Check to see if the business has the required business licenses.
Ask the business for references of previous customers.
Contact the Better Business Bureau or local regulatory agencies to ascertain the number and nature of the complaints filed against the business.
Make sure warranties, guarantees, contracts and alterations to contracts are in writing and read them carefully.
Know the refund policy.
Do not be pressured into buying.
If you purchase a product and are making payments over time, be aware of and understand all finance and interest charges, monthly payments, applicable fees and the total cost.
Make sure the purchased price matches the advertised price.
Keep all receipts and documents of the transaction.
Keep an eye on all credit card transactions and retrieve the card promptly.
If a problem arises, try to resolve the dispute with the business. Utilize the chain of authority to bring about resolution.
In order to help preserve your rights, and to help avoid the “he said, she said” cycle, telephonic communications should be summarized and written in a letter to the business. Certifying the letter is a good idea.
If you cannot resolve the dispute, file a small claims action, retain a private attorney, contact a mediation organization, or file a complaint with the local consumer protection agency or the applicable regulatory agency.
Do not be afraid to hang up on any unsolicited telephone call.