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Rain Checks

by Chris Green
September 24, 2009
Ever seen a great deal only to find out you┬'ve missed it because the store ran out of stock? Yup, it usually happens with great deals. Everyone wants it. And if you┬'re too late, you may be left with an empty bag. There┬'s a way for you to still enjoy that deal. Ask for a rain check.

A rain check is a way for you to enjoy deals you have missed. A rain check is basically a piece of paper that allows you to purchase a piece of merchandise at an advertised price when the supplier runs out of stock.

What information should a rain check have to make it valid?

First, the rain check must have the name of the supplier and his address. Next, the check must have the name of the consumer, address and telephone number listed on it. The date that the check was issued should also be clearly indicated. If the item to be purchased has make, model and year, these should also be shown clearly in the rain check. The rain check should also include the quantity that the shopper is entitled to purchase and of course, the price that was advertised.

The rain check that you are issued must contain all these information. Any rain check issued to a customer should be honored within 60 days of issue to a client. If the supplier still does not have the item that the customer was promised, there are options. The customer can take a similar item that is in stock. Or, the customer can choose to an extension of the time frame.

How do you know that the advertisement is not quite on the level?

When the shop or grocery store frequently ┬"runs out┬" of items they┬'re advertising on sale and they don┬'t say what quantities these items are at and do not offer a rain check, they may be advertising deceptively.

Some stores employee the bait and switch method. A product is advertised but you are discouraged from purchasing that particular product and instead, suggest a more expensive product. Bait and switch is illegal. Do not allow yourself to be manipulated.

Do note that there are occasions when stores do not have to issue rain checks. Be aware of these occasions.

When the product is priced at over $100 and at the time the advertisement was made, the store had an adequate store of the item in question.

When the minimum amount of stock is clearly displayed.

When the product being featured is listed as a special sale, seasonal sale or on clearance sale.

When the seller offers the consumer the option to buy a similar product of equal or even of greater value that is currently available.

If the store disappoints you because items are frequently out of stock and the amount of stock at hand is never disclosed, refuses to offer options or rain checks, you may get in touch with consumer protection agencies. Always include name, address and phone number of the store in question. Provide a copy of the advertisement. You should also have the date that the item was sold out. Get the name of the manager who refused to offer you similar compensation. You should also include a brief summary of the communication between you and the store or retailer.

Most stores are honest. If they┬'re not, let the proper authorities know. Get in touch with your local consumer protection agency. Write or call the State Attorney General and other pertinent agencies.


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Rain Checks
 

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