Overstock.com Subject of FTC Inquiry

Online discounter Overstock.com reported that the Federal Trade Commission has opened an inquiry into the company’s compliance with the so-called 30-day rule. Under the regulation, direct marketers have 30 days to ship orders to customers or to notify the customers that the products will be late and to offer them a refund.

But Jonathan Jonson, vice president of corporate affairs for Overstock.com, downplays the inquiry. “Of course we take a letter from any government agency very seriously,” he says, “but [the FTC] would not release the precise number of inquiries/complaints they received on this matter.”

Overstock.com received notice of the inquiry in mid-January. Jonson says that the FTC automatically sends notification to any company that receives a specific number of inquiries or complaints. “If you read our shipping policy carefully, it states that items are ‘normally shipped out’ within two business days. And our records indicate that more than 90% of our orders are shipped out within those two business days.”

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