Store charging restocking fee on undelivered merchandise

Dear Consumer Ed: I ordered a sofa from an online furniture company. The sofa was supposedly shipped, but we never received it. The company does not know where it is and cannot provide any tracking information. They have agreed to cancel this order and refund our money, but they want to charge a restocking fee. Can they do that?

Is dealer allowed to advertise car at special incentive price?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I recently went to a dealership after seeing a vehicle advertised at a certain price. It wasn’t until after I arrived that I was told that if I wanted to pay cash or finance it through my own bank that I would have to pay an additional $3,000, as the advertised price included a discount that was only available if you financed through the dealership. Can they do that?

Manufacturer Refuses to Honor Its Warranty

Dear Consumer Ed:  I purchased a lawn tractor a few months ago, which is now having problems. I contacted the manufacturer, but it refuses to honor its warranty. What can I do?

How much notice must landlord give tenant before raising rent?

Dear Consumer Ed:  The apartment I rent has a 12-month lease. The property was recently sold and the management company changed. I am concerned that they may raise the rent at the end of the lease term. How far in advance of my lease expiration are they required to notify me of a planned rent increase?

Dealership has still not repaired used car they sold me

Dear Consumer Ed:  I recently purchased a used car with an agreement that I would leave the car at the dealership, the dealer would repair a couple of items, and I could pick up the vehicle in two days. It’s been three weeks now and the dealer won’t produce the car or refund my money. When I try to find out the status of the car, they refuse to give me a delivery date. Can they do that?

Seller shipped wrong item

Dear Consumer Ed:  I responded to a classified ad from a Georgia-based seller for some red bamboo and paid the seller by check. The guy sent me the wrong plant (not even bamboo). When I called to request an exchange, he told me he would ship the correct plant to me and hold my check until I confirmed receipt. I’ve been waiting three months and haven’t received the correct plant. Furthermore, the guy cashed my check after promising to hold it and now refuses to refund my money. What can I do?

Dentist charging $4,000 for cancelled appointment

Dear Consumer Ed:

Can a dentist retain a $4,000 deposit for services not rendered after an appointment was cancelled? I was not given prior indication that this deposit was non-refundable as they now claim.  

Landlord won't make repairs

Dear Consumer Ed:  There is a leaky water pipe underneath the house I rent. I’ve spoken to my landlord about it several times over the last two months, but he won’t fix it. What can I do to get this repaired? Also, am I still responsible for paying my water bill, which, thanks to this leak, has gone from $77 to $142 a month?

Overpayment Scams

Dear Consumer Ed:  I posted an item for sale online and received an email from an interested buyer, saying he wanted to send me a certified check. He said the check will cover the cost of the item plus the expense incurred by the person who will pick up the item on his behalf. I am being asked to deposit the check and then wire a portion to the person picking up the item. Do you think this is a scam?

Can businesses refuse to accept cash payments?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Is it legal in Georgia for a business to refuse cash for payment of goods or services? Can businesses legally force consumers to pay with a debit or credit card?