As I recall the rules have recently changed. You are supose to ship or begin providing services immediately after charging someones card.
Realisticly you can charge someones card and ship a week later. Most small cart systems are set up to charge when the order is placed. This is what I've done and in 4 years I've never had a problem.
Your merchant bank will be able to give you the low down on the 'rules' if you ask them.
Thank you very much for the response nipear.
I have a client with a brand-new e-com site up and the sales are a bit slow.
They are processing the orders as they come in, but to save time, they are doing the shipping in a batch up to three days after the processing.
I was under the impression that they had a legal obligation to ship within 24 hours of processing, but I can't find the source where I read that.
Do you know a site or resource that I could read and have them read so we can set up our work flow (when to process and ship what)?
I don't know what site to look at but you want the FTC rules in regards to direct marketing (which also covers the internet).
I'm at home now, but somewhere at my work there is a copy of these rules. I'll see if I can't find the booklet and either give you a web address or give you the proper name of the rules.
I want to say that it's longer than a few days. B/c I know we have some items that are drop ship. We charge the card, immeadiatly and then it may be up to a week before the order even gets to the drop shipper. Amazon has the same thing if you buy from one of their partners.
I just reviewed a new merchant agreement for Visa/MC and the requirement (paraphrased) was the order had to be shipped within 48 hours. I don't know if this was system-wide or only for this particular merchant account provider.
How about charging customer's cc prior to custom work that takes 6 week to complete? Isn't is have to do with your product/service type and your store policies?
How about charging customer's cc prior to custom work that takes 6 week to complete? Isn't it have to do with your product/service type and your store policies?
I thought that I read somewhere (I don't remember where) that you are not supposed to charge the credit card until the item is shipped.
When I take a custom order, I usually first take a deposit equal to my cost and then complete the sale when the product ships. This is right from customer service at Cardservice International. This has been working fine.
I have pre-authorisation on my credit card account, which means I can have a 5 day window before processing the order (also filters out fraudulent cards which are used successfully).
Phone order, I don't charge the car until it is shipped but I don't know the rules.
I think my online merchant bureaux requires that I ship within 1 month, which was agreed when I signed up to them (Worldpay).
Here it is:
This is the FTC rules on merchandise orders. It states that it is for Mail or Telephone, but it does apply to the internet as well.
In there, it does say that you must ship the order with in 30 days of payment before you need to notify the buyer (unless you promised otherwise). At that point in time, you must cancel the order and refund the check or credit charge or take other actions (talked about in the paper) to extend the time.
Of course this does not mean that individual CC processors don't have individual rules regarding this matter.
Thanks for all your help!
I've been all over the web and read through the FTC's guidelines that you posted hannamylove.
So I'm a little more clear on some of this now.
I haven't been able to find anything specific about California regulations, but as I was reading the Verisign Payflow Pro developer's guide I came across a section that said both Visa and MasterCard don't allow capturing of orders until they've been shipped.
I couldn't find that on Visa's site anywhere, but hey...
If Verisign says so, it must be true :)
I've left it at "I strongly recommend not processing orders until you are ready to ship", and hope that's good enough.
I've also had them take the catch "Same-day" shipping out of their p.p.c. ads so as not to violate the FTC's
The Rule requires that when you advertise merchandise, you must have a reasonable basis for stating or implying that you can ship within a certain time..
My next thread might be "How to convince clients that sending out merchandise ordered from their brand new site right during the Christmas shopping season ON THE SAME DAY THE ORDER WAS PLACED is a really good idea"..