City of Chicago Provides Consumer Protection Guide for Holiday Shoppers

The City’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) provides holiday season consumers great tips about gift spending. These tips were developed by David Staudacher.

“During the next few weeks, people will be buying gifts for family and friends,” Commissioner Rosemary Krimbel, of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection said. “But before making any purchases, consumers should check store polices to make sure that returning or exchanging a gift doesn’t cost money.”

If individuals have legitimate concerns about possible store misconduct, dial 311 and report it to Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Here’s a summarized list of BACP’s advice for holiday shoppers:

1) Check store policies before purchasing
2) Keep your receipts
3) Check gift card policies
4) Be diligent when shopping online
5) Be careful of overcharges
6) Read the fine print of sales ads
7) Keep the packaging
8) Don’t open unwanted gifts
9) Check on restocking fees
10) Don’t delay returns

For those considering charitable donations, BACP also provides advice:

1) Donate to recognized charities
2) Be cautious of Internet solicitors
3) Ask for written information
4) Call the charity
5) Be skeptical if someone thanks you for a pledge you don’t remember making
6) Refuse high-pressure appeals
7) Be cautious of charities that offer to send a courier for your donation, and never pay
8) cash.

Additional information about BACP and detailed holiday shopping advice can be found at

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