When you shop online, you can usually get a refund if you need to return an item that's damaged or just plain wrong for you. But, what if you order something and it doesn't arrive by the guaranteed shipping time?
"When people don't get their guaranteed delivery on time," says consumer tech expert Jennifer Jolly, "the consequences can range from fairly annoying to downright devastating."
Online forums are full of customers complaining about late deliveries. But, Jolly says most people don't realize they're typically entitled to some sort of reparation for delays. "In 99 percent of cases, barring some unforeseen disaster, you are eligible for some kind of refund or credit whenever a package arrives late," she tells us.
Now, some services, like Paribus or 71lbs, say they'll actually help you get what you're owed. How do they work? You connect software to your email and it regularly scans for delivery notifications. If a package arrives later than it's supposed to, the service will scan a claim on our behalf. You could get a partial or full refund, a credit, or extended benefits depending on the retailer's shipping policies.
Jolly says there are some positives to the services such as, "you may get money back that you weren't expecting for a lot less hassle than doing it yourself. " However, Jolly adds there may be some privacy things to consider. She says, "The cons: well you do have to turn access to your e-mail inbox over to an outside company," or shipping account information.
The companies say they don't share private information with 3rd parties.
Of course, you can file claims on our own. Always check shipping policies before you buy for rules, including the fine print. Some claims have to be filed in less than 14 days, for example. Whatever you do, Jolly says arm yourself with information, stressing, "I think it's really important to know what laws really protect you as a consumer, "
According to the F.T.C., companies must ship within the agreed time, or 30 days of receiving the order. If they can't, they're required to give adequate notice of delay. Then, allow customers the chance to agree to the delay or cancel.
The cost of the special services ranges from free to a percentage of what's recovered.
Getting what you deserve when packages are delivered late