Be free from misleading deals this Independence Day

BBB
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 10:46am

- As the July 4 holiday approaches, you tend to see more special discounts, coupons and promotions. Better Business Bureau advises consumers to carefully research those deals first before making a purchase.

Coupon deals are gaining more popularity, since many of them are easily retrieved from a website or smartphone. Coupon service sites are a way for businesses to offer their daily deals and special promotions. Consumers who purchase the special offer are then given a voucher to take to the business to claim their discount, provided it is in the time frame set by the business.

Consumers can find deals and special offers for hotel stays, decorations, candy, party supplies, and even a Fourth of July fireworks cruise.

Last year, BBB received over 900 complaints nationwide against coupon services. Most complaints alleged misprinted vouchers that went un-honored when arriving at the business. Others alleged inflexible scheduling.

When considering a deal through a coupon service site, BBB recommends consumers:
• Check out the business. Thoroughly research the business offering the special. Utilize BBB Business Reviews to see the company's BBB rating and any history of complaints
• Read the fine print. Make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions that come with the offer. Not every business has the same policy. Their policy may be reflected in the offer details.
• Verify the refund policy. Before making a purchase, consumers should know the stipulations for receiving a refund. Make sure to understand both the business refund policy as well as the refund policy of the coupon service site.
• Pay with a credit card. Credit cards offer additional protection in the case you do not receive your voucher or the business refuses to honor it.

For consumer tips, visit our BBB Quick-Tips video page.
To check out a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.

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