Read Answers to Questions: Shopping and Retail

Do I have to allow stores to search my bags?

October 15, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  Once I’ve been given a receipt for an in-store purchase, aren’t all of the items in the bags, loose in the cart, the receipt, and even the bags themselves my property? Do I have to allow them to search my property (look through the bags) before exiting the building? If I refuse, are they allowed to detain me?

Is store allowed to make and keep a copy of my credit card?

September 28, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I went to a department store to purchase some merchandise. The total came to $318. I gave the cashier my credit card and was told that when a credit card purchase exceeds $250, the store needs to make a copy of the credit card and keep it on file for two weeks. I refused to allow them to copy my card and asked to speak to a manager about the reason for needing to copy my card. The manager simply told me that it was the store policy. To avoid having them keep a copy of my card, I split the purchase into two separate transactions. But I’m wondering, is it legal for a store to have such a policy?

Finding a reputable dog breeder

May 8, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I want to get a Golden Retriever.  I looked online and found a dog breeder that is located about an hour away. They seem to be honorable, but how can I confirm that they are reputable before I proceed? 

I paid for merchandise that I never received

March 27, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I purchased custom shirts that were supposed to be ready within two weeks.  It’s now six months later and still no shirts. Is it a crime to take money and not produce the goods that you sold? What can I do?     

Misleading free-trial period for mobile app

December 14, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  My child has an iPad, which I have set up so that he cannot download apps unless I approve them from my device.  I recently downloaded an app for him that implied there was a free one-year trial period.  After downloading the app, I got an email explaining that while the subscription was for a one-year period, the free trial only lasted 30 days.  I think that is very misleading.  The other issue I have with this offer is that when I signed up it said I could cancel the app before it automatically renewed, but that I would have to do so from my child’s device settings.  It seems reasonable to me that if I can approve the subscription from my device, I should be able to delete it from my device as well.  Are there rules or laws about these issues?

Health club closing, won't let me out of my contract

August 14, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  Last month I made an advance payment of $407 for a membership at a health club. I just received an email from the business stating they are closing down the location I joined and offering no refunds. I need to exercise daily as I am recovering from surgery, but I don’t think I should be expected to drive 12 miles to get to the next closest location. I have contacted the health club about this, but they refuse to let me out of my contract.

Is hotel guilty of price gouging for inflating its rates?

November 22, 2016

Dear Consumer Ed:  My daughter has an upcoming volleyball competition in Atlanta and the hotel prices have gone up dramatically for the weekend we want to stay.  I realize there are several events going on that weekend, but isn't there a law that will prevent rates from skyrocketing?  We want to stay very close to the event and they are just gouging us.

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