Your Rights, Mail Order, Online and Deliveries

Mail order and online purchases
Your rights when purchasing items through an advert or catalogue are exactly the same as buying from any other retailer, so your correspondence about faulty items would be covered under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended The Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994) for purchases made before 1st October 2015. For purchases after this date use the Consumer Rights Act 2015. In addition, under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 consumers have 14 days cooling off period for changing their minds. There are some exceptions to this such as bespoke items. Whether or not return postage has to be paid depends on the trader’s terms and conditions. If you paid extra for speedier delivery and it wasn’t delivered within this time you are entitled to the charge back. If the item is faulty you do not pay return postage and you should receive the full cost of any postage paid for sending the item to you.

You are also entitled to any out of pocket expenses if the company don’t turn up when they say they will, such as time off work wages.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 provides specific coverage for digital content. Digital content must not be supplied by the retailer within the 14 cooling off period unless the customer has agreed to it and that once the download starts the cancellation right is lost. If the customer does not give consent then s/he will have to wait until after the 14 days before downloading. Having bought the wrong download and realising it before I actually downloaded but before this new law came out I welcome this Act! All I could do was tell them that the Law was changing!

The aforementioned Act also states that goods must be delivered within the time frame agreed with the seller. If one hasn’t been agreed (you have agreed a time frame if the listing supplies a time frame) the trader must deliver ‘without undue delay’ and at the very latest not more than 30 days from the day after the contract is made. After this time you are entitled to a full refund.

Of course, deliveries must also be carried out with reasonable skill and care. See my experience with the Body Shop here. I was on the ITV news regarding that story, I gave advice which they cut and Martin Lewis said if we complained more then service would improve. Something that followers of me on  Twitter and read this blog know that I bang on about a lot!

Mind you, Laura (the presenter) said the carpet was cream. She must have thought the carpet was filthy because it was never cream! It is a dark pinky purple beigey type thing!

To whom do you complain when deliveries go wrong?
I see so much people complaining about the courier company. Unless you paid the courier company direct (extremely unlikely when purchasing items online) your contract is with the retailer. So when a courier company, let’s call it Model, is utterly useless and leaves your package somewhere to be stolen or throws it in the garden breaking the contents, it is the retailer from whom you claim. Even if they try and fob you off and say contact Model, don’t. The retailer can deal with the courier and perhaps when they’ve had enough complaints they’ll drop the contract and use a better firm. If you have difficulties you can go to the CEO of the company to whom you paid the money and find their contact details here.

If you need the retailer to pick up the item because it is bulky, put the request in writing (why it is important to write not phone) provide a deadline for when they can pick it up or you will dispose of the item.

Template letter

Further protection
Should consumers order an item from an advertisement in a newspaper which is signed up to the Safe Home Ordering Scheme (previously known as the Mail Ordering Protection Scheme) they can get their money back if the trader goes into liquidation or stops trading. Keep a copy of the advert when ordering until the item has been received.

If you need more help with how to quote Acts, template letters and advice on how to complain don’t forget the book. Also more free tips here and on the Youtube channel.

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20 Responses to Your Rights, Mail Order, Online and Deliveries

  1. Pingback: The Complaining Cow and Rip Off Britain

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  3. Michael Knollys says:

    what happens when returning faulty/misdescribed goods and the seller offers a collection service but the courier fails to turn up on 2 occasions – the time window given was 0800 to 2000 which meant 2 days off work and massive inconvenience. They won’t refund until they get the goods back

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Contract is always with the retailer – please read post and links for further information on what to do.

      • Stephanie says:

        I’ve looked on your pages and links but can’t see in relation to this.

        Company have refunded me for a faulty item. Twice I’ve waited in for courier to collect 1st didn’t show up and 2nd time they said they couldn’t take the item, also couldn’t prove their company. Where do I stand do I have to give them reasonable notice to collect it?

        • The Complaining Cow says:

          It’s the same as a delivery. Write, and make sure it is in writing, telling them to pick up the item. Days and times suitable to you. If you incur any out of pocket expenses these are down to the company to cover. Tell them the date by which you will dispose of the item should they not respond and/or not pick the item up by. You’re welcome.

