A small online store selling physical goods has failed to ship a purchased item within estimated timeframe and has agreed to refund (under $2,000).

However, it is now taking time to process the refund, again, giving an estimation of several weeks (or say months). Like it did not ship the item, there is little hope that it will process the refund either before it goes bust.

Credit card chargebacks aside, are there any legal means to forcibly extract the refund from them?

Since the store does not dispute owing money, would it even make sense to file a Small Claims case? To proceed straight to enforcement? How difficult would it be in California?

Any consumer protection agencies (threatening to) complaining to which would motivate such a store to process refund quickly? The complaint would be not only about taking time to process the refund, but also about the store still showing the item as available in stock and fooling other customers.

  • Credit card chargebacks are the only expedited response option and are far superior to the other alternatives. I'm not sure why your question would discount them.
    – ohwilleke
    Dec 6, 2021 at 1:17
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    @ohwilleke Because of time passage since the purchase. Several months in this case. Not many banks allow filing chargebacks after that long. Also, the payment method may have not been CC in the first place. It could be wire transfer, or Splitit.
    – Greendrake
    Dec 6, 2021 at 1:58
  • @Greendrake Almost all US banks allow for chargebacks up to 120 days (4 months) after purchase. Some even extend that to start the clock from the date the item was received, or if never received, the date that it was expected to be received. Definitely check with your bank if you used a credit card.
    – animuson
    Dec 14, 2021 at 0:10
  • @animuson As one of the major banks, Bank of America only allows 90 days.
    – kisspuska
    Dec 14, 2021 at 1:46
  • @animuson Yeah I know. Whereas that may be the best course of action, this question consciously excludes chargebacks.
    – Greendrake
    Dec 14, 2021 at 2:43


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