Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q: I received a call earlier this week from a man with a heavy accent claiming to be from one of the large computer companies. He told me that my computer was at risk for intrusions from viruses and spyware. Then he offered to remotely access my computer and install a new antivirus program to protect my computer.

He asked me for my credit card information so the company could charge my card for the software. Unfortunately I gave it to them because everything seemed legitimate while I was on the phone with them. I let them access my computer and install the new program but now my computer doesn’t work at all.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q: I recently purchased a used car from a local dealership. It appeared to be in good condition and to run well. Imagine my disappointment when, after driving the car for no more than two hours, the car broke down.

I took it to an auto repair shop and was told that the car needed a new transmission. I contacted the dealership to let them know about the break down and was told that, since I bought the car “as is”, they are under no obligation to make repairs. Isn’t there a used car Lemon Law in the state of Pennsylvania?  B.T.  Bensalem.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q: I received a telephone call from a man, whose accent made it hard to understand him, claiming to be from the United States Treasury Office. He began the conversation by informing me that there was a “deficiency” where my taxes are concerned.

I told him that there must be a mistake, at which point he became belligerent. He threatened me with arrest and other dire consequences unless I make immediate payment. I was quite shaken by the way he talked to me so I hung up on him.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. I recently read an article stating that Pennsylvania utility companies are considering charging an additional fee to customers who prefer their bills in paper form as opposed to receiving their bill online. I understand that the trend may be moving away from traditional billing, however, I am sure there are a large amount of people, like myself, that prefer paper billing.

I prefer paper billing because I do not own a computer. It sounds to me like those that do prefer paper billing are being penalized for preferring this traditional method of billing. Can they get away with this? T.H., Point Pleasant.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q.  I recently applied for a small loan through my bank in order to pay off some credit card debt. As is their usual practice, the bank pulled my credit report and, according to them, my score was 500. However, when I pulled my credit report via TransUnion, it showed my score to be over 200 points higher. Why would there be such a difference? How do I know which report is most accurate? C.C. Langhorne.

A.  As you may be aware, there are three national credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Through any one of these bureaus you can find your credit score. The scores from each of these credit reporting organizations is solely based on the data that they have on file for you at their agency. That is the reason that your credit score may be different at each one of the main credit reporting agencies.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. I came home from work yesterday and checked the messages on my phone. One of the calls was from the IRS informing me that I owe money. They went on to imply that if I did not pay immediately, that they would be sending the police to arrest me. I know I do not owe the IRS any money but this phone call frightened me. What should I do? S.A. Doylestown.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. I have been receiving nasty telephone calls from a collection agency. They are looking for my adult daughter who no longer lives with my husband and me. I have spoken several times to them explaining that she doesn’t live here but they refuse listen. I have told them repeatedly to stop calling us but, not only do they still call but then they go on to tell me that my daughter is a “deadbeat” and that I should pay her debt for her. Am I responsible for her debt?  K.H., Langhorne.

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