This old warning seems to be especially apt these days when money is tight and time is a luxury.
When was the last time you actually took the time to read a contract all the way through? How about those pesky “terms and conditions” when you were on a website about to purchase something that sounded too good to be true?
Did you get taken? Get charged for something you weren’t expecting?
Do you ever enter your personal or financial information online? Do you double check that the browser window begins with “https” and that a gold lock exists to the right of that browser window? These small checks could save you thousands of dollars, not to mention your identity.
And don’t forget to ask about return policies. Return policies vary depending on the type of business, merchandise bought, and the season when it’s purchased. Don’t assume you can return merchandise whenever you want.
Each day the BBB receives complaints from consumers who didn’t read the contract or terms and conditions all the way through. They just decided that they could “trust” the company.
In the BBB we have a saying – “Trust, but verify.” Meaning, if the company says we’re licensed – trust that they are – but contact the licensing agency to make sure. Or, trust that the business is a good company, but look them up through the BBB (www.bbb.org), so you can feel confident in the company.
Don’t be taken – trust that the company will do what they say – but if the contract or terms make you feel uncomfortable or seem a little too unwieldy, back away and go back to searching for a company you feel is trustworthy.
People ask us all the time how companies that continually have complaints can stay in business. The simple answer is that consumers keep giving them money.
Be a smart consumer. Trust – but verify!
For more consumer advice visit www.bbb.org.