  4. Mrs E Molyneux says:

    I ordered on line a wedge shaped coccyx cushion they were out of stock
    and sent a square cushion which was not suitable for my needs,this was
    returned & Iwas told I had to pay the return fee through the post office.
    after ringing them yet again I agreed to wait 5 days for the right cushion to
    be delivered ……… came today 28.11.2015 again it is the wrong cushion,
    I cannot ring the supplier till Monday when I will be asked to pay the return
    cost again. surely this cannot be right. The cushion I ordered was the only
    one shown so I could not have ordered incorrectly……nor would I have done
    so as this cushion was for my particular needs & my severe waist down
    paralysis. so far I have paid £28 for the cushion some £6 postage & all I
    have is another incorrect cushion to return of which I do not yet know the
    outcome…………I assumed I was dealing with a responsible DISABLED
    SUPPLIES company needless to say I will not do so again.

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Nope not having that. They’ve sent you wrong item you do NOT pay return postage. Do NOT pay return postage! See this post. Quote it. See tips. See also your rights in the post above.

  5. Pingback: All You Need To Know About Unsolicited Goods

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  7. Bow says:

    Hello and good Afternoon.

    I apologise if i am posting to the wrong page, please forgive me, if so.

    A few weeks ago i ordered a 300w led light from MarsHydro, from their eBay uk portal.
    The light was half dead within 3 weeks (Half the lights where not on/working).
    I informed marshydro of the problem. I was given the option to fix it my self(spares would be sent in mail) or send it to them to fix (would take a month to come back).
    I opted to fix it my self, so i spent around £35 on a soldering iron and other related bits.
    Turns out the iron was not powerful enough to melt the solder.
    So, I then asked them(MarsHydro) if they could fix it they said yes send it to this address, that cost around another £14.
    I originally paid £56 for the light + £35 + £14 in total = over £100, which i could of spent on a better light.
    I received my repaired light back around 3 weeks later. Issue fixed and end of story.

    Fast forward another 2-3 weeks, I received a courier email saying my order would be here the next day (I thought it was an Amazon item I ordered).

    The delivery came to me by name and to my home address.
    I opened it thinking it was my chicken wire but instead i found a 900w led light.
    It was second hand and i assume, had come from the same repair place mine came back from.

    I did not order the item and clearly did not pay for it.

    Would this be classed as an unsolicited item?

    Thanks for reading the above and I appreciate any advice.

    Kind regards – Bow

  8. John says:

    I ordered furniture from Very .I waited in all day despite a call to say it was 20 minutes away,the furniture never arrived .After lot of stress I managed to contact Very and the Courier both promised call backs which never happened, I complained through a third party for my own record of efforts I am making and proof.Very email replied to say they don’t for security recognise them.Its been five days and still don’t know what’s happening ?

  9. Lisa Frosdick says:

    Hi, wonder if you can help me with some advice.

    I ordered a mattress from Mail Order Company. They sent wrong mattress and also damaged. Rang the courier straight back who refused to pick it up. I rang the Mail Order Company who told me they would try and sort something out in the next three working days. I explained that the king size mattress was causing an obstruction in my hallway and very difficult to get past. I also told them that the plastic covering should not be near young children… I have my grandson living with me. Told me basically tough and if I put it outside I would be charged for the said item. Five days have passed and I still have this mattress in my hallway which I have already tripped on and damaged my shoulder.

    What are my rights regarding this stupid mattress? It wasn’t what I ordered AND it has also be damaged in transit.

    Thank you

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Please read the post above and links within, make sure you give them a deadline for picking up.

      • Lisa Frosdick says:

        Hi! The way I read this is the product I have stuck in my hallway is not unsolicited goods so I am confused as to what rights I have? So sorry for being stupid.

        • The Complaining Cow says:

          Definitely not unsolicited goods. See Unsolicited goods Please read the post above and the links. Your rights are above and in the Consumer Rights Act link. Everything you need is intone links. More in the book.

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