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New FTC rules force online retailers to ship stuff on time, or refund you

New FTC changes mean that items you buy while shopping online must be delivered within the target window, or the seller must refund you.
September 17, 2014

Okay, so the news we are about to relay technically has nothing to do with Android, but considering how many of us buy things (including new mobile devices) using our mobile devices — it’s still relevant enough that we thought we should report on it. With that out of the way, the FTC has announced new rules that will require online retailers and shipment companies to set reasonable shipping estimates and to ship within 30 days if no date is set.

While that might not sound like a big deal, there’s more: if a shipping target will be missed due to a delay, a customer must be informed of the delay and consent to it. If the buyer doesn’t consent (or respond) then the seller is required to issue a refund. A cosenting consumer can also cancel at any time after receiving word of the delay, as long as the item still hasn’t shipped. The rule will become official by December 8th, right in time for the holidays, and applies to just about everything shipped with the exception of magazine subscriptions, plans and ‘services’.

While some online retailers don’t actually charge until you make a purchase, there are quite a few that do, and so it’s nice to have a bit more protection so you never have to face a scenario where you are waiting for months to receive an item that should have shipped to you long ago. For more details on the new changes, you’ll want to head over to the FTC’s website.