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Better Business Bureau ®
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Educational Consumer Tips

Internet Sales

Author: Better Business Bureau
Published:

With a physical store or a catalog, you know where to turn to if you run into problems. But in cyberspace, all you may have is a web address. Look on the site for a street address and phone number. (Be wary if the seller’s only contact information is a post office box.) The BBB suggests using caution prior to paying in advance by wire transfer or ACH to a firm unknown to you. When buying on-line, it maybe best to use a credit card because under federal law you can dispute the charges if you don’t get what you were promised. You also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on your credit card, and many card issuers have 'zero liability' policies under which you pay nothing if your credit card is misused. If you’re not familiar with the name and reputation of a company–and especially if a seller has sent you an unsolicited e-mail message ("spam")–find out more before you buy. With a click you can check a company’s reputation by contacting the BBB at (817) 332-7585 or online, www.fwbbb.org. You may also wish to contact the Office of the State Attorney General in your state or the state where the company is located.