It’s the holiday season, which means millions of people all over the world are shopping online to take advantage of the insane holiday deals. Whether you’re a last-minute shopper or have been planning your wish lists since July, we all know that same giddy feeling when the tracking link turns green and finally says your package has been delivered. However, those feelings of joy can quickly change into disappointment when your long-awaited packages are nowhere to be found. So, what happens when those online orders never arrive? Instead of waiting around on the stoop, hoping for your packages to magically appear, we’ve listed a few helpful tips below to help guide you through what to do if your online order never arrives.
Try to Contact the Seller
Communication is the key to ensuring that you are fully aware of what is going on with your packages. You can start by getting in contact with the seller. Most of the time, businesses will work with you in order to resolve any issues you have. At the end of the day, it’s important for companies to build trust with their consumers, which will lead to keeping you as a loyal customer year after year. Often companies will have multiple means of communication, so try looking for their support email, a company phone number, or a hotline. It is also very common when shopping online for companies to have “live chats” where agents are available to help guide you on what steps you can take to resolve the issue.
Get in Contact With Your Bank or Credit Union
After some time has passed, if the company or seller has not reached back out to you or is ignoring you while you have still not received your order, now would be the time to take it up with your bank or credit card company. If the charge has appeared on your credit card, get in contact with your bank and let them know what's going on, and ask to have the charge disputed. If you paid using your debit card, the same steps can apply as if it were a credit card. However, if possible, for any future purchases, try to avoid using your debit card due to the higher risk of identity theft, and when possible, pay by credit card. When paying with a credit card, federal law provides you with protection from having to pay for products that you ordered but did not receive.
Research the Company You Are Shopping From
While it may seem obvious to some avid online shoppers, not everyone does the groundwork to ensure the companies they are shopping from are reputable. Websites today are designed to make you think they are legitimate, and that you will be safe from being scammed. In order to reduce the risk of having your packages go “missing” after you checkout online, follow these four steps:
Research the company you are shopping from. The easiest way is to search the company name online and include keywords like “review,” “complaint,” “scam,” or “legit.” That way you can see what other customers have said about the company and the specific products you are considering ordering.
Read the product descriptions. Checking the descriptions of the products being sold can often reveal whether or not it accurately describes what you are ordering. If the products do not match the descriptions, you are at risk of being deceived or receiving a counterfeit product if your package does eventually show up.
Check the prices of the products you are buying and compare them to other competitors. A good rule to follow is if the deal sounds too good to be true, it just might be. If a company is offering name-brand goods at a heavily discounted price, it may be a sign that what is being sold is fake or counterfeit.
Check the shipping dates. As the holidays come around, the law requires that online retailers must ship out their products as they have advertised. In failing to do so, they must notify their consumers and provide them with the opportunity to cancel their order and the ability to receive a full refund. If they do not provide you with a shipping date, they legally have 30 days to ship out your purchase from the original order date.
Suspect a Scam? Report It.
At the end of the day, as a consumer, you need to ensure that you are taking all the proper precautions to avoid potentially being scammed by a phony company or seller. If you suspect that one of the stores you are shopping from is scamming you, you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission(FTC) at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. In the case that you are still left with no answers, Morgan and Morgan may be able to help you determine what to do if your online order never arrives.
To learn more about how we can help you hold those fraudulent sellers and companies accountable, you can connect with us by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form today.