Cannot take payment until ready to ship

  je-haz 10:51 06 Dec 2007


I recently ordered an item and have been charged for it on my credit-card, before it has been shpped.

I didn't think this was legal?

I have read a lot of websites where the t&c specified that payments won't be taken until they are ready to ship - but is this law?

Does anyone know of any website that states this?


  LegoTestPilot 11:20 06 Dec 2007

Often nowadays companies take payment before shipping to make sure you have the funds to pay for your purchase.

Did you not read the Companies Terms & Conditions before you made your purchase?

  je-haz 11:56 06 Dec 2007

They normally do a pre-authorisation on checkout to make sure your card details are correct and that you have the funds.

Then they usually actually take the dosh when the item is "ready to ship" (this is different from being shipped).

But I didnt think it was lawful to take actually take payment and then wait 2 weeks before shipping. Thats not "ready to ship".

Anyone know the law?

  LegoTestPilot 12:59 06 Dec 2007

Who's the company?
Are they UK based??

  keef66 13:36 06 Dec 2007

I'm always pleasantly surprised when I am not charged immediately; it seems to be the exception rather than the rule nowadays. Most things arrive very promptly, so it's never been an issue for me. Not sure about the legality of it though

  spuds 15:54 06 Dec 2007

There is nothing illegal about taking funds before the transaction is complete. But good business practise usually determines how and when funds will be obtained. A companies terms and conditions may have all the details available, and if at all possible, it is best to try and read them before making the sale, especially with a company that you have never traded with before.

There are a number of reasons why some companies adopt the 'pay before' method. One could be cash-flow, another could be security of receiving payment before the company commences completion of order, more so since the distance selling regulations came into force.

  interzone55 16:35 06 Dec 2007

A lot of smaller e-tailers do not actually carry stock, all orders are processed by fulfillment companies.

If the e-tailer doesn't have much of a trading history they will have to pay the fulfillment company upfront, so they will need to charge you upfront.

Moral of this story, if you've not bought from a company before, and they're not a major name, read the T & C before ordering

  wjrt 17:51 06 Dec 2007

click here
will give you all the legalities concerned

  Forum Editor 00:20 07 Dec 2007

there's no law against taking funds before goods are shipped.

  Devil Fish 23:38 07 Dec 2007

Amazon have always taken payment from my card before goods are shipped the only variation is pre ordered goods and they will then not take payment until the goods are in stock

  spuds 10:46 08 Dec 2007

Devil Fish. Amazon do take payment, but at least they also return the funds immediately if there is a mistake made by either party. Some companies make you wait the full (legal) 30 days time period, for return of funds. Thats when the real rot and annoyance sets in, especially if emails or other contact methods are ignored.

A few years ago, it was suggested that some form of a compensation scheme would be considered by the government, regarding late payments and the like. This consideration, now appears to have been forgotten, as very little is discussed on the matter nowadays.

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