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Consumer, legal tips help save time, stress and $$$

Consumer, legal tips help save time, stress and $$$

Source: Army Family Publication

It can happen to anyone. The "great deal" the salesperson promised you isn't so great. The job the contractor guaranteed took twice as long and is costing twice as much. The new and improved product you just bought breaks the second time you use it. Where can you turn for help?

Three free publications can help you get the best deals, avoid problems and resolve hassles. The 1998-1999 Consumer's Resource Handbook (CRH), from the Consumer Information Center, is a comprehensive guide that offers consumer tips, sources of assistance and an extensive directory of federal, state and local consumer protection agencies, corporations and national organizations. When buying financial products check out the Investor's Bill of Rights. And consult Taking Legal Action for the steps to take if you want to bring a complaint to court.

To order your free set, call toll-free 1-888-8-PUEBLO, that's 1-888-878-3256, and ask for Consumer Help. Or, send your name and address to: Consumer Help, Pueblo, CO 81009.

While you are waiting for your copy of the CRH, here are some quick tips to help you be a better consumer. Before you agree to buy anything, be careful with personal information. Don't give your checking or savings account numbers or social security number to any business that you don't know.

When you do decide to buy a product, be sure to follow the product instructions. Save all contracts, sales receipts, owner's manuals and warranty documents in case you run into trouble later.

What if something does go wrong? Don't procrastinate-notify the company as soon as possible. The CRH can help you figure out whom to contact and includes a sample complaint letter. Learn more about being an informed consumer with these and the many other useful tips featured in the CRH.

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