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Consumer Protection

Consumer Tips

Retail Sales

Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rules

Ship Date
  • The law says the business must ship your order within promised time period

  • If no time frame is noted, shipment must be made within 30 days

  • If you are applying for credit with the business, your order can be delayed up to 50 days

Delays
  • If the company is unable to ship within the promised time, they must notify you by mail or phone.

  • When notified, you can accept the new ship date or cancel the order

Cancellation
  • If you choose to cancel because of the delay notice, contact the company immediately

Refund
  • If payment was made by check or money order, the company must issue a refund within seven (7) business days

  • If a credit card was used, the company must credit your account within one (1) billing cycle

SALES - door to door

  • Don't let the salesperson in the door until you have seen proper identification and determined exactly what he wants. Magazine sellers must be licensed.

  • Don't be taken in by a smooth-talking peddler. Decide whether you really need what is being sold without losing track of what you can afford.

  • Be aware that you may be offered a flashy and impressive-looking product which is actually inferior to that sold in stores.

  • You should not make an immediate purchase no matter how attractive a deal the salesperson may be offering. Take time to compare his price with that of local stores.

Generally, you have the right to cancel a door-to-door purchase within three days of the purchase, if the item is sold for $25.00 or more.The seller must give you a written notice of that right, and must also tell you orally that you have that right to cancel.As long as the goods are returned in the same condition as when bought, you are entitled to a refund of your money.Keep in mind, however, that in order to get that refund you must be able to locate the salesperson or her business.

ABOVE ALL:

DON'T BE AFRAID TO SAY "NO!"

STORE RETURNS AND REFUNDS

  • Every store in Pennsylvania can and does have a its own policy on returns and refunds

  • Check with the service desk or the store manager to get their policy

  • Some businesses will give a store credit only

  • Some businesses will give a full refund

  • Some businesses will only grant exchanges

  • Some businesses have a no-return or "All Sales Final" policy

The best protection for consumers is to ask questions concerning all of these issues.

PRICE SCANNING

  • In 1997 a law was passed in Pennsylvania regulating price scanners

  • All scanners in Bucks County are inspected

  • Businesses need a 98% accuracy rate to pass. The goal is 100% accuracy.

  • The price scanned must be equal to the price on the shelf

  • If the scanner price is different, it must be fixed immediately

  • Businesses are given three (3) opportunities to pass an inspection before they are fined

  • Individual businesses may have different policies regarding a product which was scanned incorrectly

SCALES - INSTALLATION AND READABILITY

  • Scales are used in everyday transactions

  • A scale used for the purpose of weighing and selling must be inspected and have a County seal affixed to it

  • The scale must read zero before weighing takes place

  • The scale must return to zero after weighing is complete

  • The scale must be visible to the consumer

  • Some scales have the tare pre-programmed; others must be forced in

  • All scales in the County are inspected on a yearly basis

WHAT IS TARE?

  • Tare is the packaging weight, not the weight of the actual product (whether the product is a chicken or macaroni)

  • Net weight is the weight of the actual product deducted from total package weight

  • Most scales are automatically preprogrammed to take the tare

  • The plastic bag that you put produce in has a tare of .01 and is manually taken at the register

Helpful Links:

Retail -- Be Smart and Safe When Ordering by Mail
Retail - What You Should Know About Store Refund Policies