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your shopping? Just about. Maybe one or two little people that I haven't
forgotten about at all! All that on this week's Your Money.
Hello and welcome to Your Money here every weekend on BBC News. Bargain
hunt, we will discover the tricks we need to do to get the lowest prices
for our Christmas shopping. We will get our rights if it is the wrong
colour or doesn't work or we don't like it anymore. Toxic tipple, Brian
Milligan discovers that cheap booze maybe fake and could damage your
health. So the shortest day is upon us.
Surmer is on the way! A couple of long days of Christmas shopping to
get out of the way first. We are taking a look at how to find the
last minute bargains and what your rights are if the goods just aren't
right. With two very special shopping elves, sue Hayward and
Sarah Pennell. Welcome to both of you. Sue, preparation is everything
when it comes to hunting down the bargains? It is being prepared. You
don't want to run out in a random rush and grab the first thing you
see. You need to, before you leave home, print off discount vouchers.
There are lots of websites you can do this. If you print them off, when
you see the bargain you can get more discount. With these vouchers, it is
a case if you are using a voucher, you can't take advantage of an
instore discount, but in the run-up to Christmas lots of shops have been
offering double discount so you can get discount as well as your
voucher... Does this mean you need to know before you leave the house
what you are going to buy or do you bring a load with you? You need to
think where you are going and what you are going to buy. There are a
couple of apps, Voucher Cloud is a good one. It will send you the
vouchers and the discounts on your phone to the nearest shop. If you
are going in and think, "I forgot that voucher." You can use the app
to get the discount. It is all hi-tech. You can show your phone and
the app to the store and get it there and then which is great.
Why would you do your shopping in advance? You do it because you are
Miss Organised! And that's fine. 72 out of 100 stores on sale right now
before Christmas. The average discount according to Price
Waterhouse Coopers is 46%. That's nearly half price? The reason I do
it. I was disorganised a couple of years ago! You learned that lesson.
The advantage of doing it in advance is you can get what you really want
and I think I think I buy better presents or more thoughtful ones
when I am not under time pressure. I might have missed out on the good
discounts, there isn't any guarantee that something that is well
discounted will be in the shops or in the online retailers by the time
you come to get it, it is a game of chicken and if you think I have got
lots of friends I can buy a variety of presents for, I want to get the
most with my money. And you don't mind the scrum, fine. You can get
more choice if you put more thought into it.
A lot of people would like to order something online, pick it up from
the local store, but not many days left until Christmas. The clock may
have run out on that? That's true. Some stores particularly Debenhams
say they need up to five days for the Click and Collect service. Are
they carrying the stuff to the store on their back or something? They
said it is five days from dispatch. So when it leaves the ware White
House John Lewis and M and Boots, you can click and collect and you
can do it to 2pm on Monday and you can collect it the next day. If the
high street is busy, sometimes it can be worth paying for a next day
delivery to save you the car park charges and the hassle of looking
for a parking space. It is swings and roundabouts sometimes.
Check. Check. Check. Absolutely and make sure it is in stock and they
won't say guaranteed Christmas delivery with a lot of these. It is
a case that you are taking your chance unless they are guaranteeing
it for Christmas. You mentioned apps. There are apps that allow you
to check the price of something while you are in the store and tells
you where if you can get it cheaper somewhere else? There is a good one
called Red Laser. You can use your phone to zap the barcode and it will
tell you where you can buy it cheaper. You may decide, quickly go
on your tablet or decide to buy it there and then. If you do and
discover it cheaper, if you keep your receipt, a lot of stores are
generous with the returns policies which means you can take it back and
get your money back and buy it elsewhere.
We will talk about your rights when you are shopping during the sales
and Sarah will have more information on that in a few minutes. It is time
to see what the Secret Santa of news brought us. MPs want to tighten the
rules on pay day loan companies. They say the lenders should be
banned from advertising on television when children's
programmes are on the air. The MPs say borrowers who get into trouble
should only have their loans extended once. That might prevent
them from clocking up bigger debts. Fewer people are worried about their
debts. There has been a drop in the number of households concerned about
the amount they borrow. But did warn that future rises in interest rates
and it is a matter of when they go up, not if, it warned more expensive
borrowing costs could squeeze households with big mortgages.
The council for mortgage listeneders says -- lenders says lending in
November was 30% higher than a year ago. It insists that's not a boom.
