BBB advises to ask questions before buying from fair vendors - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

BBB advises to ask questions before buying from fair vendors

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Reanna Smith-Hamblin Reanna Smith-Hamblin

LOUISVILLE, KY (WVAE) - There are 350 vendors in South Wing C of the Kentucky Exposition Center from all over the country trying to sell you just about everything during the Kentucky State Fair.

There's no shortage of fun products and people in the shopping aisles, but some people such as David Daugherty are cautious after being blindsided by salesmen.

"We ordered the system and he never delivered it," said Daugherty.

Daugherty and his wife paid Salesman Larry Foster $2,300 at the 2010 Kentucky State Fair for a whole home water filter.

The Daughtery's finally got their system after a Troubleshooter Investigation.

But other families weren't as lucky.

Foster was eventually arrested and charged with theft after the Troubleshooter Department uncovered customers from Kentucky to northern Indiana paid Foster thousands for water filters that never arrived.

The Better Business Bureau said the case underscores the need for fairgoers to be their own watchdog.

Reanna Smith-Hamblin with the Better Business Bureau said, "Really it's up to the consumer to check out the business before they hire that business."

Before you spend your money, ask questions. How long has the company been in business?

If the product is defective, how are you going to get your money back?

Can you get the refund and exchange policy in writing?

The BBB said guarantees are good, but they can give shoppers a false sense of security since it's is only as good as the company standing behind it.

A fair board spokesman told the Troubleshooter Department there are no background checks on vendors and references are encouraged, but not required. He also added problems are rare.

If you're at the fair and you want to buy something and you want to check a business out first you can actually use an iPhone app the Better Business Bureau set up to do just that. If you have an Android device you can use their new mobile web site and do the exact same thing.

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