Help Desk FAQ



What can I do if I bought a product by phone or online and never received it?

When you buy a product by phone or online, pay attention to the delivery time stated in the company's ad, website or other documents such as emailed order confirmations. A federal law requires retailers to ship orders within the promised time. If the company does not specify a time, it must ship the product within 30 days after the order has been placed. If it is unable to do so, the company must notify you and give you the opportunity to agree to the delay or cancel your order and receive a refund.

When you have problems with a purchase, contact the retailer first. Try calling or sending an email, and if that does not work, send a complaint letter by certified mail. If the merchant is not able to provide you with a satisfactory solution, you can dispute the charges with your credit card issuer if you paid with one. If you used another payment method, contact your local consumer protection office or the Better Business Bureau to request mediation, or call a small claims court adviser to discuss your legal alternatives.

Learn how to avoid problems in Consumer Action's Savvy Online Shopping: Tips for trouble-free transactions, and how to resolve issues in the companion Savvy Online Shopping: How to resolve a dispute. For a brief explanation of how to dispute a charge with your credit card company, see the FAQ "How can I dispute a credit card charge?"




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