New Yorkers who buy merchandise on-line and have their purchases shipped will now receive greater protections under a new law sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. The new law extends consumer protections already in place for purchases made through the mail and by telephone to purchases that consumers make on the Internet.
Senator Fuschillo (Merrick, 8th Senate District), Chairman on the Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection, said, "With more and more New Yorkers making purchases on-line, they need assurances that the merchandise they buy arrives at their door and in a reasonable amount of time. This new law will ensure that Internet consumers are afforded the same protections as those who make purchases by mail or by phone."
In 2006, the New York State Office of Attorney General’s Internet Bureau received more than 1000 consumer complaints alleging failure to deliver goods ordered on-line or other improper conduct related to on-line purchases. Senator Fuschillo’s new law gives the Attorney General the power to stop businesses from performing such practices.
Specifically, the new law (S. 4964, Chapter 72) prohibits on-line businesses from:
- Advertising or accepting orders for merchandise that will not be available for shipment within thirty days, unless a longer period of time is conspicuously stated in advertisements, and
-Charging additional fees for expedited shipping when the seller does not reasonably expect the merchandise to be shipped within three business days of the date the order was placed.
The law also requires on-line businesses to:
-Display a legal business name and street address in all advertising materials that contain a post office box address,
-Describe the conditions under which a refund will be issued in all advertising materials, and
-Maintain records of complaints alleging failure to ship merchandise.
The new law takes effect immediately.
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