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Business

NY offers online shoppers full protection

When shopping on the Internet, have you ever wondered is it a safe transaction? Is the store really what it claims to be?
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on

When shopping on the Internet, have you ever wondered is it a safe transaction? Is the store really what it claims to be? Who do you contact if you never receive your package? New York online shoppers can breath a sigh of relief now that a new state law allows for the same protections as those who order by mail or telephone, reports Newsday.

The law, which affect all companies as well as individuals, mandates that all online orders be shipped within 30 days or be subject to cancellation and a full refund or substitute merchandise. Retailers also are required to clearly identify their legal name, address and refund procedures, and to keep records of consumer complaints that may be used by the attorney general in a future legal case.

"The Internet is no longer the Wild West of commerce; consumers are protected even in cyberspace," Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference. "If you've been victimized on these [online] sales, we can now do something about it."

Online shopping has exploded as Internet usage has expanded. According to a recent report, online sales grew 25 percent last year, to $220 billion, including travel.

"Business is business, whether the seller is J.C. Penney or a mail-order business or an individual selling collectibles on eBay," Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said. "The principles of our general business law that have historically guided commerce in this state will also apply to the electronic marketplace."

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