Media contact: Janet C. Hart, APR, CFEE, Fellow PRSA (704) 927-8617 office.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Online shopping is more popular than ever. “Online sales have increased by 20 percent over last year,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy.
“Buying gifts online is easy; but managing your purchases, shipments, charges, returns and refunds takes work.”
If you are one of the 131 million people who spent $2 billion on Cyber Monday or National Free Shipping Day, the BBB has 10 tips for what you should do after shopping online to make sure your holiday gift giving season is merry.
BBB’s 10 Tips after Shopping Online:
1. Keep receipts. If you have products to return, you will need your receipts.
2. Save original packaging. Without the original packaging, you may not be able to return products you ordered.
3. Review your accounts. Check your credit card and bank statements for charges, return credits and unauthorized charges every few days.
4. Watch out for scams. Don’t fall for fake phishing emails about problems with your package deliveries or with your credit card or bank account. Scam your computer for viruses that you may have picked up while surfing for the best deals.
5. Monitor the "return clock". The return clock starts ticking the day you buy the gift, not the day you give it.
6. Understand return fees, restocking fees and shipping fees if you have to return gifts.
7. Keep a record of deliveries. If you order products online and don't receive them, your credit card company may refund your money.
8. Return purchases promptly. If you bought gifts that aren’t quite right, return them as soon as possible.
9. Track purchases that are out of stock carefully. Your credit card should not be charged until the product is in stock.
Note: If a product breaks, and the online merchant's refund period has ended, many credit cards will refund the purchase to you within in 90 days of your order date, NOT the date you received the product.
Example, if you buy a product that is out of stock and takes two months to receive, you may only have one month remaining on your credit card buyer protection to return the product if it breaks.
10. Check your credit reports and your children's credit reports with all three credit bureaus at least once per year to make sure that no one has opened credit accounts in your names.
You can get a free credit report from each credit bureau at www.annualcreditreport.com.
For more information about how you can be a savvy online shopper, please visit BBB.
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