What to do if a business doesn't reopen after COVID-19

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Posted at 9:43 AM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 11:43:15-04

BOISE, Idaho — Unfortunately, it's a fear that's becoming a reality in some cities. Businesses forced to close amid the COVID-19 pandemic may not be able to reopen so what options do you have if you're still waiting on products or services from that business?

Dale Dixon, Chief Innovation Officer with the Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific, says there is some good news for consumers in Idaho as the number of businesses that have closed is low. But, some of the closures involve national chains you might have ordered a product from so what should you do next?

Dixon says to try to contact the company first to complete the transaction or resolve the issue. That includes checking the company's social media and website for information, call the business to ask questions, or if the company has a physical address, drop by and see if there's information posted on the door.

As for information you might need to have on hand, keep your receipts. You also may need any proof of purchase, warranty information, or manuals.

If contacting the company doesn't work, check with the bank or credit card you used to make the purchase(s) at the now-closed company. Dispute the transaction if you fail to receive goods or services. Remember, if the company hasn't filed for bankruptcy, it's still obligated to fulfill your order. While it can be time-consuming and costly, you can also take the company to court.

When it comes to warranties, figure out who issued it: the closing store or the manufacturer. If it's the manufacturer, it will most likely be honored. When a company goes out of business, the warranties and services often die with it, unless other agreements have been made. If you're still holding onto a gift card, bankruptcy filings will likely determine how and if unused gift cards can be claimed.

To find information about a company and other tips, click here. BBB is also offering a number of resources to help you through the COVID crisis here.