Special to the Laredo Sun
LAREDO, TEXAS- This Sunday is Father’s Day, and although there is nothing quite like the gift of fatherhood, many consumers will be trying to brainstorm the perfect gift to honor dad. Spending on Father’s in the U.S. is predicted to reach almost $13.3 billion this year, based on a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF). That is a 4.5 percent rise from last year’s projection. Consumers will be looking to buy tools or appliances, sporting goods or leisure items, home improvement items, personal care items, books and automotive accessories—with 28 percent of Americans making these purchases from online retailers.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin wants to remind you that what you see may not always be what you get when purchasing gifts online for dad. In fact, nationally BBB received over 3,400 complaints against deceptive online retailers. Reasons for these complaints included online retailers failing to ship the purchased item, billing issues and false advertising.
To avoid these online retail issues this Father’s Day, BBB advises you to:
- Research the business. Look for the BBB Accredited Business seal when browsing online retailers. These seals ensure that the business maintains BBB’s Standards for Trust. You can also find a list of Accredited Businesses at checkbbb.org with direct links to the retailer’s website.
- Know the return policy. Understanding the refund policy allows you to resolve issues easily if you need to make an exchange or get a refund. Be sure that the policy is available in writing and you have read all the fine print before paying for anything.
- Check for hidden charges. Some online retailers may try to tack on additional charges or fees when checking out. All fees should be disclosed before your purchase is made.
- Pay with a credit card. Paying with a credit card offers you more protection. Credit card companies will often offer protection for online purchases. You should print and retain any and all information for your records.
- Protect your personal information. Some fraudulent online retailers may attempt to steal your identity by offering fake products or services. Be sure to look for the “s” in the http address when filling out any personal information. Websites that ask for excessive personal information like your social security or driver’s license number are red flags.
Report unethical business practices to BBB. Anyone can file a complaint against a business that may be engaging in unfair practices.
For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org. For the latest news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.