FTC Gearing Up For Holiday Complaints

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning to retailers who will ship merchandise during the holiday season: Keep your promises or else!

Many retailers make quick-shipment promises, such as "Product normally ships within 24-48 hours." A merchant is required to notify customers of any delay in the originally-promised shipping time and provide a revised shipment date. Retailers must also provide customers with the right to a full and prompt refund if the revised shipment date is unacceptable.

Last year the FTC sued seven companies for failing to meet shipment delivery times, notify customers of changes, or make refunds. The suits resulted in the collection of over $1.5 million in fines.

This season the FTC is closely monitoring Internet sites that promise quick shipments to make sure they are complying with the rules.

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