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New Consumer Protection Laws For SD

March 14, 2014, 10:15 PM by Angela Kennecke

New Consumer Protection Laws For SD

New laws are now in place to protect you, the consumer, in South Dakota.

It's the first major overhaul of consumer laws since the 1970's and they deal with deceptive trade, hotel reservation and cancellations, debit card theft, and retail crime.

The new laws also take into account the way scammers use technology. 

Are you getting the advertised price? New South Dakota Consumer laws are designed to make sure you do. 

"They'll advertise a hotel rate on a marque for instance that says $99 a night. You don't get that until the fifth night. Now they're saying you can't advertise a price they can't have on the first night," Jessie Schmidt with the Better Business Bureau said.

Jessie Schmidt of the Better Business Bureau was on the committee that worked for a year on the new consumer protection laws.  They cover everything from advertised prices, to cancellation policies, to requiring businesses to divulge their real location.

"We actually have something like this going on right now. There is a company that advertises they will get you a copy of a deed.  They have a physical address, but it is actually a UPS store here in town," Schmidt said.

Under the new law, that won't be allowed. It will also be illegal for scammers to send invoices to companies for goods and services they never received. And there are new rules for sales people to follow when it comes to getting leads. 

"You can't give a rebate or a discount to somebody if they give you more names to call-that used to be not against the law in SD," Schmidt said.

And the new law should make it easier to spot junk email. Unsolicited commercial emails must now contain the letters ADV in the first four characters of the subject line and any message that has explicit sexual material has to contain the letters ADV:ADLT in the subject line.  

The law also makes stealing debit card information a crime and it imposes stiffer penalties for breaking any of these consumer laws.  

Senate Bill 23

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