RETAIL RELATED COMPLAINTS TO CONSUMER PROTECTION SEE STEADY DECLINE
Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 – Today, the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) released complaint numbers related to retail transactions ranging from bad warranties to issues with gift certificates, to rain checks. This year, we have received 606 fewer complaints than in 2012, going from 3522 to 2916 over a five year period. The largest areas of concern have been regarding refund and exchange policies, misrepresentation, and service issues.
“We’ve worked hard to make sure that consumers have the tools they need to be smart in today’s market, and that businesses play by the rules,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “For us that means being proactive communicators with the public about how to avoid fraud, scams, and common mistakes. That way, consumers are more likely to have interacted with one of the many reputable businesses in the state, and have fewer complaints. It’s encouraging to see that our educational efforts are making a difference.”
Consumers who need to finish holiday shopping and are in a rush are encouraged to follow some basic retail tips this December:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are a lot of great sounding deals on the market right now, but they may not all be honest. Don’t fall for them.
- If you’re purchasing a product that has a warranty, make sure you know all the terms, and whether the warranty is with the retailer or manufacturer.
- Be wary of extended warranty offers. You often receive them as you are checking out, and don’t feel you have time to review them properly. We encourage consumers to step aside and review the extended warranty terms to make sure it’s something they really need.
- If you’re shopping at resale stores or for used items online and are suspicious that the product is not high quality, or unsafe, don’t purchase it. You can also visit www.recalls.gov to see if a product has been recalled.
- Rebates are often offered with products, but are rarely used by consumers. Make sure to check if there are any deadlines on your rebates, keep track of the day you mail rebates in, and of the dates you get them returned to you in the case there are any issues.
- When shopping online, return policies may be different, and return or restocking fees may apply. Make sure you read over return policies before purchasing products.
- If you’re comparing prices online, don’t forget to include shipping costs in your formula.
If you have an issue with a product you purchased, first reach out to the company. If you’re unsuccessful, you’re encouraged to file a complaint with DCP by filling out this form, and emailing it to DCP.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions, you may call (860) 713-6300.
Lora Rae Anderson
(860) 713-6019 (office)
(860) 247-8711 (cell)