How to Protect Yourself When a Business Suddenly Closes - NBC4 Washington

Susan Hogan and the Consumer Watch team covering your consumer concerns

How to Protect Yourself When a Business Suddenly Closes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    When you prepay for something, you expect to get what you pay for in return, but that's not always the case, especially when a company suddenly closes its doors and you can't reach anyone. Consumer Reporter Erika Gonzalez heard from one woman who says she lost thousands of dollars. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015)

    If a business closes abruptly, leaving you owed money or services, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself.

    One state's attorney general recommends that first, you need to limit your financial loss. If you paid with a credit card, call the credit card company to dispute the charges, according to Michigan's attorney general. If you arranged for an automatic payment plan, contact your bank to stop any more withdrawals from your account.

    Next, you'll want to file a consumer complaint with your state attorney general. Here's how to contact them in our area:

    In the future, consider limiting down payments, using only a credit card instead of cash, and search online to see if the business has a history of unresolved consumer complaints. In addition, make sure you always get (and keep!) detailed receipts.

    See more tips here.