If a customer places an order on a website, later decides to cancel the order, but the website ships the order, is it the website's discretion whether or not to refund the customer?

  • Did the customer refuse delivery of the shipment?
    – user662852
    Apr 4, 2016 at 21:36
  • 1
    It can also matter how much later, since there are laws allowing cancelling online orders (the "cooling-off" period: 3 business days for US federal rules).
    – user6726
    Apr 4, 2016 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


Depends on the circumstance, however, if it is a typical sales website the common law position is that a contract is formed when they accept your offer - either by acknowledging acceptance in an email or dispatching the goods; at that point both parties are legally bound.

The actual terms of the contract May and probably will deal with returns and refunds but generally you do not have a common or statute law right to return goods unless they are faulty.

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