Attorney General offers shoppers 'Black Friday' tips

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PROVIDENCE — Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, is quickly approaching and shoppers everywhere will be looking for the perfect holiday gift at a great price. And, retailers will try to out-do each other with deals to lure cost-conscious shoppers who are still watching their wallets.

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin is reminding holiday shoppers to do research and ask questions before making a purchase to ensure they get the best value.

“The holidays are a time of giving, but dealing with hidden fees or unauthorized charges can really put a damper on the holiday spirit,” said Mr. Kilmartin. “By being proactive and alert, consumers can get a head start on one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions: to save money.”

To help keep consumers merry – and their finances bright –  Mr. Kilmartin offers the following tips:

  •  Bring ads with you while shopping to be sure prices charged match advertised prices.
  •  Before making a purchase, ask if the store charges a restocking fee, and if so, how much.  Some stores will charge a restocking fee for “restocking” an item that you return for a refund or credit.
  •  Businesses that charge a restocking fee are supposed to disclose the fee.  The notice should be clearly visible to consumers before purchases are made.
  •  Before making a purchase, ask what the return policy is.  Return policies vary.
  •  Refund policies must be posted at the point of display, at the cash register or at the store entrance.
  • When checking out, watch the cash register display to be sure the scanned price matches the posted price.
  •  Check your receipt for accuracy before leaving the store.
  •  Ask for a refund if you have been overcharged.
  • Check your credit card and bank statements often.  By the time you receive your credit card bill or bank statement in January, a thief may have already made unauthorized charges.

If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Department of Rhode Island Attorney General at (401) 274-4400. You can download a consumer complaint by visiting our website at www.riag.ri.gov. You can also email us at contactus@riag.ri.gov.

Black Friday

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