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The Mail Order Rule

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Studies show that one dollar of every ten dollars spent is spent in on-line purchases. Now the law may finally be entering the 21st century as well.

You may be concerned when you order a product for shipment after seeing an infomercial about it at 3am. And while the product may not, in fact, be the greatest thing since a knife that can slice bread or a tomato or a tin can, for that matter, one thing that need not worry you - if you've ordered by mail, phone or now the internet - is whether it will come at all.

Under the Mail Order Rule, companies must have a reasonable basis for being able to ship merchandise within the time they state in their ads or, if no time is specified, within 30 days of receiving a properly completed order. And the Federal Trade Commission will now also extend the requirements to cover all internet purchases, not just those made by dial up or modem as the old Act covered.

And, if you don't get your order when promised, dial up or email the FTC to complain.

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