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BBB advice on what to do if a company goes out of Business unexpectedly
Released: Wednesday June 20, 2012 (Calgary, AB) - BBB
As a result of difficult economic conditions over the last few years, the number of retailers closing their doors has increased, often leaving shoppers confused and wondering what will happen to purchases they've paid for but haven't received. The same applies
in situations where warranties or unused gift cards are involved.
"A lot of Canadians buy online from stores in the U.S, but because of difficult economic times, some consumers don't always end up receiving their merchandise if the business closes," said Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenays. "This has impacted Canadian businesses as well."
Your BBB provides advice for consumers regarding steps they can take if a retailer goes out of business.
If a Company Closes, But Hasn't
Officially Filed Bankruptcy
First, send the company a
letter because their mail may still be forwarded. If possible physically go to
their location to see if they left a message on the door for customers. Ask
neighboring businesses if they have any information. Try to reach the owner. If
you have merchandise in the store, contact the landlord to see if you can be
given access to the company's facility. As a last resort, contact your local
The validity of any outstanding
warranties varies depending on the facts. If a retailer goes out of business,
the consumer may be able to rely on the manufacturer's warranty. If a
manufacturer goes out of business, the consumer may be able to rely on a
retailer warranty. Many extended warranties and service plans are provided and
administered by third parties and are typically not affected by a retailer or
manufacturer closing its doors.
Customers who paid with credit
cards may be able to dispute the charge with their credit card company to get
their money back. Others who paid by debit, check or cash, will need to file a
claim with the bankruptcy court administering the process.
Unused Gift Cards
Consumers will need to check
with the bankruptcy court administering the process to see if the courts decide
if the business must honor gift cards. To avoid problems, Your BBB advises that
consumers redeem gift cards as soon as possible.
in these situations can also file complaints with the BBB ( http://www.calgary.bbb.org ) Depending upon the amount
of the claim, small claims court is also an option.