Last week the FTC filed suits against a few online merchandisers regarding their alleged failures to promptly deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to consumers. The lawsuits allege that three online sellers violated the FTC’s Mail Order Rule, which mandates that companies notify consumers of shipping delays in a timely manner and give them the option to cancel orders and receive prompt refunds.
In its complaint against Zaappaaz, Inc, the FTC alleges that wrist-band.com “guaranteed” same day shipping of COVID-related products, but took weeks to ship orders and failed to inform consumers of delays. The complaint also cites multiple instances of incorrect or defective products received by consumers for which the company denied refeeds, as well as un-kept promises of refunds to consumers who never received their purchased products.
The FTC also alleges that American Screening, LLC, Ron Kilgarlin Jr., and Shawn Kilgarlin violated the Mail Order Rule by stating that PPE products would be shipped “within 24-48 hours,” when many items were not shipped until weeks or months later.
All sellers offering products via website or catalog should take note and review existing compliance practices. Our breakdown of the Mail Order Rule can help companies navigate the requirements. Our recent article, Top FTC Rules and Guides You Should Keep in Mind, may also be useful.