There is an old rule when it comes to money, if something looks too
good to be true, it probably is. Christmas shoppers have been warned
booze maybe fake as it could damage their health. Here is Brian
Milligan. In this bar in Sheffield, students
celebrating the end of term have been warned about the dangers of
drinking fake alcohol. Some admit they found bottles of cheap vodka
tempting. In my first year, I was silly enough to buy stuff from a
corner shop which came under the counter and was not a properly
manufactured alcohol product. I had friends who suffered from temporary
blindness. Fake alcohol is being sold at shops like this one. The
owner was found after 600 bottles of counterfeit vodka were found under
the counter. The number of bottle being found in Sheffield alone has
quadrupled. Most contain industrial alcohols used in cleaning flundz or
antifreeze. It is not tested. There is no quality control. These are
criminals that are manufacturing there are. They are not concerned
about the council sume -- consumer's health. There could be anything in
it. Seizures of fake vodka are growing. In August a nightclub in
Leeds was fined. At cairn Rhine, 13,000 litres were sold and this
month a pub in Chelmsford was fined for selling fake Smirnoff. Many of
the changes are not reversible. You can lose your eyesight or your
ability to walk like a normal person. You can lose your life.
Spotting a fake isn't easy. On a small bottle like this, this one
appears to have the UK duty paid stamp, but that's the wrong size. If
you look closely, you can see sediment in the bottom of that one.
On this larger bottle, it tells you on the back that it comes from
somewhere called Russia-Berlin. On a big bottle like this, the duty and
VAT alone should amount to ?8.89. If you are paying ?9 a bottle,
something is wrong. The advice being given to drinkers be careful where
you buy your alcohol, check the labels and if the product looks
suspicious, do not drink it. Thousands of elderly and poor
customers with NPower are to get at least ?25 back. It is a total fine
of ?3.5 million. The payments will be made to customers who get the
Warm home discount. The competition watchdog says we pay
too much for car insurance and blamtion the high cost of -- blames
the high cost of replacement cars and repairs.
It gives a whole new meaning to money laundering. The Bank of
England unveiled the plastic banknote it will bring in from 2016.
People in Northern Ireland will know what they feel like already because
we have had them for years. The new fiver will feel slimmery and bounce
back if you scrunch it up and survive a spin in the washing
machine. It will buy just as little as a paper fiver!
Emergency this on Christmas Day, those presents that you ordered
online, well, they didn't arrive. The shoes you did get, they don't
fit and auntie doesn't like the colour of her cashmere jumper,
grumpy old bag! There are a number of scenarios,
first of all, something doesn't fit? If it doesn't fit and you brought it
on the -- bought it on the high street, you don't have a right to
bring it back, but many shops will let you. If you have bought it as a
present get a gift receipt. If you forget, write a note saying, lovely
jumper, gifted to Declan cap Curry. Online, you have got seven working
days from the day after the goods arrived to reject the goods and
cancel the sale. There are a couple of exceptions which are common
sense, food and fresh flowers. If you were to buy a pair of shoes and
clothing and decided you didn't like them, you can cancel the sale. Do
that by e-mail and you can get a refund. You say seven days and
that's for stuff done online? Yes. No time limit for stuff you buy over
the counter? There, you don't have a legal right to bring it back. It is
at the shop's discretion. I often ask when you are buying, it is often
28 days, but it is often until the middle of January.
You have the right to bring stuff back. The law here is very clear. It
doesn't matter where you buy it, whether you buy it online, you buy
it in a high street or whether you pay full price or not. If it is
faulty, you have got the right to return it and you can get a refund
depending on when you return it are o a replacement or repair. When I am
shopping, you can imagine I am eagle eyed and I see signs saying "No
refunds. No returns on sale goods." That's illegal. They can't say that.
If you see those signs, that's not correct. You can argue your case. I
imagine you are a nightmare when it comes to shopping in the store. Sue,
that's an important point if you are buying something in the sales and
you are picking up a bar gain, those signs are there and they are wrong?
Yes, that's right. They are wrong which is the case very much
sometimes you need to actually, if you are not clear, ask for the
manager and check the details because sometimes I found when you
are taking things back to stores, the staff simply don't know the
rules. So it is worth not being fobbed off. Going home thinking
about it and checking details online and you can go back and argue your
case. You could argue cash is more personal. You can decide what you
spend your money on. Vouchers have been popular, but they are risky?
They are. The problem is as we have seen over the last year, some stores
have, when they have gone to the wall, their company won't accept the
vouchers. If you feel uncomfortable about giving cash, give one of the
vouchers that are not restricted to one store. If it is a big high
street store, the chances are you would be OK. Go cash or a voucher,
you can use amongst several stores. Is there better protection if you
pay for something on a credit card rather than cash or cheque or debit
card? You do get some protection under what is called chargeback if
you pay by debit or credit card. It is no minimum spend limit. If you're
buying something online and you see a bargain, it is made from a company
you haven't heard of and the ASCII to pay by bank transfer, do not do
it. It is like paying in cash. If it turns out to be bad, you have
absolutely no comeback. Thank you very much. That's all from Your
Money for this week.Advice on saving, borrow and spending all week
long on the Your Money pages on the BBC's website. It's bbc.co.uk/money.
You can get updates by following our feed on Twitter. We're @BBC Your
Money. We're back again in early January. From all of us here, have a
Merry Christmas. Thanks for watching today.
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.