Online Shopping Info & FAQ
Consumer Information, Questions and Answers:Welcome to InfoFAQ. You'll find professional advice from experts in the field, from business owners of popular online stores, and from service oriented websites that are making an impact everyday on the Internet. Our "Frequently Asked Questions" format is fast reading, and straight to the point. InfoFAQ records accurate company profiles verified by third party sources to help provide consumer information and protection.
Some Often Asked Questions
How should I go about shopping for a big purchase in consumer electronics online?It is important for you to figure out exactly what you are looking for. Try doing some research by looking for articles and consumer reviews on the web. Make a list of the features that you want and the specifications that are important. Then compare brands and prices. When you find the brand and model that you prefer, then search for the best price on that. Try doing some comparison shopping once you know the product you are looking for.
What's the difference between a credit card and a debit card?A credit card is a card that lets a consumer access funds in a credit line set aside for that user. When the purchase is made, and settlement occurs, funds are drawn from the credit line and deposited to the merchant's account.
On the other hand, a debit card is a payment card whose funds are withdrawn directly from the cardholder's checking account. With an on-line debit card, the customer must enter a PIN to authorize payment at the time of sale (and the funds are settled through a debit network). In the case of off-line debit cards (generally with Visa or MasterCard logos) the customer signs a receipt, as would be the case in a credit card transaction. In this case, the funds are transferred after batch settlement.
Is it safe to order products online using my credit card or checking information?When you make a purchase online, be sure to look for the little lock icon on the bottom of your web browser to make sure that you personal information will be protected by secure encryption when it is sent over the internet. You can also check on this by holding your cursor over the web page in question, clicking the right button on your mouse, and selecting "Properties". Then look to see that the web address shown starts with "https", where the 's' denotes a secure web server.
Are there any disadvantages to ordering my prescriptions online?If you're like most people, you go to the same place to get your prescriptions filled. The local pharmacist has probably gotten to know you, and is familiar with the full regimen of medications that you are taking. It is the pharmacist's job to notice any drugs that might react badly if taken together and protect you from dangerous drug interactions. While some online pharmacies have questionnaires for you to fill out that attempt to do the same job as your pharmacist, you just can't be sure in most cases that they are looking out for you like your local pharmacist.
How can I check out an online lender?
One thing you can do is to check with your state government to see if the lender is licensed to sell mortgages in your state. Another thing is to search the web for complaints about your lender. To do this just search Google.com with the name of the lender and the word 'complaint' or 'problem'.
Who are the top health insurance companies in the United States?
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners the top 5 last year were:
#1 Unitedhealth Group
#2 Wellpoint Inc. Group
#3 Kaiser Foundation Group
#4 Aetna Group
#5 Humana Group
Answers by Business Owners
Are pearls formed when a grain of sand (or irritant) gets in an oyster?
It is actually a myth that pearls are formed from a grain of sand getting stuck inside an oyster. Oysters filter sand all day long. It is when a parasite enters the oyster and loosens some epithelial cells (the cells that cover the inside of the shell) that those cells continue to multiply to form a natural pearl.
Answer by The Pearl Outlet
What makes a Takamine Guitar, special?
Takamine has 50 years of the art and craft of guitar making and we have a worldwide reputation for Acoustic and Acoustic-Electric Guitars.
Answer by Takamine Guitars
Why should I shop at Whitecap for Construction Supplies?The supplies and knowledge in a very wide range of construction products is second to none in the entire country. We are a relationship based group of experts in all phases of construction from grading and underground to finish on any product for all the trades.
Answer by White Cap Construction Supply
Are there electric vehicle charging stations available for public use?
Yes. Just as traditional cars are taken into gas stations refueling, electric vehicle drivers can take their cars to public electric vehicle charging stations to recharge their car batteries.
Answer by AeroVironment
Most Popular Shopping Websites
Top 5 Comparison Shopping Websites
Amazon.comCompare popular products and pricing from Amazon store owners. Searches can be restricted by price, type of good, and retailer.
Google ShoppingSearch engine which shows photographs of popular products. Click through to the list of online stores.
SHOPPING.COMCompare products, prices and stores.
Pricewatch.comSearch engine for finding products and comparing deals.
PriceGrabberShopping search offering price comparison, reviews and store ratings.
Source: Google, Yahoo, Alexa, major online directories and other statistical tracking tools.
In 2011 nearly 12 million adults were victims of Identity fraud!
Inside . . .
Modern Day Bank Robbers - In the old days bank robbers used to come into a bank with a mask and a gun... Nowadays they can just use the Internet. Protect yourself with these helpful online shop safe FAQs.
Top 10 Consumer Fraud Complaints in 2011
1.8 million complaints filed in 2011
Identity Theft 279,156 or 15 percent
Debt Collection Complaints 180,928 10 percent
Prizes, Sweepstakes, and Lotteries 100,208 6 percent
Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales 98,306 5 percent
Banks and Lenders 89,341 5 percent
Internet Services 81,805 5 percent
Auto Related Complaints 77,435 4 percent
Imposter Scams 73,281 4 percent
Telephone and Mobile Services 70,024 4 percent
Advance-Fee Loans and Credit Protection/Repair 47,414 3 percent
Source: The Federal Trade Commission (1.8 million complaints filed in 2011)
* The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the United States and abroad. Enforcers search the database to research cases, track targets, and identify victims. Copies of the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/sentinel/.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
Note: Internet-related complaints accounted for over 50% of all fraud complaints.
The Top 10 frauds listed in the FTC report include:
- Fraudulent Weight-Loss Products (4.8 million victims)
- Foreign Lottery Scams (3.2 million victims)
- Unauthorized Billing - Buyers Clubs (3.2 million victims)
- Prize Promotions (2.7 million victims)
- Work-at-Home Programs (2.4 million victims)
- Credit Card Insurance (2.1 million victims)
- Unauthorized Billing - Internet Services (1.8 million victims)
- Advance-Fee Loans (1.7 million victims)
- Credit Repair Scams (1.2 million victims)
- Business Opportunities (.8 million victims)
National Do Not Call Registry - Register your home or cell number.
FTC Newsroom - Iimportant news on consumer protection.
Work at Home Scams - Learn how to avoid the many work-at-home schemes.
Top 4 Consumer Tips Against Fraud
The FTC has tips for consumers who want to protect themselves from fraud:Protect your personal information. It's a valuable commodity. Only share your credit card or other personal information when you're buying from a company you know and trust.
Know who you're dealing with. Walk away from any company that doesn't clearly state its name, physical address, and telephone number. A Web site alone or a mail box drop should raise suspicions.
Don't rely on oral promises. Get all promises in writing and review them carefully before you make any payments or sign any contracts. Read and understand the fine print in any written agreement.
Don't pay "up-front" for a loan or credit. Remember that legitimate lenders never "guarantee" a loan or a credit card before you apply, especially if you have bad credit, no credit, or a bankruptcy.
Consumers interested in identity theft should consult the FTC's publication, "Fighting Back Against Identity Theft," Also see Consumer Government Guides.