You may be entitled to a refund for late deliveries

If delivery date is guaranteed, consumer may get credit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When you shop online, you can usually get a refund if you need to return an item that's damaged or just plain wrong for you. But what if you order something and it doesn't arrive by the guaranteed shipping time? 

Consumer advocates said that most people don't realize they're entitled to some sort of reparations for late deliveries and, thanks to new technology, you can get money back without any heavy lifting.

"When people don't get their guaranteed delivery on time, the consequences can range from fairly annoying to downright devastating," Jennifer Jolly said.  "In 99 percent of cases, barring some unforeseen disaster, you are eligible for some kind of refund or credit whenever a package arrives late."

MORE ONLINE: How to get refund for late packages

Some third-party services will help consumers get a partial or full refund, a credit or extended benefits, depending on the retailer's shipping policy.

"The pros are you may get money back that you weren't expecting for a lot less hassle than doing it yourself," Jolly said. "The cons: Well, you do have to turn access to your email inbox over to an outside company."

Also, some companies don't share private information with third parties.

Consumers can file claims on their own, but always check the fine print of shipping policies before buying. Some claims have to be filed in less than 14 days.