On the eve of the event known as Black Friday (Friday 26 November), the Directorate General for Consumer Affairs of the Andalusian Regional Government wishes to emphasise the promotion of responsible consumption by Andalusian consumers and users who intend to take advantage of this day – or the offers and promotions related to it – to make purchases, either in person in shops or online. It is precisely on this second aspect that the so-called Cyber Monday (Monday 29 November) is focused, another attraction for consumers and increasingly established in the consumption habits in our country, through offers and promotions in e-commerce, i.e. online shopping.
For many people, both days are an opportunity to bring forward their Christmas shopping, attracted by the proliferation of offers on the Internet and the advertising displayed in the shop windows of commercial establishments. Moreover, the period of promotions related to Black Friday and Cyber Monday is not only limited to these two days, but many shops take advantage of them to extend them to previous dates, and even later.
In this scenario, the Directorate General for Consumer Affairs of the Andalusian Regional Government has stressed the need for caution when dealing with online promotions, and the public body stresses the need to exercise responsible consumption and apply common sense, avoiding impulse and uncontrolled purchases at all times. This message is conveyed to consumers and users on the Consumo Responde website and with a campaign disseminated through social networks, with practical information and a series of useful tips for responsible consumption.
And one of the main tips that Consumo Responde insists on before any period of sales, offers or promotions, is to plan purchases well and buy only what you need, for which it can be helpful to draw up a list to stick to, thus avoiding any extra spending, and equally important is to set a budget in advance.
Another essential recommendation is to compare prices between various establishments, brands and companies, not to be swayed by the first thing you see, and to be suspicious of prices that are too attractive to be true.
Likewise, keep all invoices and receipts for any purchase or transaction made, which are essential for a possible claim or refund, and it is equally important to keep the advertising of the product or article. Keeping it can be useful a posteriori, since advertising is part of the contract and the company is obliged to comply with it. The products on offer have the same legal guarantees as always, although shops can modify certain conditions, such as the method of payment or the returns policy, aspects of which the shop is obliged to inform you.
Consumer Affairs reminds consumers and users that in online purchases, they generally have the right of withdrawal, of which they must be informed by the company, and which allows them to cancel the contract within 14 calendar days of receiving the product, without having to give any reason and without incurring any penalty. In the case of distance purchases, it is advisable to make them on websites located in the European Union, so that the consumer is guaranteed the rights that apply to consumers and users in the EU, and not foreign legislation.
Finally, the Directorate General for Consumer Affairs of the Andalusian Regional Government advises, year after year, in the context of Black Friday shopping, in the official sales periods or in those linked to the Christmas holidays, to buy products from local and neighbourhood shops, which contributes to responsible consumption not only with the economy of each population, but also with the environment.
If you have any doubts or queries about consumer affairs, citizens can contact Consumo Responde, a free information and advice service for consumers and users, promoted by the Ministry of Health and Families of the Andalusian Regional Government. This is a multi-channel service, which can be accessed continuously through the telephone number 900 21 50 80, the website www.consumoresponde.es, the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; and the Twitter (@consumoresponde) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/consumoresponde) profiles.
Advice can also be obtained from the Provincial Consumer Services of the territorial delegations of Health and Families in all provincial capitals, as well as from the Municipal Consumer Information Offices (OMIC), and from consumer and user organisations.