Archive for Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Five questions: Good consumer

Tips for purchasing products

It’s National Consumer Protection Week, a reminder to do one’s homework when it comes to making major purchases and retain all proper paperwork.

It’s National Consumer Protection Week, a reminder to do one’s homework when it comes to making major purchases and retain all proper paperwork.

March 6, 2012, 4:21 p.m.

Updated: March 7, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

National Consumer Protection Week is this week. Our questions come from information provided through Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s website, ag.ks.gov.

Q: How important is it to hold on to receipts?

A: If you’ve ever lost a receipt, policy or warranty, you know some businesses are more forgiving than others. It’s up to consumers to get the details in writing and keep documents safely filed away. If there’s an issue you have to resolve, jot down the details of your progress. Note specifics, such as the name of the clerk with whom you dealt, the date and time and what action was promised.

Q: What should I know about recalls?

A: For major items such as a vehicle, the company will often send a notice. However, you may have to do some searching for the dirt on other products. This information can be found online at recalls.gov. This is especially important for infant and health-related items.

Q: What specifics should I know about the company from which I’m purchasing a product?

A: Are you working with and buying from local or reputable companies? In our growing online world of commerce, it can be hard to tell. It’s important to know with whom you are dealing, especially in industries that are ripe with potential fraud, such as travel, home renovations and investments.

Q: What do I need to know about fine print?

A: Experts warn to take the time to read through important information, ask questions and seek clarification if needed.

Q: How should I research the product I plan to purchase?

A: Ask for advice and recommendations from people you trust, check with consumer organizations and read reviews online. Get a sense for what items cost and how they compare with similar products.

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