Problems With Online Offers

By: John Mooney
By: John Mooney

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Online shopping offers ease and convenience. Sometimes you'll even find some extra incentives like a special online coupon or even free shipping. Be careful, free offers may be anything but.

Two online shoppers have two different complaints. One says the website said free shipping, but didn't come through, the other found a coupon for $10 off didn't work. They're not alone according to the Federal Trade Commission. Elaine Kolish said, "complaints are all over the lot. They can be about customer service, they haven't gotten a refund at all yet, or a coupon didn't work."

The fine print wasn't an issue for Kristin Yenzer. She was given a coupon after buying jeans online. It had no expiration date, but when she went to use it the promotional code didn't work when she went to enter it. Some reasons for coupon kickbacks include expiration dates in the fine print, restrictions or even technical glitches on the company's computer. The National Retail Federation says you can prevent online purchase problems by shopping with companies you know, making sure you have a contact number or address and seeing what others are saying.

It's also a good idea to pay with plastic. Under federal law, your liability for an unauthorized charge is limited to $50. Issuers will even waive this fee.

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