The Federal Trade Commission's Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule was issued to correct problems with late or undelivered mail order merchandise. The Rule applies to merchandise sold by mail, fax, telephone, and online over the Internet.
Under this Rule, a company must ship your order with 30 days from the time it receives the completed order, unless the company clearly states some other time for shipment.
If the company cannot ship your order within the timeframe, it must inform you in writing of the delay. The company must give you the chance to cancel your order if you do not agree to the delay. If you decide to cancel, the company must refund your money within seven days of your notice of cancellation. If you paid by credit card, the refund must be made within one billing cycle.
The Rule does not apply to magazine subscriptions, sales of seeds and plants, C.O.D. orders, nor to "negative option" purchase plans such as book clubs. The rule also does not apply to services such as mail-order photofinishing, nor does it apply to sales between private individuals in an online auction.
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