“Hey, Dude – where’s my refund you promised me? And my other order is taking longer than you said it would. Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and I want to know!”
The FTC alleges that the Hey Dude shoe company has failed on both of those promises: Not immediately responding to refund requests and not immediately refunding customers their money.
The FTC says the company violated Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule.
“It does not matter how the merchandise is advertised, how the customer pays, or who initiates the contact,” FTCDefenseLawyer.com said.
The FTC also says the company hid customers reviews with fewer than four out of five stars, which is against the law.
Among the things that got these companies in trouble were being loose with promises like “Fast Shipping,” “Two-Day Shipping,” and “Expect Your Items Quick!” And if a company has a shipping issue – like a UPS strike or the worst snowstorm in history – then, the company has to notify consumers of shipping delays and give them the chance to cancel orders and receive prompt refunds.
This rule could come in handy if you have order issues
If you’re ever stuck with an order you made online and the company is giving you the runaround, this Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule might come in handy, so print this out and keep it handy.
It is the seller's responsibility to ship your order when they say they will. The company must notify you if there is a delay and give you two options: 1) agree to the delay or 2) cancel and get a refund.
If you choose the refund option, then the refund must go back to the original form of payment like PayPal or your credit card. The seller cannot give you a gift card or store credit.
But you need to know that not everything is included in the Rule. What’s not covered, according to FTCDefenseLawyer, are:
Magazine subscriptions and similar serial deliveries, except for the first shipment;
Sales of seeds and growing plants;
Orders made on a collect-on-delivery basis (C.O.D.); and
Transactions covered by the FTC’s Negative Option Rule, such as book and music clubs.
To learn more about your rights, read What To Do if You’re Billed for Things You Never Got, or You Get Unordered Products and How To Evaluate Online Reviews.