Legal Question in Consumer Law in Massachusetts

Can I sue an online retailer for not allowing me to cancel an order after they delayed the product? Is this a violation of the mail/internet/phone merchandise order rule? I had to utilize the BBB to finally get the merchant to cancel the order weeks after the initial expected delivery date and after the refused to allow me to cancel the order when they pushed the delivery date back.

Asked on 7/26/16, 8:03 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Mandy Spaulding The Law Office of Mandy L. Spaulding

You may or may not have a valid claim. However, there may be easier solutions available to you; for example disputing the charge on your credit card - as you did not get what you bargained for. If you would like to chat about this or other options, give my office a call.

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Answered on 7/27/16, 4:49 am
Jed Berliner L J Berliner

I have a recollection of an FTC (Federal Trade Commission) rule allowing you to cancel any time up to delivery, especially when the delivery date was delayed. But I don't want to look it up because I don't think you have a case.

HOWEVER, you have no damages to sue for. Your emotional distress is negligible and you very likely did not keep reliable and contemporaneous time records. No judge would award you for your time without such records, especially where you have not otherwise been damaged.

- There is an unfair and deceptive trade practices law in Massachusetts, under which you could be awarded $25.00 statutory damages plus attorney fees. You won't find an attorney to take the case, and suing in small claims court for $25.00 is, unfortunately, laughable.

- I don't mean to be dismissive. I mean to tell you that the law is not set up to honor disputes of this small magnitude.

- You might find a class action lawyer to prosecute this but there has to be a reason to expect a large number of injured clients. It would take a lot of time to find out, time for which there might not be compensation if the large number isn't there. I would not take this case myself, regrettably.

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Answered on 7/27/16, 8:01 am

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