Understand how to resolve problems related to health

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Understand how to resolve problems related to health care products and services. Explore methods for addressing critical health issues that result from fraud. ost health care products and services you purchase will live M up to their claims. However, some products and services may be faulty, useless, or even potentially harmful. Thus, it’s important to learn how to handle critical consumer health problems. Problems with Products ometimes products are defective. Find out about a seller’s return S policy before purchasing a product. Many items can be returned to the store from which they were purchased. Others may need to be sent back to the manufacturer. Information in the product warranty will help you determine which course of action to follow. Before you attempt to return a product, reread the instructions to make sure that you are using the product correctly. If the product is truly defective, you must then decide whether you want a replacement or your money back. Put your reasons for returning the item in a letter, and keep a copy for future reference. Return the item in its original packaging. If you are mailing the item, be sure to get a shipping receipt to prove that you sent it. Suppose that you purchased a new hair dryer that broke the first time you used it. Explain how you would deal with the problem. Always keep your sales receipt. Some stores require receipts as part of their return policy, and many manufacturers require receipts to validate a product’s warranty. 60 Chapter 3 Being a Health-Literate Consumer HS_HEALTH_U01_C03_L3 12/6/03 8:15 AM Page 60
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Health Fraud raud is deliberate deceit or trickery. Some individuals and F businesses employ fraud to sell defective products or ineffective services. These people often go out of business as soon as consumer complaints expose them. , also known as quackery, is the sale of worthless products or services that claim to prevent diseases or cure other health problems. Fraudulent Products Several types of products are particularly susceptible to health fraud: Weight-loss products. Ads for some diet pills, fad diets, and exercise equipment claim that a person can lose weight virtually overnight. Weight loss is effectively achieved only through healthful eating habits and regular physical activity. Beauty and anti-aging products. Many tooth whiteners, hair enhancers, and wrinkle creams may work temporarily, but none offer permanent results. Products that aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may harm you. Fraudulent Treatments Another type of health fraud is clinics that specialize in “miracle” cures for ailments such as arthritis or that feature a remarkable and unusual treatment, such as consuming substances extracted from peach pits to cure cancer. These methods are ineffective and may even be dangerous. Of course, not all clinics offering specialized treatments are fraudulent. Check with a health care professional before seeking treatment at such a clinic.
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