Shopping Online? Beware misleading shipping and handling fees - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Shopping Online? Beware misleading shipping and handling fees

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The online shopping season is in full swing and will peak within the first week of December.  

If you are planning to buy gifts online or from Infomercials on television, the Better Business Bureau has a warning for you about the ways retailers make money on your orders by charging separate shipping and handling fees.

Shipping and handling fees are certainly not new, but retailers are finding ways to make extra money with special promotions such as "order now and we'll double your order," or "buy now and we'll include a free gift" – it may sound like a good deal at first, until you realize that you will be charged separate shipping and handling fees on each item, including the "free" gifts and the "bonus" products.  All of these fees can actually add up to more than the total cost of the products you're ordering.

Recent consumer complaints allege deceptive advertising and sales practices which include failing to disclose shipping and handling fees prior to purchase, and charging fees for products advertised as "free."

If you are buying online or by telephone, make sure you know the full cost of shipping and handling fees and authorize the transaction before your credit card is charged.

For more information, please visit BBB or call (704) 927-8617 or toll-free in N.C. and S.C. at 1-877-317-7236.

For more advice from the BBB on common holiday problems, click here.

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