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Every fashionista should know her rights. Ever tried to go back to a store for a refund only to be rebutted by the staff? Those days are over now. Power-dress yourself and go back to the store full of confidence, receipt in hand, knowing what you are entitled to, as a customer.

Your Basic Rights
When you purchase a new outfit from Topshop, you enter into a contract with the retailer. Their clothes and accessories need to tick the following boxes: the items must be of satisfactory quality, meet their description, be fit for purpose, and work well for a reasonable length of time. The last thing you want is to go on a night out and your new shoes come away from their heel – nightmare!

If your item fails one of these prerequisites, then you deserve a refund. This even applies to sales items, so don’t be afraid to let the retailer know you’re not happy. Start off by saying “according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979…” and watch them jump over themselves to get the issue sorted.

Watch Your Own Back
First of all, make sure that you return the item as quickly as possible. If you return it within four weeks, you are far more likely to get a full refund than if you turn up six months later.

Don’t think that impulse-buying online gives you fewer rights. Purchasing items online actually gives you more rights due to the Distance Selling Regulations. From costume jewellery rings to handbags, you have the right to send most items back within one week for a full refund, with the delivery costs paid for, even if there isn’t anything wrong with the item.

Just because you’ve lost the receipt, it doesn’t mean that you can’t return the item. All you need to do is prove that you purchased the faulty item through something like a bank statement. Return your items to the store, not the manufacturer – it’s their problem, so don’t let them fob you off.

If you get something free with a purchase – for example, a free purse when you buy a dress – don’t think your rights don’t apply to this item too, when you find it’s faulty.

Making A Large Purchase?
If you’re buying something over £100, consider purchasing it on a credit card, as the credit card company becomes jointly liable with the retailer; and boy do credit card companies have claws! You get additional legal rights. However, this is only feasible if you can clear your premiums.

Not Within Your Rights Exactly?
It’s not all about what your concrete rights state either. If you are displeased with the quality or performance of an item you’ve purchased, complain about it!

Most companies would rather maintain their reputation as a retailer with great customer service than take you on. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, but don’t get upset if they won’t refund you. Just let them know that you are disappointed.

This article was written on behalf of retailer Pearl and Butler specialists in costume jewellery rings