Mail Order Merchandise

When will I receive merchandise that I ordered by mail?

The seller is required to ship the merchandise to you within the time limits stated in its ad or within 30 days if no time is stated.

What if the merchandise is not shipped as promised?

If the merchandise is not shipped as promised in the ad or within 30 days, you have the right to cancel your order and have your money refunded within 7 days of cancellation.  If you paid with credit, the seller has one billing cycle to adjust your account. If the seller tells you that it cannot ship the merchandise as promised, you may cancel the order and get your money back or agree to a new shipping date.

What if I am shipped merchandise that I have not ordered?

You do not have to pay for merchandise you have not ordered or requested, and it is illegal for the sender to pressure you to return it or send you a bill.

What do I do if I have a dispute with a business?

Send a letter to the business by certified or registered mail explaining your dispute.  Keep a copy of the letter for your records. Send copies of receipts, contracts, or other papers that support your dispute. Never send your original documents. If the business does not resolve the dispute, file a complaint with the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs at https://tn.gov/commerce/topic/consumer-file-a-consumer-complaint. The Division can mediate consumer disputes with businesses. You can also talk to your local legal aid or a private attorney about legal remedies that might be available.

Mail Order Merchandise PDF

Acknowledgements & Disclaimer: This Fact Sheet was prepared by West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS) and made possible by Serving Tennessee Seniors-administered by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee at the request of the Chancery Court. WTLS thanks the Tennessee Bar Association for its permission to use The Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors (2014 edition) as a primary information source. This publication is supported, in part, by funds provided by the Southwest Area Agency on Aging and Disability, the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of the Southwest Area Agency on Aging and Disability or any agency of Tennessee or the U.S. government. Fact Sheets are for information only and not intended to replace legal advice. If you are in need of legal help, call WTLS at (800) 372-8346, or seek the help of a private attorney. (Revised 5/2017)