Consumer Handbook

Each week Whitney Quick with the Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau brings you tips to help you be a better consumer and not be caught off guard by scams or the unexpected.

Better Business Bureau

Are you determined to take control of your fitness in the new year? In 2019, consumers filed more than 4,000 complaints last year against fitness centers and health clubs. Many of those complaints claimed that centers refused to provide refunds to consumers who moved or were dissatisfied with the club’s programs or hours. 

Better Business Bureau has advice to help you evaluate gyms or fitness clubs and find a reliable business. 

Better Business Bureau

Losing weight is a popular New Year’s resolution, but Better Business Bureau urges consumers to use caution when buying diet and weight loss products to aid them on their journey, especially products that advertise a free trial.

Better Business Bureau

As the new year begins, Better Business Bureau has developed 10 resolutions that can help you fight scammers, prevent identity theft, and find trustworthy businesses and charities in the coming year.

The following resolutions can help consumers have a safe, fraud-free 2020:  

1. Check a business out with BBB before you buy. Visit bbb.org to find BBB Business Profiles for 5.3 million businesses across North America. 

Better Business Bureau

Is your New Year’s Resolution to get out of debt? Improving your finances and increasing your savings is a common goal on Jan. 1, but it’s not always easy. 

If you are in debt, you’re not alone; total American household debt is only rising. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Center for Microeconomic Data, the total household debt increased by $92 billion to $13.95 trillion in the third quarter of 2019. 

Better Business Bureau

Holiday returns aren’t easy! And we don’t mean the part where you explain to your mother why you returned the sweater she gave you. 

Stores are not legally required to accept exchanges or give refunds unless the merchandise was defective or misrepresented. While most retailers do offer refund and exchange programs as a courtesy to their customers, policies vary greatly from one store to another. Add to the mix warranties - which are usually fulfilled by the manufacturer - and holiday returns can get confusing. 

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