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Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

Topics of common interest to assist us in being better in our consumer decisions.

Everyone wants to be a smart consumer. Older adults should pay particular attention to purchases involving hearing aids, pre-paid burial plans, door-to-door sales, financial planning and home repairs and improvements.

Many older adults work with "financial planners" or "investment advisors." Most of them are capable professionals; however, some may not be. Many states do not require financial advisors to have specialized training or licenses.

Provided in the section, we offer select topics of common interest in the following areas:

  Hearing Aids

Be sure to have your hearing tested before you buy a new hearing aid or replace an old one. Beware of ads that offer bargains on so-called "hearing devices," you may not get a real hearing aid at all. Many states have laws that protect hearing aid purchasers and place restrictions on the practices of hearing aid dealers. Most of these laws allow hearing aid purchasers to cancel an agreement to purchase a hearing aid within 30 days after receiving the hearing aid. If you decide you want a refund, simply return the hearing aid. Contact Colorado’s Consumer Line at 1-800-222-4444 or the Colorado Attorney General’s Office for information or complaints.

Pre-Paid Funeral Plans

Some pre-paid funeral plans provide benefits no matter how long you have made payments and other plans require you to pay a set amount before you receive any benefits. Read your pre-paid funeral policy carefully and make sure you understand the conditions before you purchase the policy. Contact the Funeral Service Helpline, a nonprofit consumer service created to help consumers in matters involving funeral service by calling 1-800-662-7666 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST) or contact the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0070-shopping-funeral-services

Health Insurance

Do not purchase health insurance coverage that you do not need or coverage that duplicates what you already have. Before buying or changing coverage, discuss all your insurance plans with someone you trust or contact the Colorado Division of Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program or call 1-888-696-7213.

Door-To-Door Sales

Always keep in mind that you do not have to talk to door-to-door sales people or let them into your home. However, if you do decide to sign a sales contact, the door-to-door salesperson must give you a notice explaining your right to cancel the contract and where to send the cancellation notice. Be sure to keep a copy of your written cancellation notice. You can cancel the sale even if you paid cash, but you must send a letter to the company within three business days.

Generally, you do not have a right to cancel the sale if it was made on an emergency basis and the seller immediately began to provide you with the goods or services. An emergency situation might be the repair of damage done to your home after a natural disaster, like a flood or hailstorm. Contact Colorado's Consumer Line at 1-800-222-4444 or the Colorado Attorney General's Office for information or complaints.

Home Improvements and Repairs

Be cautious when hiring a person to do repairs or make improvements to your home. Shop around and get several bids for any work you need done. Always ask for references from previous customers. Remember to ask the person you hire for their full name, address, phone number and drivers license number. In addition, find out:

  • If the person is required to be bonded and/or licensed to perform the type of work you need done.
  • If the person’s license is current.
  • About getting a written estimate of the work to be done
  • If the person has liability insurance or Workers Compensation insurance for themselves and their workers.


Contact Colorado's Consumer Line at 1-800-222-4444 or the Colorado Attorney General's Office for information or complaints.

http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/consumer_resource_guide/general_consumer_issues/complaints

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Section
1525 Sherman Street, 7th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 1-800-222-4444 (in Colorado)
Phone: 1-800-332-2071 (out of state)
Fax: (720) 508-6040

AARP’s Elderwatch Helpline

http://www.aarp.org/aarp-foundation/our-work/income/elderwatch/

 

Information courtesy of J. Elaine Procter, Procter and Callahan, LLC, Elder Care Network Participants. The information contained on this website is NOT a substitute for legal advice and no representations are made as to the accuracy of this information.

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Don Gaymon
Homewatch CareGivers
1220 W. Ash St., Unit C
Windsor, CO 80550
970-674-9723

Expertise:
Home Care Services : Non-Medical

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