You can order all kinds of things from the comfort of your home using the telephone, mail, or a computer. But along with this convenience come common complaints of late delivery, shipment of wrong or damaged items, and hidden costs.
Tips to avoid problems when shopping from home:
- Be wary of post office boxes and sellers in other countries. It may be difficult to find the seller to resolve a problem later.
- Know the total price. Make sure it includes all charges, shipping, handling, insurance and taxes. Coupons and other discounts should be properly deducted.
- Make sure you are clear on what you are buying. Watch for words like "refurbished," "reconditioned," "close-out," or "discontinued."
- Give your credit card, debit card, or bank account number only if you're using that account to pay, never to prove your identity.
- Keep track of your order. Follow up with the company if package is late or missing.
- It is against the law to require a purchase in order to enter a contest.
- Check the fine print. Any time you place an order or enter a contest, your name, address and telephone number may be sold to other companies. Companies may also charge “restocking fees” for items you wish to return.
- Review your credit card bill carefully to ensure you were charged correctly for your purchases. Promptly report any errors to your credit card company.