Holiday Web Site Problems Decrease in 2000

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Consumers reported far fewer problems with Web retailers during the 2000 holiday season than they did a year earlier, according to a Federal Trade Commission report released yesterday.


More realistic shipping claims and stronger back-end operations resulted in fewer customer complaints, said Jodie Bernstein, head of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.


The FTC began an investigation after consumer complaints skyrocketed as a result of the 1999 holiday season, when many e-tailers failed to fill orders as promised.


Seven Web sites -- Macys.com, CDNow.com, KBKids.com, Minidiscnow.com, Toysrus.com, Patriot Computer and The Original Honey Baked Ham Co. of Georgia -- paid a total of $1.5 million in penalties for making false promises about their shipping abilities.


The FTC did not find it necessary to investigate any Web sites based on their holiday season 2000 performance, Bernstein said.
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