Source: Stateline

Upended travel plans and uncertainty around when and how people can go about their daily business again has caused some consumers a lot of trouble. Some businesses are loath to refund purchases like airline tickets, or offer vouchers instead of money back. With little recourse available as an individual, many citizens are turning to the office of their state attorney general for backup, according to Stateline.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is doing that work in the Tar Heel state. Much of Stein’s work of late has revolved around consumer protection, and he is the Democratic co-chairman of the consumer protection committee of the National Association of Attorneys General, Stateline reports.

Stein wants businesses to cut people some slack during this difficult time. “People don’t have the income,” Stein said. “A business can’t charge a customer for something it can’t provide.”

Stein outlined two types of complaints. The first is where customers are unable to do something because of orders to shut down. In those instances, “Then you are entitled to a cash refund because you are not getting what you bargained for,” Stein said.

Another issue could be that consumers are technically able to do something but feel uncomfortable due to the coronavirus pandemic. There, Stein urges businesses to “work it out in a more thoughtful way, possibly with credits or refunds.”

Stein has tackled would-be price gougers during the pandemic and has focused his office on protecting consumers. Under Governor Cooper’s state of emergency, price-gouging and predatory tactics are under more scrutiny.

Read more about how Josh Stein and other attorneys general are protecting consumers from Stateline.