Monday, March 08, 2010

30-Day Rule

From my weekly (AM) radio segment titled "Legal Minute"

Like most entrepreneurs these days, owning a website is just part of doing business. For product sold online, though, you must follow the Federal Trade Commission’s mail or telephone rule. Basically, the rule requires that when you advertise products online and accept orders via online and telephone methods, you must have a basis for meeting your stated shipping deadlines. In other words, if you are going to list shipping terms on your e-commerce website that say, for example, product will ship within 10 days of the order placement, then you must be able to meet those shipping terms. If, however, your e-commerce website is silent on the issue of shipping deadlines, then the FTC will impose a mandatory 30 day rule. The 30 day rule requires that you ship the product to the consumer within 30 days from the date on which a completed order or payment for that order is received. If a purchase is shipped COD or cash-on-delivery, the 30 day rule doesn’t apply. If you cannot meet the stated or mandatory shipping terms then the customer must be notified and consent to the delay.