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Consumer Advisory: Tips on Holiday Purchases

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Dec. 1, 2006) As the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, Attorney General Terry Goddard encourages consumers to be aware of their rights regarding accurate pricing and restocking fees:

Accurate Pricing

Watch carefully when you are checking out at the register. Studies have shown that scanners sometimes ring up the wrong prices. Consumers should:

  • Watch the cash register display to be sure the scanned price matches the posted price.
  • Check your receipt before leaving the store.
  • Bring ads with you to the stores to be sure prices charged match advertised prices.
  • Ask for a refund if you have been overcharged.
  • If you have pricing questions, ask to see the store’s pricing error policy. Retailers are required to have it in writing.

Restocking Fees

Some stores will charge you a percentage of the price for “restocking” an item that you return for refund or credit. These fees most often apply to larger purchases such as furniture, electronic equipment or appliances. Consumers should:

  • Before making a purchase, ask if the store charges a restocking fee (and if so, how much).
  • If a business charges a restocking fee, it is supposed to disclose the fee in print advertising and promotional material. Businesses also have to post a notice disclosing the fee and where consumers may obtain the full restocking fee policy. The notice should be clearly visible to consumers before purchases are made.
  • Shop around. Some stores don’t charge a restocking fee.
  • If a restocking fee is charged when you return an item, ask to see the restocking policy in writing.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763; in Tucson at 520.628.6504; or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1.800.352.8431. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General’s Office has 25 satellite offices throughout the state with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours of operation are posted on the Attorney General’s Web site. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Web site at www.azag.gov.