Ways to Resolve Your Complaint

Ways to Resolve Your Complaint
Ways to Resolve Your Complaint

Consumer Alert:
How Not to Get Hooked by a ‘Phishing’ Scam Check Overpayment Scams: Seller Beware Consumer Feature:
Going, Going, Gone When Online Auction Users Lose Out to Phony Payment and Escrow Services Cuando los Usuarios de Subastas en Internet Salen Perdiendo Con Servicios de Pago y Escrow Falsos Internet Auctions: A Guide for Buyers and SellersSubastas en Internet: Una Guía Para Compradores Y Vendedores

Consumer Alert: Online Auctions: Bidders Be Wary

The Internet is an exciting tool that not only puts vast information at your fingertips but expands your shopping options like never before. Now, with only a few clicks of a mouse, you can go online to buy just about anything you need or want – from airline tickets to rare antiques.
Whether you’re buying direct from a business or an individual, an online “retailer” or an Internet auction, shopping online can be fun, easy, practical, and economical. But, just as in the bricks and mortar world, the Internet shopping experience can be marred with unscrupulous dealers constantly devising new ways to deceive consumers out of their money.

This site offers information to help you shop safely and wisely online. You can learn, for example, how to use online payment services, participate in an Internet auction or resolve a complaint with an online dealer. If you’re a seller, you can learn about the FTC’s rules for online advertising, timely deliveries and other business-related matters.

So come on in. Take a good look around. You’re sure to find some important advice you can take with you on your next online shopping trip.
Shopping online opens up a world of opportunity, convenience, choice, competitive prices and information. But what should you do if something goes wrong with your purchase? What if you don’t get the products you ordered? What if they arrive damaged? What if you have been unable to resolve your problem by contacting the business directly? Although the legal remedies available to you may vary depending on your country, the following links may offer a quick and inexpensive way for you to resolve your complaint without having to initiate a formal legal action.

Trust Seals and Escrows
Learn about customer satisfaction and refund guarantees through trust seals, certified merchant programs, and escrow services
Payment Card Protections
If you paid with a payment card (such as a credit card, debit card, stored value card, etc.), in some cases there may be some protection or relief available to you through the payment card issuer.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
There are several alternative ways to resolve your complaint through an independent third party, without having to file a claim in court. These methods can be much quicker and less expensive.
Click here for an International Directory of
ADR Providers.

Information for Business
When you link to these topics, you will be visiting consumer agency websites Bullet Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce (OECD) [PDF]
Bullet Electronic Commerce: Selling Internationally: A Guide for Business (USA) Bullet The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen’s position paper to trading and marketing on the Internet and in similar communication systems. long version – short version
Bullet Selling Over the Internet – Information for Traders (New Zealand)

Reporting on “aid” and reconstruction in Haiti, from the grassroots

Reporting on “aid” and reconstruction in Haiti
Reporting on “aid” and reconstruction in Haiti

Haiti Grassroots Watch/Ayiti Kale Je:
Reporting on “aid” and reconstruction in Haiti, from the grassroots

On January 12, 2010, an earthquake devastated much of Haiti’s capital and other regions, leaving some 200,000 dead and over a million homeless. Foreign governments, agencies and citizens from around the world showed their solidarity by pledging billions of dollars. Contractors, “non-profits,” “NGOs” and church groups rushed in and got to work – sometimes on projects called for my local citizens and government authorities, but sometimes not.

The foreign media also rushed in… and then rushed out. Nobody stayed behind to watchdog the cash being spent in the name of “reconstruction” and “development.” Haiti’s press has little tradition of investigative journalism. Also, the powerful local outlets – run by the government and by wealthy businesspeople – have little interest in digging too deep, since they often profit, even as hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims are left out in the cold and rain. Literally. As of January 12, 2013, the third anniversary of the tragedy, some 400,000 people were still living in squalid tent camps.

Ayiti Kale Je, meaning “Haiti Eyes Peeled” or “Haiti Grassroots Watch” in English, came together to address need for accountability. Over the past 28 months, this partnership of community radio station members, journalists and university journalism students have exposed corruption and waste as well as the cynical way in which at least some “aid” is carried out – with no input from Haiti’s poorest, the supposed beneficiaries.

Among other discoveries, Ayiti Kale Je has also: • Uncovered the fact that Canadian and US companies control a massive part of Haiti’s mineral rights, • Exposed the ugly underbelly of “cash for work” programs, • And laid bare a cynical housing “exposition” sponsored in part by Bill Clinton.

By combining the best of grassroots reporting from farmers and coffee growers, careful research from students, and hard-hitting analysis from the Haitian journalists overseeing the work, Ayiti Kale Je has risen to become Haiti’s principal watchdog effort, putting out 24 reports since it launched. All of the investigations are published as text in English as well as French, and almost are all accompanied by a Haitian Creole audio version that goes to over three dozen radio stations across the country. The consortium has also produced ten video documentaries which have been seen by tens of thousands on line and at screenings or on local television stations throughout Haiti. Staff and volunteers give journalism and “humanitarian industry” workshops throughout the country as well as at Haiti’s State University.

Ayiti Kale Je work has been carried by newspapers, radio stations and websites across Haiti and across the world, including Haïti Liberté, Le Nouvelliste, Truth Out, The Guardian and Inter Press Service, and on Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now! and Al Jazeera English. The partnership has also attracted the attention of Reuters, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and numerous other media organizations.

Ayiti Kale Je needs your support! The effort is supported by foundation grants but these have almost given out. No gift is too small. US$30 will cover telephone costs for a reporter for one month. US$100 will pay the office Internet for a month. US $1,000 will pay a student intern’s stipend for five months. Budget and list of funders available on request.

Shopping Assistant

Welcome to the econsumer.gov Shopping Assistant. Click “Yes” or “No” in response to the questions in the Shopping Assistant against information you find on the business’s website. When you have answered all seven questions, click “Submit”. The Shopping Assistant will respond with information to help you in making a decision whether to proceed with ordering from this business.
The assistant is designed to remain on your screen while you review a merchant’s web site. To use the assistant:

Click on the On-line Shopping Assistant link below to use the tool;
Bookmark it by pressing Ctrl-D;
Call it up once you are on a merchant’s website. On Internet Explorer click on “Favorites” and on Netscape click on “Bookmarks” to access your list of bookmarks.
If required, a text version of the On-line Shopping Assistant is available.
On April 24, 2001, responding to the challenges of multinational Internet fraud, and working to enhance consumer protection and consumer confidence in e-commerce, thirteen countries unveiled econsumer.gov, a joint effort to gather and share cross-border e-commerce complaints.

The project has two components: a multilingual public Web site, and a government, password-protected Web site. The public site provides general information about consumer protection in all countries that belong to the ICPEN (International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network), contact information for consumer protection authorities in those countries, and an online complaint form. All information is available in English, French, German, and Spanish. Using the existing Consumer Sentinel network (a database of consumer complaint data and other investigative information operated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission), the incoming complaints will be shared through the government Web site with participating consumer protection law enforcers.