Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, is quickly approaching and shoppers everywhere will be looking for the perfect holiday gift at a great price. And, retailers will try to out-do each other with deals to lure cost-conscious shoppers who are still watching their wallets. Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin is reminding holiday shoppers to do research and ask questions before making a purchase to ensure they get the best value.
“The holidays are a time of giving, but dealing with hidden fees or unauthorized charges can really put a damper on the holiday spirit,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. “By being proactive and alert, consumers can get a head start on one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions: to save money.”
To help keep consumers merry – and their finances bright – Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin offers the following tips:
- Bring ads with you while shopping to be sure prices charged match advertised prices.
- Before making a purchase, ask if the store charges a restocking fee, and if so, how much. Some stores will charge a restocking fee for “restocking” an item that you return for a refund or credit.
- Businesses that charge a restocking fee are supposed to disclose the fee. The notice should be clearly visible to consumers before purchases are made.
- Before making a purchase, ask what the return policy is. Return policies vary.
- Refund policies must be posted at the point of display, at the cash register or at the store entrance.
- When checking out, watch the cash register display to be sure the scanned price matches the posted price.
- Check your receipt for accuracy before leaving the store.
- Ask for a refund if you have been overcharged.
- Check your credit card and bank statements often. By the time you receive your credit card bill or bank statement in January, a thief may have already made unauthorized charges.
If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Department of Rhode Island Attorney General at (401) 274-4400. You can download a consumer complaint by visiting our website at www.riag.ri.gov. You can also email us firstname.lastname@example.org.