Have you ever had a bad online shopping experience? Maybe you ordered one thing but got another. Or that new company never shipped your order, despite charging you.

So, what do you do? Here are some best practices to help resolve your issue:

  • Contact the seller. Most businesses will work with you to resolve the problem.
    • If you need to contact the merchant, go directly to their website instead of searching for a customer service phone number.
  • If you made the purchase with a Credit or Debit Card, contact your card issuer to see if you have dispute rights.
    • Always save your receipts and confirmation emails. If something goes wrong, these can help you get your money back from the seller or file a dispute with your credit card company.

Here are a few tips when shopping online:

  • If you are unfamiliar with the company you are shopping with, do a search online with the company’s name plus words like review, complaint, or scam, to see what other people are saying.
  • Avoid the urge to click links that pop up in social media. These often advertise a very attractive price for hard-to-find products…but many times they are not legitimate websites.
  • Don’t send money via P2P (person-to-person) to an unknown seller. There’s no guarantee you’ll get the merchandise, only that the money will be transferred successfully.
  • Read the fine print to be sure you understand the merchant’s terms and conditions, including their refund policy.
  • Be mindful of items being shipped from a foreign country. Items may take much longer to arrive, and if they are held up in Customs it’s your responsibility to retrieve them.