Technology helps consumers get money back on late deliveries

Reporter: Sara Girard
Published: Updated:

When you shop online, you can usually get a refund if you need to return an item that is damaged or decide it is wrong for you. Online forums are full of customers complaining about late deliveries.

New consumer technology gets money back for customers without any heavy lifting.

“When people don’t get their guaranteed delivery on time, the consequences can range from fairly annoying to downright devastating,” Jennifer Jolly, a consumer technology expert said.

Jolly said most people don’t realize they are typically entitled to reparations for delays.

“In 99 percent of cases, barring some unforeseen disaster, you are eligible for some kind of refund or credit whenever a package arrives late,” Jolly said.

Now, some services said they will help customers get what they are owed.

Here’s how it works: Connect software to email. The software regularly scans for delivery notifications, and if a package arrives later than it’s supposed to, the service will scan a claim on behalf of the customer. Consumers could get a partial or full refund credit or extended benefits depending on the retailer’s shipping policies.

Jolly said there are positives to the services.

“The pros are you may get money back that you weren’t expecting for a lot less hassle than doing it yourself,” Jolly said.

Jolly said there also may be some privacy things to consider.

“The cons: well, you do have to turn access to your e-mail inbox over to an outside company,” Jolly said.

Things like shipping account information for example. Though, the companies said they don’t share private information with third parties.

Of course, you can file claims on your own. Always checking shipping policies before you buy rules, including the fine print. Some claims have to be filed in less than 14 days.

Whatever you do, Jolly said, arm yourself with information.

“I think it’s really important to know what laws really protect you as a consumer,” Jolly said.

Companies must ship within the agreed time or 30 days of receiving the order. If they can’t, they’re required to give adequate notice of delay then allow customers the chance to agree to delay or cancel.

The cost for the special services ranges from free to a percentage of what is covered.

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