US state law protects consumers buying online

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer signed into law this week a bill that gives consumers added protections when they make purchases over the Internet.

"Consumers have recognized the ease and convenience of shopping online, and it's imperative that state government provide protections as the Internet marketplace evolves," said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, in a statement. The attorney general's office handles consumer issues.

"Consumer protection is a major part of Attorney General Cuomo's agenda," said Lee Park, Cuomo's spokesman. "He campaigned on it, and it's a major concern; as AG, one of his roles is to protect New York consumers.

Last year, the attorney general's Internet Bureau received more than 1,000 complaints from consumers who said they hadn't received merchandise they purchased online or had other problems with online retailers.

The new law, which was effective Monday, gives consumers who make online purchases the same protections as those who make purchases over the phone or through the mail, Park said.

Among those protections are that:

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