TODAY   |  November 20, 2013

Know your consumer rights this holiday

Retail analyst Hitha Prabhakar stops by TODAY to offer some tips and advice for consumers dealing with the stresses of shopping and traveling this holiday season.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> let the holiday rush begin. thanksgiving is next week which is the start of the busy traveling and shopping center .

>> whether shipping your package or signature at the airport you can count on delay and hassles.

>> and here to let you know how to get what you paid for. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> more and more people are back to how they're going to do their shopping this year. shipping is always a concern. you want to make sure your packages get to the person you're sending it to in time. what are your rights when it comes to that?

>> the big takeaway number is $1.6 billion. that's the amount people are expected to be shopping online for black friday. so of course you're going to be concerned with if the shipments will be coming to you or not. so it's a federal mandate that if you order something that retailer has to give it to you in the time you specify or within 30 days . if they do not, you have the right to not pay for it or you can wait and get that -- for that shipment to come in. either way you're going to be okay. emotionally i don't know if the people waiting for those presents are going to be okay but financially you'll be fine.

>> a little wrinkle on this is sunday delivery. same day delivery. delivery within an hour. do the rules still apply?

>> rules still apply and you're right. amazon is doing a collaboration with the united states postal service . you'll be able to order something on friday for delivery on sunday. they're rolling it out in new york and los angeles and for the rest of the country in 2014 but walmart will do same day delivery. and denver, minneapolis and some areas of san jose .

>> ebay is doing the one hour delivery. it's crazy.

>> let's talk about price matching. they say we will match the lowest price you can find anywhere. first of all is it true? second of all, how can you be sure you're getting the lowest price.

>> right. a lot of the larger retailers want to price match. they want to make sure that they go ahead and get the best. their customers come in and one retailer in particular, speaking of walmart is going to go ahead and do that. now last year, the study, $87 million was spent on walmart and walmart wants to make sure that that number increases. so what they're going to go ahead and do is if you find a product that's cheaper at a different store, bring that product in and they will give you the difference. so the cheaper product that comes in, they'll give you the difference between the walmart price and that cheaper product. also you can go and if you see an ad you can go to -- send them an e-mail saying you saw this less expensive ad and they will give you the difference in a gift card.

>> okay. good to know. what about buyers remorse? people want to know return policies. are they still going to be in effect?

>> well it's not a federal mandate that retailers have a return policy. but because you want to make sure that your customer is happy they do have the return policies and as a buyer you want to make sure that policy is easily displayed and that you're able to see that.

>> let's get to travel. one of the things i hate, you're on the flight or you get to the airport, your flight is cancelled. does it depend on what the cause of the cancellation is?

>> it does depend on what the cause of the cancellation is. unfortunately you're on your own. if it has something to do with weather. but if it has something to do with the airline, the flight crew doesn't show up. there's a mechanical problem on the airplane. the airplane will compensate you. it depends on what airline you're flying. unfortunately weather, you're on your own there.

>> you talk about tweeting and calling. do everything in your power to get that done. you're stuck on the tarmac. there's been a lot of talk about this over the last several years. what are your rights as a passenger if the plane is sitting on the tarmac?

>> well, a couple of years ago the fcc passed a law called the passenger bill of rights so. that protects passengers when they're sitting on the tarmac from sitting there for six or seven hours. after three hours, the plane has to turn around and people have to disembark and they have to give you water and let you use the restroom after two hours. so you're covered there.

>> all right. well, thank you so much. we have all of this information on