Holiday shopping online has taken a lot of stress out the holiday season with one exception. What if your order doesn’t show up on time? Here are the delivery rules.
Holiday Shopping – Prompt Delivery Rules
The Internet is the fastest growing source of holiday gifts orders. The FTC, however, has received complaints in the past about gifts not being delivered on time. To stop this, the agency has set down rules for Internet retailers.
The FTC has issues directives spelling out the ground rules for making promises about shipments, notifying consumers about unexpected delays, and refunding consumers’ money. Enforced by the FTC, the Mail or Telephone Order Rule applies to orders placed by phone, fax or the Internet.
By law, an Internet retailer must have a reasonable basis for stating that a product can be shipped within a certain time. If their advertising doesn’t clearly and prominently state the shipment period, they must have a reasonable basis for believing they can ship within 30 days. Most retailers, however, will promise much shorter times, even a few days if you agree to extra shipping costs.
If a retailer runs into inventory problems and can’t ship within the promised time, it must notify you of the delay. The retailer must also provide a revised shipment date and explain your right to cancel and get a full and prompt refund. There are no exceptions to this rule.
For definite delays of up to 30 days, a retailer can treat a customer’s silence as agreeing to the delay. But for longer or indefinite delays – and second and subsequent delays – a retailer must get the customer’s written, electronic or verbal consent to the delay. If you tell the retailer to pound sand, they must promptly refund all of your money.
FTC Takes Care of You
The FTC takes a very aggressive stance towards retailers who fail to deliver orders on time. This is particularly true if a retailer blows it during the Christmas season. Millions of dollars in fines are handed out each year.
If you order gifts online, keep notes on when you ordered and expect delivery. Also, keep an eye out for emails from the retailer, particularly since they may end up in your spam box. If nothing comes from the retailer, get on the phone and find out what is going on. Taking these steps will keep the kinks out of your online holiday shopping experience.
About the author:
Rick Chapo is with http://www.nomadjournals.com – makers of writing journals. Writing journals are great Christmas gifts for him or her and are always shipped on time.
Written by: Rick Chapo