Shopping from home can be a great time and energy saver, but learning about the company and your rights as a mail order customer before you make your purchase can help you avoid problems.
Follow these tips when you order merchandise from home:
- Deal with established companies. If you are unsure about a particular company, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office a 1-877-5-NO-SCAM, the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission to check out complaints.
- Find out about the company’s refund/return policies before you place your order. Ask if the company will charge “restocking fees” if you return the merchandise or if you’ll have to pay return shipping costs.
- Pay by credit card when possible. If the merchandise does not arrive as promised or if the company goes out of business or files for bankruptcy, you may be able to dispute the charge with your credit card company. Most credit card transactions must be disputed within 60 days of purchase, and the dispute must be made in writing.
- If you don’t get the item on time, you can get your money back. When you order by mail, you’re protected by the Federal Mail Order Rule. By law, the company should ship an order within the time they told you, or within 30 days if they don’t give you a set time. If the company doesn’t deliver on time, you can choose a later delivery date or cancel the order for a full refund. If you applied for a line of credit with the mail order company to buy the item, the business has 50 days to ship it to you.
We Can Help
If you have a complaint about something you ordered by mail, contact us for help or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.