Consumer Protection Archives

Signs to look for when buying a used car

For many citizens of Pennsylvania, buying a used car might be an ideal situation. For one thing, people shopping for a specific make will be able to find it at a lower price than if it were brand new. Opting for a used car often means that car buyers can go for a better model than they had originally had in mind. With a used car, car owners don't have to worry about depreciation as much as someone who just bought a brand-new car off the lot.

Lemon laws are designed to protect consumers

It can be disheartening for a Pennsylvania resident to spend their hard earned money on an automobile only to suffer through repeated vehicular malfunctions. Making things even more frustrating is when the dealership does nothing to fix the problem. The buyer may feel like they have to swallow the loss. However, this is where lemon laws come into effect.

Tips for inspecting a used vehicle

Those who want to buy used cars in Pennsylvania should have them inspected prior to signing any purchase paperwork. This is because a buyer agrees to take on any problems that the vehicle has after the transaction is final. It's important to note that some efforts to repair a car or truck can be found just by looking at the vehicle carefully.

Car warranty scams

Drivers in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation should be wary about phone calls or letters about their car's warranty. A company in Miami used robocalls to make victims believe that they were being contacted by a manufacturer or car dealer about extended warranty offers. The Federal Trade Commission says that it is refunding roughly $4 million to about 6,000 people who fell for the scam.

Staying protected from identity theft

Data security is a growing concern among corporations and private individuals in Pennsylvania. This is especially true of consumer credit information. The Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed to standardize the means through which everyday consumers' financial and credit history is stored, collected and distributed.

How the law protects consumers

There are a variety of laws on the books that aim to protect consumers in different ways. For instance, Pennsylvania consumers may be covered by a lemon law that allows them to return a defective vehicle. Other laws prevent businesses from using deceptive advertising to entice consumers to buy a product or service. Furthermore, bait-and-switch tactics are generally prohibited. This occurs when a company advertises a product only to not have it available to consumers. In its place, a company tries to sell another product that is more expensive.

Why dealers treat customers different after a sale

Car buyers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are generally treated well when they are visiting a dealer to buy a car. However, they tend to find that they aren't given the same treatment when bringing in the vehicle for service. Part of this is because the dealer isn't responsible for replacing a car if it is defective. Instead, it is up to the manufacturer to back them or replace them.

Reliability problems can plague new cars

When Philadelphia drivers head to the dealership to buy a new car, they often expect to receive the best reliability and quality available. In one Consumer Reports survey, car buyers emphasized that reliability was a primary driver of new car purchases. People often expect that when they buy a new car, they'll avoid problems associated with used cars, including maintenance costs and repair downtime. However, many new cars suffer from significant problems, especially newer models.

Avoid buying a hurricane-damaged car

Cars damaged by hurricanes are possibly being sold to car buyers in Pennsylvania. State lemon laws protect consumers from manufacturing defects by requiring manufacturers to buy back cars after a certain number of repairs have been attempted. Consumers should take steps to check for hurricane damage before they purchase a vehicle since lemon law requirements only apply to new vehicles.

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