Suppliers are not allowed to process a credit or debit card unless they have the goods in stock. The customer should be told this and if they agree the transaction should take place when they are ready for despatch. this is written in the conditions by the card companies and businesses that do this are breaking the law.
That's not true. There's no such law, and it isn't usually a condition imposed by the card companies. Otherwise, it would be impossible to take credit card orders for items that need to be built to order, for example. And it's a perfectly legitiamte business model to act as an intermediary between manufacturer and customer in such a way that the intermediary handles the card handling, shipping, etc, but doesn't order the goods from the manufacturer until after the customer has placed the order with them. It's not particularly common for low-value consumer transactions, but it's very common in the business world or for high-value consumer transactions (such as when buying a car, for example).
As for processing the card, that is always done at the time the customer places the order unless the vendor stores card details in order to process them later - which is actually something that's usually against the conditions of the card companies as it's insecure. What most people think of as deferred processing is actually what'sknown in the trade as "deferred capture", whereby the card is processed at the time you place the order but it doesn't show on your statement until the time that the goods are dispatched. All that's doing, though, is hiding it from you - the money has been taken from your card at the time you placed the order.
The law only requires "a reasonable expectation to supply" or some such wording - no distinction is made between card, cheque or cash. i.e you must not be attempting to defraud the customer, that's all that's required. Our card processor has nothing at all to say on the subject. How a business deals with transactions should really be in the firm's terms and conditions.
I think the key issue - particularly in light of the current economic situation - is that a well known retail outlet cannot get supplies of a product from a well known supplier even after three months.
The implications of this are "interesting" to say the least.
The real implication, as you STILL have not listed what you ordered (which would then prove or disprove the above), is that you seem to have a vendetta again this retailer - now you seem to be suggesting that one or more company might have financial problems...