The Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule
This rule covers merchandise you order by mail, telephone, computer and fax. It requires merchants to have a reasonable basis for claiming they can ship an order within a certain time.
By law, a merchant should ship your order within the time stated in its ads or over the phone. If the merchant doesn't promise a time, you can expect it to ship your order within 30 days.
The shipment "clock" begins when the merchant receives a "properly completed order." That includes your name, address and payment (check, money order or authorization to charge an existing credit account - whether the account is debited at that time or not).
If the merchant is unable to ship within the promised time, it must notify you by mail, telephone, or email, give a revised shipping date and give you the chance to cancel for a full refund or accept the new shipping date. The merchant also must give you some way to exercise the cancellation option for free, for example, by supplying a prepaid reply card or staffing a toll-free telephone number.
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original post date 1/13/10