Online Shopping Safety

When shopping online, HSN online shopping is an example of an excellent online retailer,  there are several things you can do to add to your shopping safety. Being aware of technology scams, checking website policies and understanding your credit card rights, will go a long way in providing personal protection.

Some websites will provide cost comparisons, assisting you in finding the lowest price for your request. Be aware, there have been reports of a few sites “fixing” their technology and returning incorrect results.

Once you have decided where you want to make your purchase, go through that website and look for policies defining warranties, refunds, returns, legal statements and privacy policies.

Warranties, where provided, will tell you what is covered and for what time period. It will also tell you who to contact if you need a replacement, a refund or a repair.

Be sure to read the refund and return policy. Will the website provide a refund? Can the item be returned to a retail outlet? Will there be a restocking fee?

Legal statements posted on the website will determine where legal proceedings are to be held. Assuming you are shopping in the United States, you may have to travel to pursue a complaint. If you are shopping outside of the United States, be sure to know who you are shopping with.

A privacy statement may surprise you. Read it carefully. Many companies feel free to sell your personal information or add you to multiple email lists. By using their website, you give them permission to hand out your email address and possibly your physical address and phone number.

Using a credit card online is relatively safe. All transactions are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. If your credit card is used without authorization you are generally only liable for the first $50, and sometimes less.

The Internet is also subject to the Federal Mail/Telephone Order Merchandise Rule which requires companies to ship your order within 30 days or notify you of the delay.

When you are making a purchase, try to limit the amount of personal information you give out. Never give out your passwords. And finally, be sure to keep a paper trail. Print out the seller’s contact information, a copy of your receipt, a page describing the item you ordered, and the email confirming the order.