BBB offers tips for National Consumer Protection Week

Consumer Watch
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT National Consumer Protection Week is held from March 1 through March 7 and it is a week dedicated to better educate and inform the public on their consumer rights and how to make well-informed buying decisions.

Consumer protection laws provide a way for individuals to fight back against unethical and predatory business practices.

Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina has helped thousands of consumers settle disputes with businesses, including problems related to advertising, sales, contracts, customer service, billing, refunds and more. 

All week, BBB will be celebrating this nationwide campaign that encourages consumers to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions.

“Last year, our office closed nearly 7,000 consumer complaints against businesses in Eastern NC,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, President, and CEO of BBB serving Eastern NC. “It is important for consumers to not only understand their rights but have the courage to speak up if they believe they are being taken advantage of.” 

BBB Offers Tips on How to Be a Smart Consumer:

Look for the BBB seal. Before you do business with anyone, check to see if they are accredited businesses. A BBB accredited business must meet all BBB Standards for Trust and have pledged to support the objectives and trust of ethical business practices adopted by the BBB.

Read the ad. Make sure you understand the terms of the offer, sale prices, warranties offered, etc. Advertisers must be truthful in their ads and follow the BBB Code of Advertising on things like prices, sales, underselling claims, free products, and service, trade-in allowances, credit, extra charges, bait offers, warranties, and guarantees.

Ask for a price match. While shopping, if you find a better deal someplace else, keep in mind that many businesses offer price matching. Ask an employee if they will match or beat the competitor’s price.

Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections; it’s easier to dispute charges that you didn’t approve of. Debit cards, prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.

Know your rights. Consumers all have four basic rights: the right to choose, the right to safety, the right to be informed and the right to be heard. If you believe one of these rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the following:

  • BBB of Eastern NC or report on Scam Tracker
  • North Carolina Attorney General’s office
  • Federal Trade Commission 

For more information, you can trust, visit bbb.org. 

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