Buyer Beware: The Loopholes of Online Purchase Protection

Buyer Beware: The Loopholes of Online Purchase Protection

Consumerism through the internet is on an uptick. Now, before we get started, keep in mind that the majority of eCommerce transactions are safe. However, there are times when misled buyers must register in an online purchase protection policy. We’ve analyzed popular web-based platforms for loopholes. Below is everything you need to know before clicking submit. 

Facebook purchasing policies and safeguards

According to Facebook, their online purchase protection policy states that the buyer should make sure that the purchase is eligible before proceeding. Purchases deemed ineligible won’t be able to fall under the safeguards of Facebook’s shield. So, what does it all mean?

1. Buyers must use onsite checkout on Facebook to pay for purchases.
2. Purchases made through third-party sites, local pickups, Messenger transactions, or other messaging services will not qualify.
3. There must be an attempt to contact the seller first, and if not resolved, then the buyer may submit a claim.

In regards to Facebook Marketplace, payment is handled offsite at the point of exchange, so it does not qualify for protection.

PayPal offers security for consumers

Another financial bigwig is PayPal. After reviewing the details of their purchasing policy, it’s easy to see they cover a wide range of scenarios. Paypal offers to reimburse buyers for the entire purchase price (plus any original shipping costs) if the item received is significantly different from its description or if it never shows up.

While Paypal’s website is mainly straightforward, we did have to do some digging for clarification. There are no mentions regarding intangible goods on this page; however, on a more specific and detailed guideline, we learn they are not eligible for coverage. “Non-tangible” items include items such as software, digital media, and cloud storage. Additionally, services, gift vouchers, airline tickets, downloads, licenses for digital content, and other non-physical goods are unprotected as well. 

Amazon A-to-Z guarantee for buyers

Lastly, we’ll discuss Amazon’s policy regarding purchases. When an order processes through its website, Amazon guarantees the purchase. If the item is damaged, not up to par, or never received, the customer will qualify for a refund. There are a few exceptions:

– Payments for services
– Payments for subscriptions
– Digital merchandise
– Cash or stored value instruments
– Prohibited items 

In regards to users without a Prime membership, Amazon does not accept returns for items fulfilled by third-party sellers. The seller determines the return policy. Buyers need to read the full details of their order before placing it. 

Review online purchase protection policies carefully

Shopping via the internet is convenient and, most of the time, reliable. As consumers, we should resist impulse buys and do our homework before putting up our hard-earned money. The sites managed by the FTC, Consumer Reports, and the Better Business Bureau offer shoppers a long list of resources to file a claim or report fraud. By choosing a reliable credit card, like the Achieva Mastercard, you will have access to fraud prevention and credit monitoring to keep your information safe while shopping on the web. As a final safeguard, your state consumer office may offer additional protections with returns and exchanges.

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