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Possible Class Action? Gun Retailer not following FTC Guidelines RE: Ammo Backorders

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by Jsal, Dec 1, 2020.

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  1. Jsal

    Jsal Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Good afternoon,

    I have a question about a online gun/ammo retailer. I will try to make this as simple as i can:

    • I placed two orders for ammo from a popular online retailer on 4/16 and 4/28 of this year
      • First order total was $139.75 with an ETA of around 6/25
      • Second order total was $128.24 with an ETA of around 5/23
      • Both orders totaled $267.99
    • I never heard back from them, but i knew that there was a shortage so i figured they would ship when they ship.
    • On 11/30 I go online to verify the order statuses, and both were canceled.
    • Immediately after, I call their customer service and was advised that per FTC guidelines, they sent me an email and I did not respond so they canceled the orders. I then asked for proof and he advised that it was not possible to provide.
    • After searching my email and only finding the original order confirmation emails, I emailed their customer service right away and requested copies of the emails.
    • They responded by essentially telling me to kick rocks and if i want the ammo i have to place a new order; the new total would be $740.98 plus tax and shipping. About 3x the original order amount.
    • After 3 failed attempts to address my concern, I made a final request to provide the emails or i would take further legal action because I did not receive them. (if they provided them i would have let this go)
    • Earlier that day, I joined a very popular Gun group on Facebook with over 80k members, and posted the issues that I had been having and if anyone else had similar issues with them. I received a couple of responses that this has happened to them and there are likely others. I also did some digging and it seems they have a reputation of trying to get customer into situations like this to where they may miss an email or a letter by sending them in close succession(1-2 weeks apart)
    • On 12/01(yes the next morning) i received two email order confirmations. Not having received any other communications from them, i assume that they were not able to produce the emails and went ahead and reinstated the orders.
    • Right away I went online to Facebook to let the users know what had happened, and i learned that my post was deleted, and then i was booted from the group. I can no longer even locate the group on FB.
    So obviously I feel that I am being hushed. My issue is that they foresaw the price of ammo skyrocketing, and took advantage and did not send these emails out knowing that most people would cave and do nothing about it.

    Should I just be happy they reinstated my order, or could this be a bigger issue?

    TIA
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Yes.

    No.

    By the way, from April to November you did nothing to follow up on your order. That's on you.
     
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    If you wanted the ammo at that price and are now getting that then I would say you should be happy about that. If your question is whether you have anything for which to sue, the answer is no because you are getting the deal you contracted for. Since you aren't out any money from this, there is nothing you can get by suing the seller.
     
  4. Jsal

    Jsal Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That makes sense. Thank you for the response.

    My frustrations lay mostly in their tactics, and who knows how many other people there are out there that have tried and failed.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Proof of what?

    What makes you think this would entitle you to "take . . . legal action"?**

    Huh? How does sending emails or letters "1-2 weeks apart" constitute "close succession" or make it likely that a customer would "miss an email or a letter"? And what possible motivation would a retailer have for engaging in such a practice?

    Except for the possibility noted below, this appears to be merely a customer service issue. I note that you mentioned two things in the subject header of your post that you didn't mention in the body of the post: class action and "FTC guidelines." Nothing you posted suggests any basis for a class action suit or that handling it in that manner would be of any benefit to you, and I don't know what "FTC guidelines" might mean. The FTC enacts regulations that have the force of law. If, in fact, the FTC has promulgated "guidelines," they would not likely have the force of law. In any event, you didn't cite any regulations or guidelines. If you want to do so, I or someone else will take a look and see if they have any relevance.

    ** - In theory, if a contract was formed (and you placing an order does not necessarily constitute the formation of a contract) and the seller failed to perform and you could not obtain substitute goods for the same or a lower price, you could sue for the difference between what you had to pay and the contract price.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suspect if one searched hard enough, he/she could find millions of people who've failed at billions of endeavors.
     
  7. Jsal

    Jsal Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Not very good at formatting all this so i will answer your quotes in order:

    1: proof of the email that was supposed to be sent per FTC. I did a quick search and this is what i found:

    Shipping Goods and the 30-Day Rule - FindLaw

    The verbiage is a bit confusing, because it states they "must" notify the customer, but then states that if they dont want to they can cancel the order. It also states that the rule is enforceable by the FTC with fines of $16,000. So its not a guideline...from what it seems to me.

    2. I believe i answered this in 1
    3. Seems as though there is a 30 day rule. Being that prices skyrocketed, the incentive is clear as to why they would want to cancel as many backorders as possible. So new orders at higher prices can be placed. Like i said, it went from $270 to almost $800 for the same product due to demand. Also, by sending these noticed out every week or two weeks, instead of say every 30 days....it seems they are trying to make the consumer miss an email and force the cancelation.

    Hopefully that helps clarify?
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    There's nothing confusing at all. What is says is this:

    If you don't wish to ask the customer whether you can delay the order, you can cancel the order yourself and give a full refund within the time period shipping was promised.


    In other words, they can do exactly what they did. They are within the (that) law in their actions.
     
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    OK. Yes, that's an FTC regulation (not a "guideline"). In your case, whether the order was simply canceled or canceled because the seller sent a notice and you didn't respond timely, it sounds like the order was canceled and you either didn't get charged or got a refund. You certainly can lodge a complaint with the FTC, but based on the facts given, it doesn't sound like it will go anywhere.

    Basically, this boils down to whether and when a contract was formed between you and the seller. If you had a contract, then you could sue for breach as I described previously. If you didn't have a contract, then you have no valid claim. One would need to review the site's terms of service and other relevant documents to determine whether or not a contract was formed.
     
  10. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Well-Known Member

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    I am a moderator for a gun group on Facebook. Since Facebook has cracked down hard on gun groups. I delete people comments every hour.... If you post a $ sign Facebook will pick it up as a selling item (not allowed). If you post a link that shows ammo prices again not allowed. If you talk about pricing at various web sites again not allowed. All these types of posts on Facebook will be deleted.... You could also make a complaint with the BBB where the ammo supplier is located. I did that once... which had great results. It was for the same thing you're talking about. This was like 3 years ago before there was a panic buying on ammo.
     
    army judge likes this.

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