SACRAMENTO, Ca.,-Nov. 15, 2012 – As two of the biggest shopping days of the year approach, Better Business Bureau warns Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers to be wary of deals that sound too good to be true.
“BBB annually receives complaints after these shopping holidays about shipping delays and advertising issues, “ said Gary Almond, president of BBB serving northeast California. “As the popularity of online shopping increases, it’s especially important to purchase carefully on the Internet.”
Other common disputes inspired by the shopping holidays involve in-store pricing errors, availability of advertised items and difficulty returning items.
Black Friday shoppers should keep these tips in mind:
- Read the fine print of advertisements. Check that the price on the shelf matches the ad and verify the price when checking out.
- Read the details on gift cards
. There could be limitations or exclusions on what you can buy with the card.
- Ask about return policies. Some items may be nonreturnable or carry restocking fees.
- Pay with a credit card. Charges are easier to dispute through credit.
- Keep all receipts in case a charge needs to be disputed.
When shopping online:
- Call the customer service number listed. Verify the number is working and that someone answers the phone.
- When purchasing, verify it is a secured server with “https://” at the beginning of the address.
- Make copies of all purchase confirmations on web pages and through email.
- Check all websites at necal.bbb.org
for complaint history, licensing verification and contact information.
- Never wire money to pay for a transaction.
- Keep an eye on your credit card statements to catch any fraudulent activity quickly.
About BBB: As a business-supported nonprofit organization, Better Business Bureau's mission is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior, helps consumer identify reliable businesses through BBB Business Reviews, sets standards for truthful advertising, evaluates and provides reviews of charities, educates consumers, and offers dispute resolution services. More than 87 million consumers rely on BBB for Business Reviews, consumer tips and scam alerts. To learn more, please visit www.necal.bbb.org.