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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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. My sister is having our entire family over for a Holiday meal this year. She is a very organized person and has assigned each of us something to bring to contribute to the food table. She always seems to know exactly how much of each food item is needed according to the amount of people attending. I have been assigned a tray that would include fresh fruits and vegetables as well as items from the bakery. I want to be certain that I am getting the correct amount of food requested; not only because my sister expects it but also because I have a small budget to work with. How can I be sure that I get the correct amount/weight of the items and that they are accurately priced? D.O., Bristol.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. I was selling some of my personal effects on Craig’s List. A man contacted me and we decided on a price. The amount totaled $600. He sent me a certified bank check for $2,000. He said that he made a mistake on the amount and asked me to send him the difference. Red flag, I know it’s a scam, but the check looks real. I assume it’s a scam and actually would like to know what to do with the check and who to report the incident to? S.P., Morrisville.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. This winter I plan on using my fireplace more to try to heat my home. What do I need to know about purchasing firewood? S.M., Levittown.

A. This is the time of year when lots of folks call The Bucks County Weights and Measures Office about firewood. If consumers intend to use the wood to burn this season, make sure the purchase is seasoned firewood. If you plan on using the wood for the following winter you can buy green wood and cut and split it and allow it dry out.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. The other day I was talking to a friend about your agency. She was telling me that she attended this activity group that had the director of the office do a presentation and that he talked about everything from scams, to buying a car to buying gas at the pump. I have also notice this department mentioned in news reports as well as in the newspaper. I am curious to learn about the other ways in which the Bucks County Consumer Protection Department assists the residents of Bucks County. How would I get this information? L.T.

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