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Consumer Updates

Don’t let a ‘good deal’ spark frustration this Fourth of July

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Better Business Bureau
July 3, 2012 | 2,123 views | Post a comment

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- As the July 4 holiday approaches, more discounts, coupons and promotions may pop up. Better Business Bureau warns consumers to carefully research those deals first before making a purchase. The reason: Each year Better Business Bureau receives hundreds of complaints from consumers whose “deal” only led to frustration.

Group-buying sites have become a popular way for businesses to offer their daily deals and special promotions. These collective buying sites offer products or services at a reduced price on the condition that a minimum number of consumers buy the deal. Consumers who purchase the special offer are then given a voucher to take to the business to claim their discount. But, that’s sometimes when the deal can fizzle out.

Most complaints allege consumers had difficulty getting businesses to honor the deal they purchased, or felt misled about what was included as part of the special offer. Some were unable to use their discount because of strict stipulations.

If looking to purchase a deal through a collective buying site, BBB recommends consumers:

- Check out the business. Thoroughly research the business offering the special. Utilize BBB Business Reviews to see the company’s BBB rating and any history of complaints.

- Read the fine print. Make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions that come with the offer. Not every business has the same policy and those changes may be reflected in the offer details.

- Verify the refund policy. Before making a purchase, consumers should know the stipulations for receiving a refund. Make sure to understand both the business refund policy as well as the refund policy of the collective buying site.

- Pay with a credit card. Credit cards offer additional protection in the case that you do not receive your voucher or the business refuses to honor it.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit BBB.
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