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ShoppingSpot > Resolving Problems

Resolving Problems

When an online retailer doesn't deliver, where do you turn? A phone call to the customer service department often leads you through a maze of menu options. Fortunately, there are sites dedicated to resolving your dispute.

Consumer Advocates

Planet Feedback rewards the companies that get it right and chastises those that don't. Register a compliment, complaint, suggestion or question and the site acts as your advocate.

Several organizations are ready to help you resolve problems. The Direct Marketing Association Consumer Line acts as an intermediary between consumers and direct marketing companies. Their site offers an address for complaints.

Since 1963, Call For Action has used volunteer professionals to assist consumers who have encountered problems with businesses, government agencies and other organizations. Their services are free and confidential, and you can use the site to find the office nearest you.

Online forms make filing a complaint easier. At the Better Business Bureau, you can learn what they are doing about Internet fraud and link to a form. At the National Fraud Information Center, you can download a brochure on safe online shopping, report fraud, or fill out their Online Incident Report Form.




The Federal Trade Commission has an online complaint form, as well as many informational pamphlets on e-Commerce and the Internet. "Going Shopping? Go Global! A Guide for E-Consumers Alert" and " Shop Safely Online" are especially helpful. Although the FTC cannot resolve individual problems, it can act against a company when a pattern emerges.

Witholding Payment

Paying by credit card offers some level of protection when shopping online. Most major credit card companies allow the consumer to withhold payment while a complaint is being resolved. Read about what MasterCard is doing to combat Internet fraud and what you can do to protect yourself at Safe Internet Shopping.

For additional help, visit How to Protect Yourself: Shopping On The Internet.




   --- J. Walker



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