Jeanette A. Tucker, Purvis, Trace, Merrill, Thomas A. | 12/13/2006 2:25:45 AM
Problems occasionally occur with items purchased as holiday gifts, but being prepared to handle those problems can go a long way in making the season more festive for you, says LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker.
"In the shopping frenzy that accompanies the holiday season, consumers may have disputes with retailers about unsatisfactory gift purchases," Tucker says. "Being prepared by knowing your rights and keeping good records, as well as making the commitment to keep following up until you get satisfaction, can make all the difference."
The problems can range from gifts not being delivered on time to defects that are found after the item is opened by the recipient. Having your receipts and knowing the return policies of retailers are among the things you should know if such situations occur, Tucker says.
The LSU AgCenter expert also says to follow these tips from the Federal Trade Commission if a purchase is not delivered as promised or if you feel ripped off in any other way:
"The biggest thing to remember is that if you're dissatisfied with how the matter is handled, take your business elsewhere in the future," Tucker says. "That also sends your message. Just remember, however, that not all of the business practices that hurt consumers are always illegal."