News 12 The Bronx gives tips for buying a cellphone

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News 12 The Bronx has some tips for buying a cellphone.

Carla Christopher bought a smartphone only to realize days later that it may be a used phone. The phone's log listed an outgoing call made before she bought it in July, and there were already pictures in its' photo gallery.

After calling and visiting the wireless store six times without getting answers, she asked News 12 cameras to join her for a visit. A man who identified himself as the owner of the store insisted the phone that Christopher bought was new, but he was unable to explain the photos that she said she found on her new phone.

The city's Department of Consumer Affairs recommends that you shop around at licensed businesses to prevent an incident like Christopher had. A DCA spokesperson says you can call 311 to learn about vendor complaints.

If an item is labeled as a used or demonstration model, it is not new. You should check the price and check if the phone works before you buy it.

The DCA also recommends learning the store's refund policy, getting a warranty that is valid where you live and asking for an itemized receipt.

Another tip is to search for any consumer complaints online. The New York Better Business Bureau keeps a record of these on its website. All you need to do is search for the store's name or address.

Sites like the Better Business Bureau rely on voluntary information from businesses to keep records up to date, which is why it is important for consumers to research the latest and most accurate information.

If you are having a problem with a business, you should file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs.

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