Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware

June 11, 2010

This old warning seems to be especially apt these days when money is tight and time is a luxury. 


When was the last time you actually took the time to read a contract all the way through?  How about those pesky “terms and conditions” when you were on a website about to purchase something that sounded too good to be true? 


Did you get taken?  Get charged for something you weren’t expecting? 


Each day the BBB receives complaints from consumers who didn’t read the contract or terms and conditions all the way through.  They just decided that they could “trust” the company. 


In the BBB we have a saying – “Trust, but verify.”  Meaning, if the company says we’re licensed – trust that they are – but contact the licensing agency to make sure.  Or, trust that the business is a good company, but look them up through the BBB (, so you can feel confident in the company. 


Don’t be taken – trust that the company will do what they say – but if the contract or terms make you feel uncomfortable or seem a little too unwieldy, back away and go back to searching for a company you feel is trustworthy.


People ask me all the time how companies that continually have complaints can stay in business.  The simple answer is that consumers keep giving them money.


So, Trust – but verify!