Do you ever get that feeling that you've just been conned, or that you made a bad purchase decision that you're going to have to pay for? It's happened to us many times.
For instance, you buy a new microwave only to find it's poorly rated by consumer guides or you could have gotten it for less somewhere. No wonder a recent survey says half of all Americans hate shopping!
Oftentimes you could have avoided all this pain simply by doing a bit of research, like scouring the internet and talking to friends or family about their experiences and preferences.
A few other things you can do to protect your financial interests and safety include:
Check out the reputation and reliability of any firm you plan to do business with, especially for major and online purchases.
Compare prices and terms. This is easy to do online these days and there are good product comparison sites like PriceGrabber and Shopzilla.
Read product reviews, but do so with skepticism since some less reputable suppliers have been known to pay for positive reviews. If there's a scoring system, such as one to five stars, read the reviews at the midpoint -- the three stars.
Beware of misleading advertising. Don't base buying decisions purely on what you read or see in commercials.
Always read the small print in any documents you sign or agree too. Sometimes there are conditions that may affect your rights.
Keep abreast of scams. Sign up for alerts from the Better Business Bureau.
And keep abreast of product recalls. Sign up for alerts at www.recalls.gov
Just a few tips that we hope you may find helpful, but there are many more.
Actually the first week in March each year is always National Consumer Protection Week and, whenever you're reading this, you can get a lot more helpful information from the organizers' website at www.ncpw.gov.
Other government agencies you may find useful include the Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov) and the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov).
Of course, when it comes to insurance we at Kessler Alair Insurance have already done many of the things you expect to protect your interests -- like rate comparison shopping and checking out insurance firms and customer experiences. If you're shopping for insurance, all you need do is give us a call. With three locations in Newport Beach, Upland and Rancho Cucamonga California, and our ability to bind most policies over the phone with email, we are never more than a phone call away. And YES we still answer our phone with a live person to direct your call. We hope to hear from you soon.
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