It is a reality that many businesses are facing tough economic times and as a result some business are going out of business and/or filing for bankruptcy. We’ve been receiving an influx of calls again recently from consumers who are concerned about companies that appear to have gone out of business and they:
a) have not delivered merchandise that has already been ordered and paid for;
b) have been given a product to repair or consign and have not returned it; and/or
c) can no longer honour a warranty from a recently purchased product.
The reality is that in all of these situations there really is very little customers can do to protect themselves.
How to protect yourself:
Know the company. First and foremost you really need to know and trust the people and companies with whom you are doing business. Businesses with long track records and good reputations in the community often tend to have the business strategies required to weather tough economic storms.
Consider credit. If you made a payment by credit card and a product has not been delivered you may have some recourse through your credit card company.
Check their status. If a business went bankrupt they may file for bankruptcy. You can contact the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to check the bankruptcy status of an individual or business. If the company went bankrupt you may be able to file a claim with the trustee responsible for the account.
Review the warranty. In some cases depending on the retail outlet and what the product was, the manufacturers warranty may apply. Vice versa, if the manufacturer goes out of business the retailer may honor the warranty. Many extended warranties and service plans may be administered by 3rd parties and may not be affected by whether or not the retailer or manufacturer are in business.
For more information and live weekly updates on frauds affecting Vancouver Island visit the News Centre at vi.bbb.org; fraudcast.ca; twitter.com/VIBBB; facebook.com; linkedin.com