Sponsored Content: You know that feeling? The one where you walk away from an interaction and your gut starts churning. Part of you just knows that something isn't right. When you get that feeling after buying something or signing a contract, it can feel even worse because it also impacts your financial situation. So what do you do?
According to Consumer Protection BC, an organization that oversees some consumer protection laws in the province, if you get that "something's not right" feeling, don't ignore it.
"Let's be honest, most of us tend to buy a lot of stuff and pay service providers to help us get things done. Most of our consumer transactions go smoothly but think about the last time you experienced one that went sideways," says Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, from Consumer Protection BC. "Did you ignore a sinking feeling or did you sign a contract without first reading the fine print?"
While every sector has its own particular list of things to watch for, here are Consumer Protection BC's top five consumer tips of all time to help you protect yourself - and your wallet:
1. Trust your gut. Remember if an offer seems too good to be true, it often is.
2. Don't give into pressure. If you ever feel really pressured into buying, don't ever feel badly about just walking away. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself time to think about it.
3. Do your homework. Before making a purchase, shop around to compare the product, the cost, warranties and more. If you're hiring a service provider, ask for references and do a little research of your own--search for online reviews and check in with friends and family members to see if they have experiences to share.
4. Read the fine print. Although many of us are tempted to sign a contract without pouring over all the details, it's important for consumers to read - and understand - all the terms and conditions before signing off.
5. Know where to get help. For more information about consumers' rights and responsibilities in British Columbia, or if you aren't sure who to contact for help, contact Consumer Protection BC.
Following these simple tips can greatly reduce the likelihood that you'll end up with a problem transaction on your hands. However, if you have recently walked away from a consumer transaction and something just doesn't feel right, contact Consumer Protection BC. They have the authority to deal with some laws in British Columbia and they also know if another organization or option is better suited to help you (such as court or legal assistance). Either way, they will do their best to help you figure out the best avenue to take. Consumer Protection BC is a step on your path to a solution. Connect with them at NotRight.ca