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EIGHT CONSUMER TIPS OFFERED FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING

 EIGHT CONSUMER TIPS OFFERED FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING
 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 220 million


credit-card carrying Americans can plan to avoid post-holiday blues by using credit wisely during the upcoming gift-giving season.
 AT&T Universal Card Services offers the following eight tips for consumers who are likely to charge their holiday purchases:
 1. Make sure the credit card issuer includes a buyer protection program for purchases. Buyer protection programs give cardholders protection from theft, certain damage or fire in excess of other primary insurance coverage for a specific number of days from the date of purchase.
 2. Verify that the purchase will qualify for an extended warranty program. When a cardholder makes a purchase using a credit card, on average an extended warran ?program will double the repair time provided by the manufacturer's original U.S. warranty up to a maximum of one additional year.
 3. If after completing a purchase, a cardholder finds a mistake has been made, request a credit slip from the merchant immediately and keep it on file. Most credit card transactions are processed quickly. A credit slip will ensure that the account is properly credited.
 4. Get proof of returned merchandise in the form of a credit slip, postal receipt or shipping number. Without proof of the return, it could be difficult to guarantee that the account will be credited for the return.
 5. Obtain and keep a cancellation number from airline or hotel reservations agents when canceling or changing holiday travel plans. Again, these numbers will help verify the transaction and clarify questions regarding the account.
 6. Unlike a personal check, a cardholder cannot stop payment on a credit card purchase. The merchants are reimbursed as soon as they submit the charge to their bank. Contact the merchant to receive a credit on the account.
 7. Make sure the credit card company uses the one-cycle average daily balance method of interest calculation. A few credit card issuers calc ?interest using the two-cycle average daily balance method. This means if the cardholder occasionally goes back and forth between paying off the card balance and carrying debt, they lose the grace period and can pay additional interest.
 8. Find out if the credit card company guarantees that its customer service representatives are available to help cardholders whenever help is needed during this busy season.
 AT&T Universal Card Services offers its cardholders a buyer protection program, extended warranties, one-cycle average daily balance interest rate calculations and world-class customer service backed by a $10 service guarantee.
 If consumers need assistance or have a question regarding an AT&T Universal Card, they can call toll-free 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year at 800-423-4343.
 -0- 11/5/92
 /CONTACT: Claire Diamond, 904-443-8896, or home, 904-367-0627, or Bruce Reid, 904-443-8894, or home, 904-285-7686, both of AT&T Universal Card Services Corp./ CO: AT&T Universal Card Services Corp. ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:


JB-AW -- FL005 -- 3039 11/05/92 11:21 EST
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Date:Nov 5, 1992
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