Answers to Your Questions About Used Car Dealers, Property Taxes, Robocalls and Other Annoyances

The Watchdog's mailbag. Real letters from real people. These are worthy questions, and my answers are the best I can do. (Letters are edited for brevity.)Dear Watchdog:A family member bought a used car. The car was not drivable after only 37 days as it needed a new motor. She is presently getting rides to work as best she can, while saving for another down payment. - Brenda D.Dear Brenda:This is an incredibly expensive lesson for your family member, but that's how we all learn. Rule #1 of my Watchdog Nation, a citizens' consumer movement showing you how to protect yourself, is to research before signing any contract.In this case, I went to an Internet search engine and wrote the full name of the dealership in question in between quote marks and added the word "complaints."That took me to the Better Business Bureau's site where I found two active complaints from last month covered in detail. What do people say about the company? How does a company respond?If you read those real-time complaints on consumer websites, you get a sense of the culture before you sign and buy. You can go elsewhere.As for this, small claims court is available to challenge businesses that treat you unfairly.  Continue reading...

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