Safe disposal of cell phones

Dear Consumer Ed:  I have an old cell phone that I want to dispose of. How can I do this in a way that will not harm the environment and will prevent others from obtaining any personal information that is or was stored on the device?

Are landlords required to provide a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors?

Dear Consumer Ed:  By law, is it the landlord’s responsibility to provide a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors in the apartment? 

Can a merchant charge a restocking fee if merchandise was defective?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I bought a fender for a 1969 Chevelle from a parts store. I got the correct part, but it is defective and won’t line up correctly with the side of the car.  When I went to return the part, the parts company charged me a restocking fee.

Can a car dealer charge tax on pre-rebate price?

Dear Consumer Ed:  If a car dealer is selling a car with a rebate, are they allowed to charge sales tax on the pre-rebate price?

Can grocery stores sell meat if package's vacuum seal is broken?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Can grocery stores sell meat in vacuum-sealed plastic packages if the seal is broken?  I’ve noticed several big name stores that will offer manager’s specials for such products, but I thought it was illegal to sell them if the vacuum seal is broken.

Cable company won't provide price breakdown

Dear Consumer Ed:  I am having difficulty getting a price list for all services and fees from my cable company. When I ask for this information they just try to sell me packages that include phone service I don’t want and equipment I don’t need.

Problems with Used Car Discovered after Purchase

Dear Consumer Ed:  I recently purchased a car from a “buy here, pay here” dealer. The dealership has “as is” on all its vehicles, but before I bought the car the salesperson told me it was in good condition and ran perfectly.  A few days after I bought the car the vehicle started giving me problems.  When I called the dealership to complain, they told me to bring it in so they could fix it. After two repair attempts, I noticed there was smoke coming from the engine, which had never happened before and makes me think they damaged something inside the motor. Can I sue the dealership for consumer fraud and damaging my vehicle?

Is HVAC warranty transferable?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I bought a house that recently had a new HVAC system installed. The warranty information for the condenser and heating unit state that it only covers the original owner of the residence as of the installation date.

Optometrist refusing to provide contact lens prescription

Dear Consumer Ed:  I recently had my eyes examined by an optometrist, but in order to save money, I wanted to order my contact lenses from an online provider. When I asked the optometrist for the prescription, they told me they would only give it to me if I bought contacts from them.

Buying and registering a manufacturer's buyback vehicle

Dear Consumer Ed:  I am considering purchasing a car that is marked as a manufacturer’s buyback vehicle. Will I run across any issues registering the car in the state of Georgia? Also is there anything from a legal rights (lemon law) note that I should consider before the purchase?