Amazon.com’s press release pre announcing some of their deals is worth reading to get an idea of the volumes involved 158 orders a second sounds impressive but just imagine the number of clicks required to generate that order level. Literally billions in the day.
We would like to reiterate our Stay Safe advice and also add the BBB Better Business Bureau’s top ten tips which whilst aimed at our US colleagues, bar the legal/user detail differences (mainly tips 2, 7, & 10) substantially apply to the UK.
1. Protect your computer - A computer should always have the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a secure firewall.
2. Shop on trustworthy websites – Shoppers should start at www.bbb.org to check on the seller’s reputation and record for customer satisfaction. It’s a good idea to look for the BBB logo and other widely-recognized seals on retailer websites, but make sure they are real (some rogue sites plagiarize seals to look legitimate).
4. Beware of deals that sound too good to be true – Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails can often sound too good to be true, especially extremely low prices on hard-to-get items. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end.
5. Beware of phishing – Legitimate businesses do not send emails claiming problems with an order or an account to lure the “buyer” into revealing financial information. If a consumer receives such an email, BBB recommends picking up the phone and calling the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm that there really is a problem with the transaction.
6. Confirm your online purchase is secure – Shoppers should always look in the address box for the “s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site, BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page and select “Properties.” This will let you see the real URL (website address) and the dialogue box will reveal if the site is not encrypted.
7. Pay with a credit card – It’s best to use a credit card, because under federal law, you can dispute the charges if you don’t receive the item. Your also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on your credit card, and many card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which the card holder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it. If you are going to shop on classifieds web sites like Craigslist, never wire money and only buy locally where you can see the item before you hand over your money.
8. Keep documentation of your order – After completing the online order process, there may be a final confirmation page or the shopper might receive confirmation by email ¿ BBB recommends saving a copy of the web page and any emails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.
9. Check your credit card statements often – Don’t wait for paper statements; BBB recommends consumers check their credit card statements for suspicious activity by either calling credit card companies or by looking at statements online regularly.
10. Know your rights – Federal law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days. If the goods aren’t shipped on time, the shopper can cancel and demand a refund. There is no general three-day cancellation right, but consumers do have the right to reject merchandise if it’s defective or was misrepresented. Otherwise, it’s the company’s policies that determine if the shopper can cancel the purchase and receive a refund or credit. For more advice on staying safe online this holiday season, and to see reports on thousands of online retailers, go to www.bbb.org/us/consumer-tips-holiday.
PS If you want to add to the 140m + orders at amazon then wander over to our I Commerce Zone
Update 2.15pm Apologies for mini glitch with late arrival of this post!