Read Answers to Questions

Can a dealer sell a car as "new" if it was used as a rental?

June 18, 2019

Dear Consumer Ed:  I purchased a brand new car in 2018. In cleaning out my car I found a rental agreement indicating that my car was used as a rental car for the dealership.  When I purchased the car it had about 400 miles on it. The vehicle was sold to me as "new," and the dealer never disclosed that the dealership had used it as a rental or for any other purpose. Is that legal?

Protecting yourself from cell phone account fraud

June 12, 2019

Dear Consumer Ed:  I have frozen my credit with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to help reduce my risk of identity theft. I just heard that I could be at risk of cell phone fraud because there is another credit reporting agency that keeps data on telecommunications and utilities accounts. What are these other credit reporting agencies? Do they allow you to freeze your credit, and, if so, how do I do that?

How do I know if I am really a contest winner?

May 24, 2019

Dear Consumer Ed:  After filling out a feedback form about a fast food restaurant, I received a call saying that I had won a contest. I was asked to provide a faxed form, signed and notarized, along with my Social Security number for tax purposes. Does that sound legitimate?

Don't I have 3 days to cancel a sales contract?

May 13, 2019

Dear Consumer Ed:  We were recently talked into purchasing some expensive cookware following a very persuasive demonstration at a neighbor’s house.  We put a significant amount of money down and signed a contract to pay the rest. As soon as the cookware arrived, I realized I had made a mistake. I asked the company to let me send it back and get a refund, explaining that I had not even opened the boxes. They refused to give me a refund, claiming that I only had three days from the date I signed the contract to cancel the sale. Yet it took more than a week for them to deliver the cookware! The company refuses to take back the cookware.  What can I do?

Loan company not reporting all payments to credit bureau

April 30, 2019

Dear Consumer Ed:  I make loan payments, which are reflected on my credit report. I pay every month, but sometimes the loan company skips a month and does not report to the credit bureau. Isn’t that hurting my credit, and don’t they have to fix that?

Safe disposal of cell phones

April 16, 2019

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?

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

March 19, 2019

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. Are they allowed to do that for a defective part?