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Beware door-to-door meat sales

April 30, 2011 at midnight
Updated April 29, 2011 at 11:30 p.m.


By Alan Bligh

Ranch House Quality Meats in Austin has earned an F rating for failing to answer the majority of their 48 complaints in the past three years.

Consumers allege the company, which sells door-to-door, fails to honor refund policies and is unresponsive to consumers' attempts to contact the company. So it happened in Austin.

You may be asking, "What's that got to do with Victoria?"

Well, this situation illustrates the need for consumers to be careful when dealing with door-to-door meat sellers. In Corpus Christi, we had transient meat peddlers pretending to be associated with legitimate charities. Just remember to verify the identity of the seller and check them out with the Better Business Bureau. If things look really suspicious, call the police.

Also, remember that the Federal Trade Commission's Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule applies. That law gives consumers three days to cancel purchases more than $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller's permanent place of business.



Complaints concerning airlines seem to be overwhelming; it's almost as bad as the complaints about gas prices.

Our government has taken some action to stop some of these problems. Consumers received the good news this past week that the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a set of sweeping protections for airline passengers.

Among the key components:

Disclosing fares and fees. Airlines and other ticket sellers will be required to disclose all fees, including baggage charges. All fees and taxes must be included in advertising.

Refunding baggage fees. Airlines will be required to refund those fees if your bags are lost.

Extending tarmac delay rules. The DOT's 2009 ruling on extended tarmac delays is being strengthened and expanded. The current regulation requires domestic flights to return to the gate after three hours, and passengers must be provided with adequate food, water, working lavatories and medical treatment. This rule will now include U.S. carriers operating international flights, as well as foreign airlines operating out of U.S. airports.

Compensation for bumping. If you are involuntarily bumped from a flight, new regulations will provide increased compensation, in some cases doubling the current amounts.

Limiting fare increases. Airlines will not be allowed to raise your fare after you've purchased your ticket.



In closing, I would like to thank the First Methodist Church of Victoria for having me out to speak to their Super Senior Group this past Friday. It gave me a great opportunity to offer some tips on avoiding scams and bad deals.

If you have a group, organization, etc. that would be interested in a presentation, please give me a call at 361-852-4991 or email me at abligh@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by email at abligh@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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