How to get more of your money back
The Supreme Court is set to decide whether to strike down a rule that requires automakers to offer consumers a refund if they purchase their cars through third-party sites such as Craigslist or Ebay.
The ruling could have major implications for the future of online commerce, and for auto companies.
Automakers have argued that it is the responsibility of the consumer to make sure their purchases are genuine and that the websites offer the best service.
While it’s a win for consumers, it also could be bad news for companies such as Ford Motor Co., which has argued that third-parties are not legally obligated to offer a refund.
Here’s what you need to know about the court’s decision.
What is the rule?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Fair Credit Reporting Act, which went into effect in 2014, requires auto dealers to notify consumers of any fraudulent activity and give them a way to request a refund when the goods or services they purchased are no longer being sold.
The law is a way for consumers to complain to dealers about any discrepancies between the advertised and actual prices.
If the consumer doesn’t receive a response, the consumer can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Bureau.
The bureau then investigates the complaint and makes a determination about whether the dealership is in violation of the law.
The agency can also take enforcement action against dealers who violate the law or make deceptive advertising.
Consumers can also file a lawsuit to collect on a fraudulent or deceptive purchase if the transaction occurred while they were still eligible for a loan.
How does the rule apply to consumers?
Consumers must still file a request for a refund with the agency.
But if the dealer fails to do so, the bureau can take enforcement actions against the dealership.
Under the law, the dealer is not required to refund a consumer who files a claim with the bureau.
The consumer can ask for a full refund and seek a refund from the dealer.
The dealer can either refund the consumer money or provide a written explanation of its actions.
The buyer has a right to appeal the agency’s decision to the Supreme Court, which can decide whether the rule should be struck down.
How do you know if you’ve been harmed by third-Party sellers?
If a consumer has been harmed because of third-Parties such as Ebay or Craigslist, the agency can issue a notice to the consumer informing them that the consumer is entitled to a refund, or a notice that the dealer’s failure to refund is in direct violation of section 15 of the act.
The notice must include the consumer’s name, address, and telephone number.
The FTC can also send a copy of the notice to third parties that advertise for vehicles or other goods.
If you purchased goods or vehicles from a dealer that has not complied with the law in the past, you have a legal right to receive a refund or a letter stating the dealer has complied with this provision.
How long will it take for the FTC to act?
Under the law that was enacted, the FTC must act within two business days after receiving a complaint.
If you believe that the dealership violated the law by failing to refund your money, you can file an independent complaint with your state attorney general.
If no state attorney generals office or state agency takes action on your complaint within the allotted time, you may have the case heard in the Supreme Supreme Court.
How can I learn more about the Consumer Credit Reporting Rule?
Read the full FTC report on how to file a consumer complaint.
You can also contact the agency by email, phone, or fax at 1-800-FCC-HELP (1-800.382.3321).
The agency has a page on its website with links to more information on consumer complaints.
The Federal Trade Commission has also produced an informational brochure, Consumer Guide to the Fair Credit Report Act, and Consumer Guide on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.