Monday, February 7, 2011

Mail and Telephone Order Merchandise Rule/FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has different measures in place to ensure that the purchasing process goes smoothly for consumers. One of the measures is the Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Trade Regulation Rule. This measure covers not only telephone and mail orders, but internet orders as well.

As per the FTC site:
It applies to most goods a customer orders from the seller by mail, telephone, fax, or on the Internet.
It does not matter how the merchandise is advertised, how the customer pays, or who initiates the contact.
The Rule requires that when you advertise merchandise, you must have a reasonable basis for stating or implying that you can ship within a certain time. If you make no shipment statement, you must have a reasonable basis for believing that you can ship within 30 days.
 If, after taking the customer’s order, you learn that you cannot ship within the time you stated or within 30 days, you must seek the customer’s consent to the delayed shipment. If you cannot obtain the customer’s consent to the delay -- either because it is not a situation in which you are permitted to treat the customer’s silence as consent and the customer has not expressly consented to the delay, or because the customer has expressly refused to consent -- you must, without being asked, promptly refund all the money the customer paid you for the unshipped merchandise.
In a nutshell, if a customer has not received a shipment of an order placed with GlitterSniffer Cosmetics within the stated turnaround time or 30 days from the order placement date and does not give permission for further delay the company is required by the FTC to refund without the customer having to ask for a refund. This shipping expectation also appears to apply to anything purchased using the fee gift cards supplied by GS as it clearly states that it does not matter how the customer paid. The FTC is very consumer protection oriented and goes to great lengths to address consumer issues, especially those that may have violated any of the consumer protection rules.

Also from the site:
For more information about the Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule, call the Federal Trade Commission toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP; write: Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580; or visit:

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