Employee Purchasing Program!

The Employee Purchasing Program allows state employees to buy today and pay tomorrow; right from their paychecks!

House Bill 551, passed during the 2015 Legislative Session, authorizes the Georgia Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) to facilitate the Employee Purchasing Program. DOAS has partnered with Purchasing Power®, the leading specialty e-retailer offering an employee purchase program with more than 50,000 name brand consumer products and services through payroll deduction at the workplace.

Want to learn more about the Employee Purchasing Program? Click on this video, which:

  • Describes the benefits of the employee purchasing program;
  • Determines your eligibility to participate in the program;
  • Lists the requirements to register for the program; and
  • Helps you to determine who to contact with questions, comments, or concerns.

For the best viewing experience we recommend using Chrome. For auditory assistance, download the course transcript from the Resources tab in the course player after you launch the course.

Click on the following links for more information about the Employee Purchasing Program, the Employee Purchasing Program Policy, Frequently Asked Questions, and a Purchasing Power video.

Ready to get started? Go to TEAMGeorgia.PurchasingPower.com or call 1-800-537-3134. Send questions and comments to employee.purchasing@doas.ga.gov.


Ask Consumer Ed: Store charging restocking fee on undelivered merchandise

Dear Consumer Ed:

I ordered a sofa from an online furniture company. The sofa was supposedly shipped, but we never received it. The company does not know where it is and cannot provide any tracking information. They have agreed to cancel this order and refund our money, but they want to charge a restocking fee. Can they do that?

Consumer Ed says:

In Georgia, companies are allowed to set their own policies regarding refunds and exchanges, including those related to “restocking fees”. Restocking fees have become increasingly common in our online marketplace and are typically charged to recoup various costs associated with a product return, such as shipping costs and repacking costs. They may also be charged to compensate a company for the reduced selling price that they may charge other customers for a returned product. But, as with any material term, the company must clearly and conspicuously disclose the existence of these charges to the customer before the purchase becomes final.

However, while the collection of these fees is permissible, there may be circumstances where a company should not enforce such a fee, or where charging it would be illegal. Although state laws vary, restocking fees are generally unfair or deceptive if:  they are being charged in connection with the return of defective merchandise; they are being charged because the company delivered the wrong merchandise; they are being charged because the company failed to deliver the merchandise within the promised time period; they exceed 50% of the purchase price of the merchandise; or the restocking fees are not adequately disclosed to the customer. In brief, when the company makes the mistake, they should not pass the cost of the mistake onto the customer.

Since, in your case, the company failed to deliver the sofa to you at all – let alone within the promised time period – you likely should not be responsible for a restocking fee.  In a situation where the company may be charging unfair restocking fees, there are several options.  First, if the fee was charged to your credit card you can try to dispute the charge with your credit card company.  Second, you could submit a complaint to the Better Business Bureau to see if they can help mediate the situation between you and the company.  Finally, you can submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov or to the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division at consumer.ga.gov or by calling 404-651-8600.

***The best way to protect yourself from consumer problems is to become an educated consumer. That means knowing your rights and obligations under the law, how to find a reputable business and how to spot a scam. Do you have a question concerning a consumer-related issue? Want to know whether a certain practice by a business is legitimate? Wondering what your rights are?

Submit your own question to Consumer Ed. 

Remember…Consumer Ed does not give legal advice. Always consult a lawyer about legal issues.

What’s Happening in Georgia State Parks

Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites “Take Flight” in 2023

This year’s programming theme is all about birds, bats and pollinators. Rangers invite you to join evening bat walks, backyard bird counts, pollinator habitat restoration projects, butterfly hikes and more “Take Flight” programs. You’ll learn the importance of pollination for our food, migration patterns, how to identify birds and much more. Regular programs like Junior Ranger camps, archery classes, and guided kayak tours are also scheduled throughout the year. Check the Events tab on GaStateParks.org.

Below is a sample of “Take Flight” Programs in 2023

  • Extinction is Forever: Red-cockaded Woodpeckers – Sundays in Spring, Jarrell Plantation Historic Site, Juliette
  • Bird Bingo – March 10, F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain
  • Butterfly Craft – March 11, Chattahoochee Bend State Park, Newnan
  • Take Flight Hike – First Saturdays, April – October, New Echota Cherokee Capital, Calhoun
  • Bats Along the Etowah River – April 17, Etowah Mounds Historic Site, Cartersville
  • World Migration Bird Day Hike – May 13, Stephen C. Foster State Park, Okefenokee Swamp
  • World Bee Day – May 20, Kolomoki Mounds Historic Site, Blakely
  • Dragonflies Along the Etowah – June 10, Etowah Mounds Historic Site, Cartersville
  • Build a Bee Hotel – June 17, Magnolia Springs State Park, Millen