Freebie Friday: this week's discounts, deals and freebies

Freebie Friday

This week you can celebrate the last vestiges of the summer holidays, prepare for university (for yourself or your offspring), or indulge yourself with a discounted shopping spree from the practical world of Argos, or the world of stuff-you-never-knew-you-were-living-without from Prezzybox.

From tennis to dining table ping pong: it's all here!


Free tennis

This weekend is the Lawn Tennis Association's Great British Tennis Weekend. At 40 parks around the UK there will be free coaching for kids and adults, cardio tennis (which crosses tennis with an exercise class), and free family play. They'll provide all the equipment and expert help - you just need to show up in your kit. It's best to book in advance on the website, but you will also be able to turn up and play.

Free entry to Sea Life - for teachers

It's a bit frustrating for any other profession, but a handy freebie for teachers. Just complete the registration form online, print it out, and take it along with you to any Sea Life centre (excluding the London Aquarium). You'll also need to take proof that you are a teacher and which school you teach at (Early Years, primary or secondary), and you'll get two free tickets for the day. The offer runs until 31 August, at which point the fun is over and it's back to school.

Discounted railcard

Users of have discovered a 10% off deal on young person's railcards when you enter SAVE10 into your application. It usually costs £30 and will save a third on all rail fares. This may prove handy for those heading off to university - especially those who have specifically selected a university as far from their parents as possible.

£5 voucher for Prezzybox

This is another 02 priority moments deal, which makes getting a free pay-as-you go O2 sim in order to qualify seem even more of a no-brainer.

The great thing about this voucher is that there's no minimum spend. The deal is running for another 45 days, but there's a sale on at the moment, which means you can use your free voucher to buy a cherry scented candle, bat-shaped pegs, corgi-themed cake decorations - or any other novelty that takes your fancy and costs £5 or less - for free.

£20 off at Argos

The news from users of is that if you buy the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, you'll get a voucher for £10 off any £50 spend or £20 off any £100 spend at Argos (before 23 August). The newspaper itself will set you back £2, but the users point out that if you spend £5 at Waitrose (including the cost of the paper) you'll get the cost of the newspaper refunded too.

10 consumer rights you should know
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Freebie Friday: this week's discounts, deals and freebies

The law states that any goods you buy from a UK retailer should be of satisfactory quality, as described, fit for purpose and last a reasonable amount of time.

This applies even if you buy items in a sale or with a discount voucher. You may have to insist on these rights being respected, though.

Useful phrases to use when you want to show you mean business include, "according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979" and, if it's a service, "according to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982".

Some shops will allow you to exchange goods without a receipt, but they can refuse to should they wish.

If the goods are faulty, however, another proof of purchase such as a bank statement should work just as well.

If you attempt to return goods within four weeks of the purchase, your chances of getting a full refund are much higher as you can argue that you have not "accepted" them.

After this point, you can only really expect an exchange, repair or part-refund.

The updated Consumer Credit Act states that card companies are jointly and severally liable for credit card purchases of between £100 and £60,260 (whether or not you paid just a deposit or the whole amount on your card).

Anyone spending between these amounts on their credit card is therefore protected if the retailer or service provider goes bust, their online shopping never arrives or the items in question are faulty or not as described.

Start by writing to the agency asking it to either remove or change the entry that you think is wrong. It will investigate the matter and find out whether you have been the victim of ID theft or a bank's mistake.

Within 28 days from receipt of your letter the agency should tell you how the bank has responded. If the bank agrees to change the entry, they will authorise the agency to update their records. They should also send updates to any other credit reference agencies they use.

You can also contact your lender directly to query a mistake. If the lender agrees to the discrepancy, ask them to confirm this in writing on their letterhead and send a copy to the agency, asking them to update your file.

The FOS settles disputes between financial companies such as banks and consumers.

If a financial organisation rejects a complaint you make about its services, you can therefore escalate that complaint to the FOS - as long as you have given the company in question at least eight weeks to respond.

The FOS will then investigate the case, and could force the company to offer you compensation should it see fit.

Bailiffs are allowed to take some of your belongings to sell on to cover certain debts, including unpaid Council Tax and parking fines.

They can, for example, take so-called luxury items such as TVs or games consoles. However, they cannot take essentials such as fridges or clothes.

What's more, they can only generally enter your home to take your stuff if you leave a door or window open or invite them in.

You are therefore within your rights to refuse them access and to ask for related documents such as proof of their identity. If they try to force their way in, you can also call the police to stop them.

Private sector debt collectors do not have the same powers as bailiffs, whatever they tell you.

They cannot, for example, enter your home and take your possessions in lieu of payment.

In fact, they can only write, phone, or visit your home to talk to you about paying back the debt. As with bailiffs, you can also call the police if you feel physically threatened.

Thanks to the Distance Selling Regulations, you actually have more rights buying online or by phone than on the High Street.

You can, for example, send most goods back within a week, for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault.

You will usually need to pay for the return delivery, though. The seller must then refund you within 30 days.

We enter into contracts all the time, whether it be to join a gym, switch energy supplier or take out a loan.

In most cases, once you've signed a contract, you are legally bound by it. In some situations, however, you have the right to cancel it within a certain timeframe.

Credit agreements, for example, can be cancelled within 14 days. And online retailers must tell you about your cancellation rights for any contract made up to stand up legally.


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