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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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. My daughter is graduating from high school. We are in the process of looking over her finances in order for her to decide which direction she should take as far as colleges go. I am a single parent of three children and do not have the financial means to give her much support. I was discussing my concerns about this with my friend and she remembered that your office had information in your Troubleshooter article last year. She also said that you had offered consumers a helpful brochure for college bound kids. Is that brochure still available through your office? B.R., Morrisville.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. I recently became married and had a wonderful celebration reception that included an hour of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for our guests. During that hour, the wedding party, including myself and the groom, were at another location with the photographer.

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Choosing a home improvement contractor

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

When faced with the decision of which business to hire when you are in need of a home improvement contractor there are some very important things to consider. Do not be taken in by promises of guaranteed performances, quick jobs, and bargain prices. Don’t allow a salesperson to talk you into repairs and improvements you do not actually need or want.

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