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Avoid getting taken by the pitchman

Jaclyn Brandt

Avoid getting taken by the pitchman

CREATED Jul. 10, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Do you find yourself drawn in by pitch men and salespeople at festivals and fairs? Well, you are not alone. But before you fill out a form or agree to a purchase, you may want to take a few moments to think things through.

It can happen to any of us. You attend a festival or fair and find yourself taken in by a salesperson who convinces you to sign up for a drawing, product, or service. It may seem like a good idea at the time, especially if the pitchman offers something for free or at a price that seems too good to be true. But, if you are not careful, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of headaches later.

Before you sign up for a drawing, hand over personal information, or agree to buy something, step back, think about what you are getting hooked into, and check things out. Think about what could happen with the personal information that you are listing on a form. Could it be used to steal your identity, increase the number of telemarketers calls, or be committing you to a contract that is almost impossible to cancel?

What happens if the product or service you bought does not live up to your expectations? Can it be returned or cancelled? Will you get a money back guarantee?

What are consumers and consumer agencies saying about the product or service? If you plan to make a purchase, it may be a good idea to do so with a credit card so that you can dispute the purchase with your card issuer later.

If you experience a problem as a result of filling out a form or buying a product or service, file a complaint with consumer agencies in your state and the state where the business is located. Your information could prevent another consumer from getting taken.