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Better Business Bureau: Holiday deliveries

By By Alan Bligh
Dec. 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.


One of the most common complaints we see at holiday time is non-delivery of items ordered. Often companies have flat out lied about their ability to deliver items on time. Other times, they just don't know or there is a problem with a supplier.

If the seller is unable to ship the products you ordered within the promised time period, the law requires the seller to notify you of your right to cancel the order. The company must provide you a way to cancel your order or inform the seller, at its expense, that you still want the product. If a time frame is not given in a promotion, it is assumed to be 30 days. Make sure you keep all receipts and copies of ads. Also check companies out at bbb.org to see if we have had a problem in the past.



Veterans scams on the rise

We all love our veterans, and so do the schemers. Scams targeting veterans are on the rise and can take many forms. The following are five of the most common fraudulent offers and scams targeting our veterans: •  Firms that charge veterans for products and services they can receive for free or at lower cost elsewhere, such as military records and forms.

•  Scammers who contact veterans claiming they need to update their credit card information or other records with the Veterans Administration.

•  Flashy military loan offers promising "instant approval," "no credit check" and "all ranks approved."

•  Fraudulent housing ads offering military discounts.

•  Phony "Veterans for Hire" schemes.



Bounced check charges

Have you ever had a bounced check? So how much can a merchant or the bank charge you for your mistake?

Well, according to the Houston-based Consumer Law Center, a store may charge no more than $30 for a bounced check. There is, however, no limit for how much a bank may charge. You may wish to shop around for a bank that charges a reasonable fee and get "overdraft protection" to avoid high fees.

And also from the Consumer Law Center, under federal law, a debt collector cannot communicate with you at work once he knows that your employer prohibits such communication. This law, however, does not apply to the creditor itself. Of course, the creditor does not have the right to come by and harass, abuse or publicly embarrass you.

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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