How to Avoid the Biggest Web Shopping Annoyances

Cures for Shopping Annoyances

You can avoid or cure many online shopping headaches by being a careful consumer. Here are some general procedures for avoiding the sting of a good deal gone bad:

Review your credit card statement as soon as possible after your purchase--ideally, you should have online access to your statements, so that you can see new charges earlier. If you see anything that doesn't look right, address the problem immediately.

If things get nasty, the BBB has a free service that will attempt to mediate a dispute between you and a merchant.

Learn to complain effectively. If you have a gripe with a cell phone company, for example, file with the Federal Communications Commission and state authorities that regulate cellular providers. If it's a truth-in-advertising issue, write to the Federal Trade Commission.

Remember that often the most effective way to solve a post-shopping annoyance is to work with the company directly. When contacting the company, make sure you talk to someone who can actually issue a refund or correct the problem. Be as informed and as specific as you can, and don't lose your cool.

Shopping glitches--or worse--may not be entirely avoidable, but how you deal with one could mean the difference between A bad migraine and a nice refund check. Good luck.

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