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?

What kind of licensing is a solar panel installer required to have?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I’m having solar panels installed on my home.  What kind of licensing is the installer required to have?

How can I found out if a vehicle I'm buying was salvaged?

Dear Consumer Ed:  How can I find out if the vehicle that I am interested in purchasing from a dealership is a salvaged vehicle?

Can medical provider bill me 4 years after charges were incurred?

Dear Consumer Ed:  A medical provider recently sent me a statement for $14,850.00, with charges dating from four to six years ago. The provider never submitted the bills to my insurance company as it had done in the past. The charges are far outside my insurance company’s contracted time (60 days) for consideration. Now the medical provider is threatening to send my account to a collection agency. Am I legally required to pay the full amount of these medical costs under these circumstances?

Car dealer refusing to return money after financing was denied

Dear Consumer Ed:  I put down money on a leased vehicle. The bank did not approve the loan request, so I had to return the vehicle to the dealership. But the dealer is refusing to return my money. Can they do that?

Can apartment manager force tenants to pay for valet trash pickup?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Can an apartment complex force tenants to pay for “valet” trash pickup in front of their apartment door versus letting us just take care of it and throw it away in the dumpster for free?

Credit Card Surcharges

Dear Consumer Ed:  How much of a surcharge are merchants allowed to charge you for paying with a credit card?

Store lost my chainsaw I dropped off for repairs

Dear Consumer Ed:  I brought a chainsaw to a store for service. When I went back to pick it up, the store told me it had been lost or stolen. The owner offered to give me another used saw or a discount on a new saw. I am concerned that if I get another used saw, it may not be in the same condition as mine. I think the owner owes me my saw or a new one. What is the owner legally obligated to do?

How will paying off old debt affect my credit?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I had a bill that went into collections. Now that I’ve paid it in full, will this continue to negatively affect my credit?