Better Business Bureau: Do your homework

By Tracy Bracy
June 30, 2014 at 1:30 a.m.

By Tracy Bracy

Holiday Car Sales

Independence Day means barbecues, fireworks and fun, and it also means there may be some great deals on cars.

The Better Business Bureau reminds shoppers looking to take advantage of the holiday sales to do their homework and pay attention to detail; some promotions can be misleading.

The bureau reminds consumers there are many trustworthy dealerships offering real savings. To be sure you are working with a reputable dealership, the bureau advises consumers to be aware of the following advertising concerns as well as adhere to the following tips.

If you have a specific make and model in mind, compare prices from several area dealerships.

No matter what the business is advertising, always pay attention to the fine print.

Read and understand the contract thoroughly before signing.

Weight-loss warning

Thinking about squeezing into that itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini - or baring your bod in that form-fitting suit?

It's beach season, and those quick weight-loss products might seem appealing. You've probably seen the ads for pills, powders, patches, belts and creams promising to melt the pounds away without any diet or exercise.

But do those products really work? The bureau wants you to remember that most products claiming to help you lose weight fast won't do much besides make your wallet thinner.

Any claims of easy and permanent weight loss without changing your habits aren't true, and some of these products could even hurt your health. Get the latest scam alerts on

Finding a health care provider

Summer time can be a great time to catch up on doctor visits you may have been too busy to make appointments for.

The bureau reminds you to do some research before visiting a doctor. Ask friends and family for recommendations. You can also talk to your insurance company or health maintenance organizations; oftentimes, they have a panel of physicians for you to choose from. Check to make sure they are properly licensed and have clear records. It's also important to know your patient rights.

Doctors must show you your medical records and X-rays at any time at your request. They may not order you to receive excessive tests or treatments. To see a list of locally Accredited Businesses visit

Review your car insurance policy

The bureau advises all drivers to take a few minutes every year to read their auto insurance policy or talk to an insurance agent to make sure they understand what it covers. Knowing as much as possible about your coverage is the best way to ensure you get your money's worth.

If you find yourself in a situation in which you need to report an incident, be sure to do so as soon as possible.

If your car is not drivable, your agent or claims center may be able to save you time by having the car towed directly to the repair facility instead of to a temporary storage facility. Know what your deductible is and ask about any additional charges before authorizing work.

Tracy Bracy is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau for Corpus Christi/Victoria. Contact her by e-mail at



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