With B.C.'s first Consumer Awareness Week now in full swing, the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection BC are sharing their top five consumer tips of all-time under the theme of "Take Five" - representing not only the number of tips released per day during Consumer Awareness Week, but also the need for consumers to pause before making any purchasing decision.
Take Five: Top five all-time consumer tips:
1. Trust your gut. Remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it often is.
2. 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.
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. Stick to a budget. Debt can creep up on all of us - especially when we overextend our credit. Be realistic about what you can afford and determine if the purchase is really a "need" or a "want."
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 by visiting - www.consumerprotectionbc.ca - or calling toll-free 1 888 564-9963.
Consumer Awareness Week (March 15 - 22) was proclaimed with the goal of helping B.C. consumers know and understand their rights. During the week, the Ministry of Justice, Consumer Protection BC and key partner organizations will share important tips on a number of current marketplace issues.
To access the daily Consumer Awareness Week Take Five tips, go to: www.consumerprotectionbc.ca
Twitter @ConsumerProBC using the hashtag #TakeFive2013.
If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer in British Columbia, please contact Consumer Protection BC toll-free at 1 888 564-9963 or visit: www.consumerprotectionbc.ca
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice
Consumer Protection BC
1 888 564-9963 ext. 2824