Banking, Shopping and Paying Online
Mobile and online banking
Online banking has been around for many years now and most banks and building societies also offer apps which allows you to bank via your mobile phone or tablet with similar functionality. Despite what you might think, banks aren’t stupid! The make you use multiple layers of security and card readers or code generators to confirm unusual transactions. It’s pretty safe so long as you don’t tell ANYBODY your login details and you use the banks recommended “Rapport” security software. In the end … if you do get defrauded, the bank will simply refund your money. I can see no reason not to do on-line banking.
Before you buy
Always try to use website which are familiar with, or has been recommended to you or a retailer that you trust to make sure that you are making a secure purchase. If in doubt then you should look out for the padlock symbol when you are buying anything online. The symbol that is normally in the top left of your address bar, should be closed rather than open and the company name may also be shown in green. You should also check if the site address changes from http:// to https://. This means the page is secure. If either of these signs fail to appear, don't use the site.
Never use a site that do not contain any contact details for the company because if something goes wrong then it may prove impossible to contact the company afterwards. If in doubt then only use a brand that you are familiar with. Print a copy of your order that can be the evidence you need if you must claim a refund later.
The same consumer rights you have when shopping on the High Street also apply online. The items must be of satisfactory quality and the description of the item must not be misleading. If you find that goods you have purchased are faulty, you are entitled to return them for a full refund, providing you return them within 30 days.
Methods of payment
The best way is to use your credit card. If the item or service is worth more than £100 and less than £30,000, then you will be protected by the Consumer Credit Act, which means that the credit card company will be liable for any defects. The credit card company is then equally responsible as the vendor, especially if the vendor was misleading or if the goods never arrive … however this protection only applies when buying from UK websites.
Alternatively, you can make purchases using PayPal. This is a safe payment system that is free to the end user (that’s you!) but there is a small fee for receiving money. With PayPal, you can send and receive money online, provided you have a valid email address. You simply sign-up and register your credit card or bank with them and they then act as a middleman. This service also allows you to use different currencies. PayPal also has a buyer protection feature, whereby you can claim for goods up to the value of £250 at no additional cost but only on the condition that you make your complaint within 30 days.
As always, if in doubt, DON’T! You know where to come if you need help!
Added: 22nd February 2017