Thanks for the kind words about my company. I am glad that we have been able to help you. Jerold, I will certainly be printing your post out and sharing it with my shipping crew.
I am not a lawyer, but it is my understanding that according to the Federal Trade Commission you are supposed to ship items within 30 days after payment is received.
I know many companies charge your card when you place an order on their website and it is legal to do so assuming you will be shipping promptly. It was actually a hassle for me not to do that with my company. Our website just does an authorization and we actually submit the charge when we ship. Sometime we will charge early for various reasons such as a deposit for material being ordered.
I do everything I can to avoid being out of stock but sometimes it does happen. If one of my suppliers has issue maintaining inventory then I will either switch to a different supplier increase my stock level. The longest I have ever had an item go out of stock was a couple months and that was because our suppliers had no product in the US and it was being manufactured overseas. It can take up to 3 months to import product but usually our suppliers already had an order in the queue before running out of stock domestically.