United States online orders
As a consumer from the United Kingdom, you may be wondering what
are your rights if you order online from a trader based in the United
States of America.
A first port of call would be to read the Federal Trade Commission
website, which is an American organisation aimed at protecting America's
consumers. Their Web address is provided below,
The FTC has the remit to enforce consumer law, as does the Department
of Justice in the US.
As a UK consumer, you should bare in mind that the rights you have
in the UK or EU do not apply in the US. In respect to the U.S.,
or any other overseas country outside of the EU, you are subject
to the rights of the country you are purchasing from.
It's a wise idea to purchase goods in the US with a credit card.
If something does go wrong, and you cannot claim a refund from the
US supplier, then it may be possible to claim a refund from the
credit card company. The order may need to exceed one hundred pounds
to claim a breach of contract against your credit card provider.
US consumer law is not as straight forward to understand as EU
or UK consumer law. There are various federal (US government) and
state laws for consumers. Various states of the US may differ in
their consumer protection. For example, California is believed to
have stringent consumer protection, therefore, purchasing from a
trader in that state may prove wise.
If you are interested in learning more about US consumer law, then
the following federal acts may be useful to study.
- Fair Credit Billing Act
- Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
- Truth in Lending Act
In conlusion, consumer law differs in industries and states of
the US. It can be a complex subject to grasp, but the rudimentals
may be worth investigating if you are planning a large purchase