Mail Or Telephone Order Rule Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Mail Or Telephone Order Rule, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Mail Or Telephone Order Rule?

“A law that requires companies to ship products within a specified time frame that was advertised. If a shipping time was not provided, then the shipping time is assumed to be thirty days.

History and Meaning of Mail Or Telephone Order Rule

The Mail or Telephone Order Rule is a law that covers distance selling transactions where consumers purchase products without physically interacting with the seller, like buying products from a catalog, advertising a product on television or radio, or through the internet.

The Federal Trade Commission implemented the Mail Order Rule in 1975, enabling consumers protection while engaging in distance selling transactions. The Rule mandates that if a merchant cannot ship an item within the shipping period explicitly advertised in the offer at the time of purchase or within thirty days, a refund is required.

Examples of Mail Or Telephone Order Rule

  • A consumer purchases a product on a media platform's shopping channel that claims delivery within ten days, but the merchant doesn't deliver the product within the promised time-frame. According to the Mail Or Telephone Order Rule, the consumer can request a full refund.

  • A customer orders a car part from a well-known automotive parts retailer, and the parts do not arrive within the allotted shipping period. As the company stated a specific delivery date, the merchant is obligated by the Mail Or Telephone Order Rule to refund the purchase or provide an estimated delivery date within the 30-day grace period.

  • A consumer orders a custom t-shirt with specific artwork from a merchant. The advertisement states that the shirt will be made within five days and delivered within two weeks. The shirt is not delivered within the specified time period nor within the 30-day grace period of the rule, and the consumer has not agreed to extend the order timeframe. According to the Mail or Telephone Order Rule, the consumer can demand a refund.

Legal Terms Similar to Mail Or Telephone Order Rule

  • Consumer Protection Laws: These are provided to ensure that sellers are obliged to provide products and services that meet specific standards of quality, fit for purpose, and advertised accurately.
  • Truth in Advertising: Truth in advertising refers to laws set in place to ensure transparency and honesty in advertising, preventing deceptive or misleading advertising practices.
  • Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP): UDAP laws prohibit companies from conducting any business practice that deceives consumers, mainly related to unfair advertising.
  • Cooling-Off Rule: Cooling-Off Rule refers to the ability to return a product or cancel a service contract within a specified period, often associated with door-to-door sales or sales made outside of a merchant's regular business location.