John Matarese's common consumer myths

Reported by John Matarese

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

(WTOL) - Of the dozens of emails John Matarese receives every day, many of them touch on the same issues.

And many of them ask about some very common consumer misconceptions. For instance, did you buy a used car and then have problems with it? Or have an issue returning an item to a store?

The Mississippi Attorney General's office has made a list of the top consumer myths.

Popular myth #1: You have a 3 day right to return a car.

You don't. Once you drive it off the lot, it's yours, and neither a new or used car dealer is obligated to take it back.

Popular myth #2: There's a Lemon Law for used cars.

Sorry, it's for only new cars. If your used car blows up the day after you buy it, in most cases you are out of luck. Thats why you should try to get a short warranty with any used car purchase.

Popular myth #3: What about a 3 day right to cancel any purchase?

Nope: It's for only a few purchases made in your home, such as buying a vacuum cleaner or alarm system from a traveling salesman.

Popular myth #4: And isn't it true stores must offer a cash refund?

No its not. They can give you store credit, or even say no returns, if they have a sign. Before you make a purchase, ask what happens if it breaks, is defective, or you have "buyer's remorse"

Doesn't that Stink?

And from the doesn't that stink file, the common misconception that all free credit report websites are free.

Many ask for your credit card number, then start billing you monthly for protection services.

So the top consumer misconception actually concerns "free credit report" websites that are not free. The only truly free site is "Annual Credit Report.Com."

Your best bet: Always do some research before you give a credit report site your credit card number, because by then it's often too late.  And you have fallen victim to another consumer myth.