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At-home shopping quiz

At-home shopping quiz

Having an out-of-store experience? Having lots of them, in fact?

Welcome to the club. Millions of us are turning our backs on making in-store appearances at our local brick-and-mortars, electing instead to buy via clicks, calls and correspondence.

Are you an ace as an armchair-shopper? Sharp when it comes to shopping at home? Or has the mail brought you more Maalox moments than merriment? Put down that catalog, and start clicking away at our quiz -- the answers will be served up right on your screen.

  1. Wow -- the Web site ReallyOldCrud.com is offering a gen-yoo-wine ''antique'' tea cozy for only $875. You, of course, are aware that the word ''antique'' can properly refer to items that are:

    Really, really old.
    At least 50 years old.
    At least 100 years old.
    All of the above.
    None of the above.
  2. You decided to throw caution to the wind and order up that pig in a poke -- er, we mean the above-mentioned no-doubt-appreciating-as-we-speak tea cozy. Day after day passes and you are still cozy-less. ReallyOldCrud.com can't do this to you -- or can it? How long does Crud have before it violates the law governing reasonably prompt delivery times?

    Two weeks.
    One month.
    Two months.
    They can take as long as they darn well please -- provided it's within one calendar year -- so caveat emptor and all that.
  3. So, what does ''FTC'' stand for, anyway?

    Firearms Tobacco Conservationary.
    Friends of Telemarketers Committee.
    Fans of Tony Clifton.
    Fair Trade Commission.
    Federal Trade Commission.
  4. That 30-day delivery rule generally applies across-the-board to all orders placed by phone, fax, mail or computer -- but some slack is allowed companies who, quite legitimately, may not be able to get you, say, your Butt-Buster Exerciser with Attached Snack Tray (autographed by celebrity spokesmodel Crispy Crunchy) within that time frame. All's cool, legally speaking, if the company:

    Sends an appropriate substitute, pronto -- say a Buns-Basher Exerciser with Attached Beer Mugs.
    Places a paid, formal notice in a newspaper with circulation in your county, announcing its difficulty in meeting orders.
    Summarily executes its CEO.
    Notifies you of its inability to ship your order promptly, and gives you the choice of waiting longer or getting a refund.
  5. Say you elect to cancel your order and get a refund -- how long does WhatOrder?.com (or any other company) generally have to give you back your hard-earned dough, before it's on the wrong side of the law?

    Ten days.
    One month.
    Two months.
  6. What's escrow?

    Add ''.com,'' and it's singer Sheryl Crow's great new Web site -- soon to be expanded to a catalog -- in which she auctions off some of the super duds she wears onstage, with proceeds going to charity.
    A furtive -- but legal -- way for sellers of collectibles to make their wares seem more valuable than they really are.
    A form of protection for buyers.
  7. A telemarketer asks for your Social Security number ''just for verification purposes.'' You:

    Ask to speak to a supervisor, to make sure this is a valid request with which you should comply.
    Ask that the request be put in writing.
    Refuse, and do business elsewhere.
  8. A shopping robot is:

    A life-size remote-controlled 'bot the Japanese invented that can be directed to go into stores within a 10-mile radius of your home, and do simple shopping chores for you.
    A consumer who just can't stop shopping -- Oprah's done shows dealing with this phenomenon.
    A form of search engine.
  9. Given all payment options when ordering merchandise, whether by phone, fax, computer or mail, which is your best bet?

    Credit card.
    C.O.D.
    Cashier's check.
    Certified check.
    Debit card.
  10. If you're hesitant about entering financial and personal information on a secure Web site, a safer alternative is to simply e-mail it to the company. Right?

    Wrong.
    Absolutely.

-- Posted: Dec. 3, 2001

 

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