Unless you enjoy the bustle of traditional holiday shopping, you’re probably thankful for being able to get what you need online. Unfortunately, the FTC has gotten reports from consumers who didn’t get their orders as expected – or never got them at all.
Here are tips to have a good online shopping experience:
- Spot and avoid scams. Before you buy, confirm the online seller's physical address and phone number. Search the seller’s name with the word “scam” to see if other buyers have had problems.
- Look carefully at the shipping date before you order. If there’s no date given, the seller has 30 days to ship. If you’re notified about a delay in shipping, you have the right to cancel the order and get a full refund. If you decide to cancel, let the seller know right away so you won’t be billed. If the seller doesn’t respond or refuses the refund, immediately report that to the company that issued the card you used to pay for it, or the bank on which your check was written.
- If possible, pay with a credit card. If you pay by credit card, your transaction is protected by law. That means you can often dispute charges and temporarily withhold payment pending an investigation.
- Track and safeguard your delivery. Get tracking numbers to see where your stuff is in the shipping process. Also, consider having your items held at the post office or delivered to a family member or neighbor in case you’re not home. Some companies have their own secure locations where you can have your merchandise delivered. This protects you from having some Grinch steal your holiday right from your doorstep.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
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You can follow the links in this blog for more information about safer online shopping.