bottle like this, the duty and

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VAT alone should amount to ?8.89. If you are paying ?9 a bottle,

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something is wrong. The advice being given to drinkers be careful where

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you buy your alcohol, check the labels and if the product looks

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suspicious, do not drink it. Thousands of elderly and poor

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customers with NPower are to get at least ?25 back. It is a total fine

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of ?3.5 million. The payments will be made to customers who get the

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Warm home discount. The competition watchdog says we pay

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too much for car insurance and blamtion the high cost of -- blames

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the high cost of replacement cars and repairs.

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It gives a whole new meaning to money laundering. The Bank of

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England unveiled the plastic banknote it will bring in from 2016.

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People in Northern Ireland will know what they feel like already because

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we have had them for years. The new fiver will feel slimmery and bounce

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back if you scrunch it up and survive a spin in the washing

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machine. It will buy just as little as a paper fiver!

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Emergency this on Christmas Day, those presents that you ordered

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online, well, they didn't arrive. The shoes you did get, they don't

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fit and auntie doesn't like the colour of her cashmere jumper,

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grumpy old bag! There are a number of scenarios,

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first of all, something doesn't fit? If it doesn't fit and you brought it

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on the -- bought it on the high street, you don't have a right to

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bring it back, but many shops will let you. If you have bought it as a

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present get a gift receipt. If you forget, write a note saying, lovely

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jumper, gifted to Declan cap Curry. Online, you have got seven working

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days from the day after the goods arrived to reject the goods and

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cancel the sale. There are a couple of exceptions which are common

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sense, food and fresh flowers. If you were to buy a pair of shoes and

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clothing and decided you didn't like them, you can cancel the sale. Do

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that by e-mail and you can get a refund. You say seven days and

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that's for stuff done online? Yes. No time limit for stuff you buy over

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the counter? There, you don't have a legal right to bring it back. It is

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at the shop's discretion. I often ask when you are buying, it is often

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28 days, but it is often until the middle of January.

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You have the right to bring stuff back. The law here is very clear. It

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doesn't matter where you buy it, whether you buy it online, you buy

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it in a high street or whether you pay full price or not. If it is

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faulty, you have got the right to return it and you can get a refund

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depending on when you return it are o a replacement or repair. When I am

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shopping, you can imagine I am eagle eyed and I see signs saying "No

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refunds. No returns on sale goods." That's illegal. They can't say that.

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If you see those signs, that's not correct. You can argue your case. I

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imagine you are a nightmare when it comes to shopping in the store. Sue,

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that's an important point if you are buying something in the sales and

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you are picking up a bar gain, those signs are there and they are wrong?

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Yes, that's right. They are wrong which is the case very much

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sometimes you need to actually, if you are not clear, ask for the

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manager and check the details because sometimes I found when you

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are taking things back to stores, the staff simply don't know the

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rules. So it is worth not being fobbed off. Going home thinking

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about it and checking details online and you can go back and argue your

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case. You could argue cash is more personal. You can decide what you

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spend your money on. Vouchers have been popular, but they are risky?

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They are. The problem is as we have seen over the last year, some stores

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have, when they have gone to the wall, their company won't accept the

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vouchers. If you feel uncomfortable about giving cash, give one of the

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vouchers that are not restricted to one store. If it is a big high

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street store, the chances are you would be OK. Go cash or a voucher,

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you can use amongst several stores. Is there better protection if you

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pay for something on a credit card rather than cash or cheque or debit

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card? You do get some protection under what is called chargeback if

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you pay by debit or credit card. It is no minimum spend limit. If you're

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buying something online and you see a bargain, it is made from a company

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you haven't heard of and the ASCII to pay by bank transfer, do not do

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it. It is like paying in cash. If it turns out to be bad, you have

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absolutely no comeback. Thank you very much. That's all from Your

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Money for this week.Advice on saving, borrow and spending all week

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long on the Your Money pages on the BBC's website. It's bbc.co.uk/money.

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You can get updates by following our feed on Twitter. We're @BBC Your

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Money. We're back again in early January. From all of us here, have a

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Merry Christmas. Thanks for watching today.

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Weekly round-up of news about mortgages, savings, credit cards, bank accounts and pensions. Helpful tips and advice on how to get the best deals, consumer rights and making your money work harder for you. With Declan Curry.


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