GREENSBORO, NC -- None of us come out of the womb knowing how to be a smart consumer. Like most skills, its learned over time.
Consumer Reports is a great resource. 2WTK talked with Senior Project Editor Many Walker.
Situation one: You see an expensive product in the sales papers. The price listed is $49. But it turns out to be a misprint. You get to the store and the price is really $249.
Because the price is on paper, the store has to give you the listed ad price. Fact or fiction?
FICTION. "You might think they have to give you that item at $49 but they actually don't. If it's a legitimate mistake, the store can say 'sorry' ".
Situation Two: If you are at the register and the price rings up incorrectly in your favor, you hold the store to that if they are trying to fix it to the more expensive amount. FICTION. Some states have laws that help a consumer with that, .but not here in North Carolina.
Situation Three: You go up to the register and there is a sign that reads, "To use a credit card there is a $10 minimum charge". Usually it's a mom and pop place and you think, 'This can't be legal. A minimum purchase to use my credit or debit card? The big stores don't do this' ". FACT.
This is Legal. "Since 2010 there was a provision in the Dodd Frank Act that allowed stores to impose a credit card minimum of up to 10 dollars, " explains Mandy.
Situation Four: You bought an item on Saturday. On Sunday it goes on sale. You can bring your receipt back and the store will credit you the sale price. FACT, usually!
"A lot of stores will do price adjustments so you can bring the receipt back and ask for a better deal a lot of stores will honor that." Mandy added, if the store doesn't, look at the credit card you used. It may be the credit card and do a price adjustment and refund you the difference. 2WTK had never heard of that, but we're willing to put it to the test in the future.
Situation Five: If you buy a product and it works great and then 3 weeks after the warranty ends it conks out, you're out of luck. FICTION. "There is an implied warranty that says products should work a reasonable amount of time reasonably well. You should contact the manufacturer and they should deal with you on it repair or replace it. If they won't budge check the credit card you bought the product with. Often times they will have extended the warranty by up to a year.
Mandy says, with any consumer issue, "Don't let the first time someone turns you down stop you. Ask to speak to a manager, write letters to the president to the company too. And most importantly, you want to keep records of everything you do."