D.C. news site TheHill.com reported this week that the FTC is coming down on Internet retailers, forcing them to ship merchandise within 30 days of an online purchase, and if unable to meet the 30-day deadline, offer a refund option.
According to the report, the FTC’s Federal Register claimed online retailers are prohibited from, “Soliciting mail, Internet, or telephone order sales unless they have a reasonable basis to expect that they can ship the ordered merchandise within the time stated on the solicitation.”
The ruling is an update on the FTC’s Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule, expanded to include Internet retailers, and is scheduled to go into effect December 8 of this year. It covers all Internet merchandise orders, and states online retailers must permit refunds and refund notices, “by any means at least as fast and reliable as first class mail.”
Also, retailers must process any third party credit card refunds within seven working days after the buyer’s right to refund vests.