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How to get a replacement or refund after a bad buy

According to the Consumer Federation of America, the third most common of the ten consumer complaints in 2018 related to retail sales: "False advertising and other fraudulent practices, defective goods, discounts issues, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, non-delivery. "

We all like to believe that the retailers we shop online or in person are trustworthy, reasonably honest, and willing to honor their warranties (as long as you comply with the conditions) fine print). However, there are situations where things go wrong: A packet goes to the wrong address, a phone rings and the new TV is the wrong model.

Often the problem can be solved by simply contacting the retailer. If it is obvious that the problem is not your fault, most retailers will either refund your money or provide you with a replacement. And sometimes, if it is a comprehensible mistake (you have clicked on model A2425A and not on model A2425B), this is taken into account.

If not? If you're trying to be satisfied over the phone or in person, and the person you're talking to is not helpful, sometimes just ask a manager (who's less dependent on sales and has more power) if you can not To solve the problem upstairs, there are several strategies that you can try. Note that you do not have to try them individually. You can simultaneously contact multiple of these resources and see which resources are responding.

Take time to cool off.

There is a law passed by the Federal Trade Commission, which provides for a three-day withdrawal period to cancel a sale. There are a lot of exceptions to this rule; These include sales below $ 25 made at your home and sales made entirely online. But it is good to know in any case.

Public Complaint on Social Media

Businesses monitor key social media to find out if their services or products are mentioned. Sometimes a quick summary of your complaint is quickly answered with the company's attached Twitter account name.

Contact your local consumer protection office.

Most states have consumer protection bureaus whose job it is to help with these issues; Some states also have several local offices. Here you can find out what's available in your state.

Contact the Attorney General.

The National Association of Attorneys General has a page listing all current United States Attorney General and State Prosecutors in alphabetical order (depending on the state or territory to which they are linked). If you click on the photo of the AG of your state, an information page with a link to their website will be displayed. Click on the link and you should either find a form where you can register consumer complaints or an email address to which you can send a description of your problem.

Contact the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business The office has traditionally been an important resource for consumers. Through the website, you can let companies know what complaints they have received in the past and register their own complaints. Complaints are filed within two business days, according to the BBB website. If the company does not respond within two weeks, it will file the complaint again. Consumers will be notified of the company's response (if any).

Register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

The FTC has an online complaints assistant who guides you through a series of questions to help you file a complaint to the appropriate agency.

Call Small Claims Court

If all else fails, there is always a Small Claims Court. The amounts you can sue and the rules for the Small Claims Court vary from state to state. The legal do-it-yourself website Nolo.com provides a good overview of what to look for and how to proceed. If the amount you request exceeds the minimum allowable amount (which can range from $ 2,500 to $ 25,000 per state), it may be time to consult a lawyer.

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