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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | Purchasing PCs and Components | Vendor and Order Problems and Solutions | Dealing With Vendor Abuses and Deceptive Practices ]

Involving The Media

Under some circumstances, you may be able to get a member of the media to assist you in a dispute with a vendor. Many publishers understand that since they accept ads from vendors and sell to consumers (directly or indirectly), they have a role to play in resolving problems between the two groups.

Here are a few areas you may want to explore:

  • Computer-Related Publications: If you select a vendor in part on the basis of their ads in a magazine, and that vendor deals with you unethically, this reflects poorly on the magazine. Most publishers will want to know about this, and in some cases they may be able to exert influence on the vendor to resolve the matter. Some magazines have a representative who specializes in dealing with consumer matters.
  • Newspapers: Some newspapers have a writer who focuses on consumer affairs and may be able to intercede on your behalf when dealing with a local company.
  • Television Stations: Many local televisions stations have a person dedicated to dealing with consumer issues or uncovering fraud problems in the community. You may be able to convince them to intervene and assist you. Due to the number of complaints these people typically receive though, the odds of getting help here are probably lower than you might think.

Of course, there is no guarantee that these sources will be able to assist you, but usually all it costs to try is an hour of your time, at most, to write a letter. Even if the person you write to is too busy with other issues to deal with your problem, you have registered your complaint effectively; if that person in the future gets other letters regarding the same vendor, he or she will probably notice the pattern and consider action.

Next: Taking Legal Action

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