Protect your purchases

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A CONSUMER watchdog is urging people to take steps to protect themselves when making big purchases.

Sheffield Council’s Trading Standards office has issued advice to customers as the financial climate leads to a growing number of companies going into administration. A large amount of complaints to officers involve cars, holidays and building projects.

Phil Glaves, Trading Standards manager at Sheffield Council, said: “Depending on the type of purchase, consumers can protect themselves in a number of ways, however a hard and fast rule is to try to avoid paying too much up front, thereby retaining a lever with the trader in the event of problems.

“Credit cards are a great way to protect your outlay. If the purchase is for over a £100, your credit card provider will assume the same liability as the trader and will usually remain liable for any future faults with products.

“A real lifeline for consumers that have been caught up in some of the retail closures of recent months.”