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Monday, April 20, 2020

Microstory 1346: Consumer Protection

Library-Goer: Hi, I was wondering if you could help me? I’m looking for a book, but I can’t seem to find a computer to search for it, and I have no idea how to use a card catalog.
Library Assistant: Oh yes, we are very old school here. You don’t need the catalog, though. I can help you find anything you’re looking for. Why don’t you have a seat?
Library-Goer: Do I really need to sit? I just need a book.
Library Assistant: Ah, yes, but which book? Do you know the name of it?
Library-Goer: No.
Library Assistant: Then we shall have to do an interview. In order for you to tell me what information you’re looking for, you first need to know precisely what that is. You can’t tell me unless you understand it yourself. I assure you that, by the end of this interview, I will know the exact book you need; maybe two books. I won’t need to give you any more options than that.
Library-Goer: Can’t I check out more than one book anyway?
Library Assistant: Oh, of course. You can check out fifty, if your heart desires! You won’t need to, though; not as long as we find the perfect one. I’m very professional, and I know every single title in this section. I only don’t know fiction; that’s Ted’s job.
Library-Goer: Okay, let’s do this.
Library Assistant: What are you interested in?
Library-Goer: I wouldn’t say that I’m interested, but I need to learn about the law. I’m having some legal issues, but I can’t afford an attorney. I guess you’re right in that I don’t know where to begin.
Library Assistant: Law is in 340, under social sciences.
Library-Goer: Okay.
Library Assistant: Without giving me too much personal information, what kind of law are you looking for? You don’t just want to start with the first textbook they read in law school; most of it would be a waste of time.
Library-Goer: I bought, umm...a product...from a company. I don’t know if they committed a crime, but they need to answer for what they did to me.
Library Assistant: All right. So we’re talking private law. It’ll be in civil court, if you take it that far, but when we’re talking about a library book, that’s in 346.
Library-Goer: Yeah, I don’t want to tell you what it is, but let’s just say I’m on painkillers now. It physically hurt me, so I did what everyone does, which is complain to the seller. They made me jump through all these hoops. They wanted me to take a picture of the product right next to the receipt. Well, it was online, so there’s no receipt, so I printed out my confirmation, and they’re like, ‘that’s not good enough’. I dealt with this for a week, and they won’t even give me a refund, let alone pay for my medical bills. I looked it up online, and I’ve not heard anyone else having these problems, but that doesn’t mean there’s no potential for a class action lawsuit. It could mean that no one wants to say anything, because it’s kind of taboo.
Library Assistant: Ah, okay. So, what you’re looking for is information about consumer protection. Follow me to the 300s. This was an online purchase, so you’ll want a book that’s pretty new. We have stuff from the mid-twentieth century that won’t do you any good. Aaaaaand here. This will help you. It’ll at least help you get started. Maybe, since you can’t afford a lawyer, you can learn some legalese to help you...encourage the company to do the right thing.
Library-Goer: Wow, this...this looks like what I need. Thank you so much.
Library Assistant: No problem. Let me know if you need anything else.

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