The Federal Trade Commission Mail Order Rule governs delivery laws in Massachusetts.
- A company must ship your order within the time period promised in its advertisements. If the company does not promise a specific time, the company must ship your order within 30 days of receiving your completed order, unless you have agreed to a delay in shipment.
- If you pay by charge or credit card, the time period begins on the date that the seller charges the merchandise to your account. However, if you are applying for credit to pay for your purchase (either opening a line of credit or extending existing credit), the company had 50 days after receiving your order to ship the merchandise.
- If the seller does not send your order when promised, and you have not agreed to a new shipping date, you can cancel your order and get a refund.
- The Mail Order Rule does not apply to: photo finishing, magazine subscriptions (except for the first issue), C.O.D orders, seeds and plants, and credit orders where your account is not charged until after the goods are shipped.
If you find an error on your credit or charge card statement, you may dispute the charge and withhold payment on the disputed amount while the credit card company investigates.
How do you dispute a charge?
Step 1: Send a written billing error notice to the creditor. Your notice must reach the creditor within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was mailed to you. The notice should include your name and account number, the dollar amount of the billing error, and the reasons why you believe there is a mistake.
Step 2: The creditor must acknowledge your complaint in writing within 30 days after it is received, unless the problem is resolved within that period.
Step 3: Within two billing cycles (but not more than 90 days), the creditor must conduct a reasonable investigation and either correct the mistake or explain why the bill is believed to be correct.
You also may dispute charges for unsatisfactory goods or services purchased with a credit or charge card.
- You must first attempt to resolve the dispute with the seller.
- You must have bought the item in your home state or within 100 miles of your current mailing address, and the charge must be for more than $50.
- These limitations do not apply if the seller is also the card issuer or if a special relationship exists between the card issuer and the seller.