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Top Consumer Myths [Infographic]

November 17, 2015

The best deals of the year are about to start, meaning it's time to shop! With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be easy to make assumptions based on what we've heard. As it turns out, things aren't always as they appear, especially when it comes to making purchases.

Every year, consumers lose thousands of dollars because they don't understand their rights. Thankfully, the Department of Law, Consumer Protection Unit compiled a list of consumer myths to dispel some of the most common misunderstandings.

Feel free to use this infographic to help remember the top 5 myths and maybe save some money for years to come!

Jump to the text alternative of this infographic.

Graphical representation of the text provided in this blog

1. Cancellations

Myth: I have a 3-day right to cancel any purchase, including car purchases.

Fact: There is no universal right to cancel purchases. A 3-day right to cancel is usually for transactions of $25 or more, initiated in person, away from the place of business and with a written agreement. It does not apply to real estate, insurance, or securities.

2. Refunds

Myth: A store has to give me a refund if I request one.

Fact: Georgia has no law requiring businesses to provide a refund or accept returns. Businesses set their own return policies and may offer consumers cash, in-store credit, exchanges, or no adjustment at all. Many stores also set time limits on returns. Businesses must honor any posted refund or return policy, though posting is not required.

3. Awards

Myth: When I receive an “award notification,” I am a guaranteed winner!

Fact: A common type of fraud involves phony prize offers. These types of offers usually cost you money, and Georgia law prohibits charging for a prize. Real prizes must disclose information such as the retail value of each prize, eligibility rules, and names of winners.

4. Sweepstakes

Myth: If I buy magazines, I will have better chances in the sweepstakes.

Fact: It is illegal for sweepstakes promotions to require a purchase or payment. Entrants who do not purchase magazines must be given the same chance of winning publishers’ sweepstakes as those who do make purchases.

5. Lemon Law

Myth: A lemon law protects me for all big-ticket items, including used cars.

Fact: There’s no “lemon law” that applies to all big-ticket items. Georgia’s Lemon Law only covers new vehicles. Before buying a used item, investigate its history and have it checked by someone who knows the product

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About the Author

Rachel Hart is the User Interface designer for GeorgiaGov. She visually organizes information, and writes blogs on a variety of government-related topics.

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