Store Policies

There is no minimum order

Turnaround times

The Map Center completes most online orders by the next business day. We try to complete orders entered by midday the same day. If we can avoid a backorder by waiting an extra few days, we will do so. If your order will take more than 3 business days to process we will inform you by email.
Some mounted and framed maps which are made to order may take 10 days. In this case we will inform you about the schedule as soon as possible.
If you require same day service please order by phone (888-568-MAPS). Someone at our Providence store will check stock and determine if time remains to pack and ship your order that day.

Shipping

Due to the great variety in the weights and sizes of the products we sell, common sense strategies to pack and ship economically are impossible to mirror in a webstore shipping calculator. For instance, map tacks or other accessories can often go in the center of a tube containing a wall map. Several wall maps can usually go in one tube for little more than the cost to ship a single map. Mounted and framed items are shipped in specially made boxes with room for some accessory items. However, there are exceptions where more than one package is required.

When all products selected are compact and can be packed in a predictable manner, Best Way US Mail -or- UPS or Media Mail are offered. If you choose one of these, the shipping cost will not be adjusted.

When an order includes a certain mix of products, our cost to ship may be very different from what the shopping cart decides to charge you. If it is significantly less, we will refund the difference at time of shipment. (Pleasant surprises are fun). If it exceeds by more than we prefer to absorb, we will inform you of the situation and wait for your decision before we proceed.

Rush Order? Please note that requesting Second or Next Day Air may delay your order if there is a cost issue and we have trouble contacting you. If you need rush service and might not be available by phone during business hours or do not frequently check your email, we suggest you call or write first.

UPS Ground Oversize is how we ship most Mounted and Framed Maps. To ship a mounted or framed map anywhere in the lower 48 states, either $19 or $34 is added to your order at checkout. If your actual UPS delivery price is at least $2 less than what you were charged, the difference will be refunded to your credit card at time of shipment.  Refer to the product description for a better estimate of your final delivery cost. The low estimates apply to commercial addresses in the northeastern USA. Costs increase as you move west, and for residential and rural locations.

If your order includes more than one mounted or framed map and the shipping cost will exceed what you were initially charged, we will email you an exact quote and wait for approval before we proceed.

If your shipment to Alaska, Hawaii or Canada will cost more than you were initially charged, we will email you an exact quote and wait for approval before we proceed.

For oversized packages, UPS Next Day or Second Day service may cost several times as much as Ground. If you need rush shipping please inquire by email or telephone.

Motor Freight is how we ship huge framed maps. Our policy is to pass along your exact cost of delivery. For most destinations in the USA, this is between $130 and $180. It is generally less for commercial addresses and more for residences and remote locations. Your credit card will initially be charged $165 for delivery. As soon as we obtain the best freight quote for your shipment, we will send you an email. If the actual cost will be less than $165, your credit card will be refunded at time of shipment. If the cost will be greater we will email an exact quote and wait for approval before we charge the additional amount.

If you require shipment via means not offered on the website, please inquire by email or telephone.

Backorders

In circumstances where we can only partially fill your order within a few days we proceed as follows:

If we can ship more than half of your order right away, we will, and backorder the rest. We fill most backorders in less than 3 weeks.

If we cannot ship half your order right away we will email you to describe the situation and your options.

Backorders that we are unable to fill in 90 days are cancelled.

If you urgently need to know our exact stock or backorder situation, if you want to make sure you will receive your order in one complete shipment, or if you prefer to cancel backorders please order by phone or inquire ahead by email.

Sales Tax

On orders delivered to a Rhode Island address, we must collect 7% sales tax on merchandise and handling charges. Rhode Island Tax exempt purchasers must provide a copy of their certificate or letter from the Tax Administrator before we can process their orders without tax.

Damaged Merchandise

If your package is damaged in transit do not discard the items or the packaging. Pack it back up as well as you can and let us know as soon as possible. We will arrange a prompt replacement of your order.

Returns

Please order carefully. If you you feel less than fully confident that you have chosen exactly the products you want, contact us before you order. Is a product picture or other information missing from our data? Are you wondering how up to date a map really is? Will a certain map suit your specific purpose? Is your town on the map? The Map Center answers questions like this with sincerity and patience. (We are especially kind to beginners).

So that you will be thoroughly satisfied with your order, we will work as hard as necessary to “Get it right the first time.”

If your purchase is not as you expected due to a factual error on this website or in any other communication from us we will correct the problem and learn from the mistake. We will correct shipping errors or merchandise defects.

Other returns must be authorized by phone or email. Returned packages must be marked with our return authorization number. The customer is responsible for return shipping charges and properly repacking the merchandise. Credit will be issued only for merchandise received in new condition. Returns are subject to a 30% restocking charge for mounted or framed items, 20% for other products. The Map Center will not accept delivery of any returned package that is not clearly marked with our return authorization number.

Our goal is to provide a level of informative customer service that makes trial and error shopping unnecessary, and thereby keep prices down. Returned maps can seldom be resold as new. Unlike many dominant retailers, we are not able to pass returns and overstocks back to our suppliers.

Privacy

We will not disclose information you give us to anyone else except as necessary to process payment and arrange delivery unless compelled by government authority.

The Authorize.Net Payment Gateway manages the routing of sensitive customer information through the electronic check and credit card processing networks.  Credit card account data is not viewable or stored by The Map Center.  Authorize.net adheres to strict industry standards for payment processing, including 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology for secure Internet Protocol (IP) transactions, industry leading encryption methods and security protocols. They comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).  For additional information regarding the privacy of your sensitive cardholder data, please read the Authorize.Net Privacy Policy.

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