There's no let-down like placing an order online, waiting, and seeing the email in your inbox telling you the shipment's been delayed. New Federal Trade Commission rules could alleviate that feeling by ensuring you get you your dough back.
Companies will need consent to delay shipping.
This week, the FTC announced new rules that require online shipment companies to have a "reasonable basis" for their estimated shipping dates, and for them to ship an item within 30 days if no date is set. Helpful, but the kicker is this: if the company misses the shipping date, or doesn't set one and misses the 30-day cut-off, customers must be informed and provide consent for the delay. If the company doesn't receive consent — even if the customer simply doesn't respond — it must automatically refund the purchase. Any time between when the customer consents to the delay and the item ships, the customer can cancel the order for a full refund.
The rule applies to everything, except for a few exceptions, including magazine subscriptions, plants, and services. Companies have until December 8th to comply, just in time for the holiday season.