Check your receipts and statements

Take a cue from Santa when doing your Christmas shopping.

Just like he makes his list and checks it twice, you need to go over your store receipts and credit card/bank statements with a fine-toothed comb.

Problems with Brick-and-Mortar Store Purchases

Stores are incredibly busy throughout the holiday rush and most are employing part-time, seasonal (i.e. poorly trained and inexperienced) staff to handle the mad dash for sales before the golden window of spending closes. That means that retailers, who are never completely accurate, have an even greater chance of ripping you off through duplicate and bad charges.

How bad can it be? See some of these horrific examples of real-life charge card receipts.

With stores marking down prices for all manner of sales and promotions, it’s critical that the price you pay at the register is the one that you saw on the shelf. And don’t hesitate to get management involved if there’s a discrepancy. It’s easier to get satisfaction at the point of purchase rather than coming back later (when your proof may have vanished.)

And don’t be shy. Lots of folks are hesitant to hold up a long holiday line to resolve a problem. Remember that it’s not your responsibility for stores to be adequately staff or their employees properly trained.

Online Shopping Snafus

Things may not be easier if you’re making your holiday purchases on the net. Because of so-called “dynamic pricing” you may see the same item go up and down in price during different browsing sessions, or between lookup and checkout.

If you’re not careful, you’ll end up paying more than you expected.

Other pitfall include overcharging for shipping, not getting credit for online coupons and promo codes and poor customer service to resolve disputes because you don’t have a real personal to cajole.

Thieves Paradise

Finally, remember that for all manner of pickpockets, identify thieves and other rapscallions, the holidays are like their Superbowl.

Because so many people our out making so many purchases, it’s easy for them to make off with plastic and pin numbers and rack up serious charges before the customer ever realizes it. Especially given the fact that the holidays are already hectic and folks will choose to review their banking records after the dust settles, crooks can have a long lead time to make their getaway.

So remember to take the extra time to comb through your sales receipts and statements to ensure that the holidays are indeed happy.

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