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Know Your Consumer Rights When Shopping Online

Sitting at the comfort of your home you can purchase the product of your choice with online shopping. Stay in your bed, surf through and add your items of choice! That’s it, isn’t it? Well, everything you do online has its own bitter streak. You would often find great deals shopping online but one needs to be cautious about the fraudulent websites and deceitful activities.

To confront such inappropriate activities, online shoppers are given the same rights as high street shoppers and that any item they purchase must satisfy the requirement. So here in this article, you will find some tips that help to know your rights when shopping online.

Get Details about the Website

You need to check for the detail of the retailer such as the physical address or phone number which can be useful if you face any problem while purchasing. A website has to be active and updated with fast customer support. There are various kinds of scams that are targeting online shoppers such as the holiday gift card phishing scam, bogus charity scam etc. One must be aware of such kind of scams and report them.

Online scams

You should be careful about the gray market items that are available online. You may receive an item that doesn’t work properly or instructions written in other languages. With third-party warranty, gray market goods are sold in the name of U.S. warranty which is not the same as the manufactures warranty.

Be Clear About Shipping Charges

By selling a product with huge discounts, online sellers try to gain profit by charging high shipping rate. So before purchasing read the instructions and shipping charges for items that are sold during the discount season.  Check out for trustworthy websites that sell products with no or less shipping charges. If your goods are not delivered within 30 days of purchase, you can reach the website for the refund.

Check for the Help section to know more about shipping rate and policies, order details and T&C before making the purchase.

Know in Detail Product Information

An online seller must give detailed information about the product they sell. So before you purchase a product read the details like color, size, texture etc. Check for the words like vintage, refurbished that indicates the product tells the freshness of the product. If you find anything suspicious, as a consumer, you have all the rights to escalate the issue and ask for a refund or any rational action.

Pay Using Credit Cards

It’s advisable to use a credit card for making payment when you do online shopping. Avoid websites that ask details about credit card before you make any purchase. If the purchased item has not been delivered but if your credit card has been charged, you can approach Fair Credit Billing Act to get your money back. Also, one can temporarily withhold the payment until the creditor investigates the issue. Just make sure you raise the complaint within 60 days of your purchase.

Credit card shopping

If the Product Ordered is Not Delivered or Received the Wrong Item

The email you receive from the retailer has the product description and price which is a proof of the transaction. This can be used in the future if you face any issues with the quality of the product received or the product itself not delivered.

Check your bank transaction statement regularly and check out for any hidden or unknown charges that you are not able to recognize. Click this link for Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint if you have any problems during a transaction with the buyer or seller.

If you receive an item which is not the one you have ordered, it is the consumer rights to ask for the immediate refund from the seller. As per FTC (Federal Trade Commission) rule, the online seller needs to ship items within 30 days after the order has been placed or they must arrange for the refund. If you have issues with the online vendor outside the country, you can raise a complaint at econsumer.gov.

So next time remember to go through the rights as a consumer and enjoy a safe shopping advent!

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