Purchasing Consumer Products & Services

When purchasing consumer goods and services, you enter into a contract with the seller. In many consumer transactions, you have certain rights to help protect you. You may have a right to cancel the contract or receiving a refund or exchange. 

Many consumer products come with warranties that guarantee the product will work properly. If it does not, you may have the right to free repair or replacement. Sellers often limit the warranty, so you should read it carefully to make sure you understand it. You may want to buy an extended warranty or service contract for certain products. Extended warranties and service contracts usually have limitations. Do not pay extra for a service contract or extended warranty unless you understand all the terms and conditions. If you buy a product with a recall, you have certain rights under federal and state law. Sellers must notify you of the recall and offer a refund, repair or replacement.  

You also have rights related to the advertising of the products or services. Sellers are not allowed to deceive you with false advertising. False advertising can involve the price, quality or purpose of the product or service. You may be able to recover damages from sellers who falsely advertise. The damages could include penalties and attorney’s fees.

Even worse than false advertising is consumer fraud or scams. These are situations where a seller scams you into buying a product or service that does not exist. Sometimes scams involve sending money to someone to solve a problem that does not exist. Some consumer scammers also want to steal your private financial information.  You should be very careful giving out personal information to people you do not know. Try not to give out personal information over the phone, text or internet.   

Legal Editors: Mark Grossman, Esq. and C. Jaye Berger, Esq., May 2018 

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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