State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. announced today that the Senate approved legislation that he sponsors that would protect online consumers who have merchandise shipped. The measure extends consumer protections already in law for purchases made through the mail and by telephone to purchases that consumers make on the Internet.
Senator Fuschillo (R-Merrick) said, "With more and more people making purchases online, they need assurances that the merchandise they buy arrives at their door and in a reasonable amount of time. Under this legislation, online consumers would be 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 online or other improper conduct related to online purchases. Senator Fuschillo’s legislation would give the Attorney General the power to stop businesses from performing such practices.
Specifically, the legislation (S. 4964) would prohibit online 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 legislation would also require online 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 legislation now goes to the Assembly.
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