Special Report: Unsuitable
From stripes to spots, one-piece or two, the latest summer styles are making a splash in stores. But when you're buying a swimsuit, what you think is brand new may be a raunchy return!
Any woman who's bought a bathing suit knows about the well-placed sticker that's supposed to keep the suit sanitary. And many stores will tell you if the sticker is gone, you can't return the suit.
But is that really true?
7NEWS went undercover to several stores in Greater Boston. We bought eight swim suits and removed all those little liners.
We marked each suit with a dot only we would notice, and several days later, we hit the return aisles. At store No. 1, we returned two bikinis. In less than 24 hours, the bathing suits, minus those safety stickers, were back out for sale.
You can clearly see the dots we made.
"Just plain gross actually," said Laila Pasha, a concerned consumer from Cambridge.
Just couple hours after returning this bikini at store No. 2, it went right back out again with no hygiene tag. There's the mark showing it's the suit we bought.
"It's just so wrong I think," said Olga Ruasak, a worried shopper from Boston.
We return two suits at store No. 3, and clerks put them back on the racks! Notice the dots we made. There are no laws in New England banning the resale of bathing suits.
But in New York City, it is illegal for stores to resell returned underwear or swim suits.
Experts say it is a simple matter of health and safety.
"I would worry about that, because we know there are some infections that can be transmitted by clothing. They cause extreme itching, very uncomfortable itching," said Dr. Anita Berry, Boston Public Health Commission.
It's these potential problems that has one Massachusetts state senator diving into this dilemma.
"We have already started the wheels in motion and asked public health to take action. If not, we'll file some legislation to have the issue addressed," said State Senator Michael Morrissey (D-Quincy).
It's important to point out that one store did not resell the two bathing suits we returned and another one only resold the bikini top. Plus, at one store, a clerk told us we shouldn't buy a suit, because the little liner was gone. 7NEWS did buy every suit that was put back out for sale.
And health experts say if you're buying a bathing suit, check store policy and check for that protective liner so that you don't end up with something unsuitable. If you find a bathing suit that looks used on the racks, report it to store management.
(Copyright (c) 2007 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)