Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries

Who is responsible for what when ordering off premises?

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 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. A further 14 days is provided from this date to return the item.

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.

Parcel outside door, delivery notirrived? Arrived late? Left and stolen? Your rights to redress

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 if you have to arrange another date for delivery.

Digital purchases

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!

What to do when deliveries don’t reach you useful information if you regularly have problems with post reaching you.

Package delivered but not received?!

What if your plant pot denies signing for your parcel? Well the delivery company won’t have proof of the signature (I assume of course, I may be wrong) and if your parcel isn’t there, say because I don’t know, it’s out in the open on a busy road and it’s a really stupid place to put it, what do you do?

By providing details for a “safe place” you are agreeing to it being safe! If there is a chance that it could be stolen don’t use it as a safe place! Common sense really! It has become your property as the retailer has left the item where you specified. You could possibly try and claim from your insurer.

If however, some fool has put it in a wheelie bin and it is bin collection day and you don’t get the parcel then it has not been delivered with reasonable skill and care and you are entitled to a full refund.

How to complain about deliveries

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 the courier 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 from

Something is wrong with the purchase

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to items that are of satisfactory quality, are as described, last a reasonable length and are free of defects. If your purchase does not meet any one of these requirements then you can return and the trader must pay for the return.


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.

What are your rights when returning items at Christmas?

Template letter for an item not received.

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.

Outside of the EU

You don’t have the protection. See Don’t let shopping online become a “rip off” for more.

Rip Off Britain discussing shopping outside of EU

Contract with the delivery firm

If you use a courier firm to deliver something (e.g. you have sold something on an auction site)  and there is a problem it can be VERY frustrating to contact them and get the matter resolved. Once an item is lost it appears to very rarely appear again!

You should contact the courier to try and locate the item. Do not call. Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively  If the company makes it difficult to do this contact the CEO using to get the contact email.

It is in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 for not providing services with reasonable skill and care and if it has lost an item you are entitled to a full refund. You will at the very least be entitled to a refund of the delivery cost. Whether you are entitled to the cost of the value of the item is unfortunately debateable and may depend on which courier you used, whether you paid for cover and whether your item is exempt from insurance.

Be careful for example when using companies like Parcel2Go which appears to take an insurance payment for items that are not covered. (It is a very long list!) One could consider that this is a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 for being misleading and being an unfair contract. However this has yet to be tested in court and I would be delighted to help anyone try it and set a precedent which could stop this practice!

Unsolicited goods

All you need to know about unsolicited goods have you received them or is it a mistake and you need to return them? Everything you need to know.

Further help with consumer issues

Top 20 Tips How to complain effectively

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If you need more help, information and tips with how to quote Acts, template letters and advice on how to complain effectively don’t forget the GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!


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101 Habits of an Effective Complainer provides you with more tips



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28 replies on “Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries”

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

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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 ?

Please see post above for the links especially Tips as this will help you take the matter further

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

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

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.

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.

Sorry if I have posted incorrectly ! I instructed a local ‘man with a van ‘ to collect an item of furniture from eBay . He was given all the details such As dimensions , that it was ground floor, contact details of both sides.
I paid £150 for the service for a 2 man collection as it was so heavy via PayPal so it would cover myself if there were any problems .
He went to collect apparently and said it was too big and heavy and he couldn’t do the job .
If he couldn’t do the job he shouldn’t have taken the job .
I made a claim to PayPal and it was awarded in my favour after they requested proof etc from the company who didn’t reply .
Today I received a court letter and they are claiming the money and costs .
At no point was the weight of the item discussed , he stated his van wasn’t big enough .
Would you know what rights I have and what you think to this ?
I have all the correspondence proof etc



Let them take you to court, won’t cost you other than any out of pocket expenses. Although you could counter claim for their failure under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to deliver services with reasonable skill and care. Paypal paid up, very very unlikely to lose in court. The counter claim less watertight but possible. If you go to court they will be claiming for that and possibly anything on top but personally I wouldn’t be frightened off but I am not a lawyer nor a judge. My guess is that they will drop the case or try and settle out of court to get something from you beforehand. Again i wouldn’t do that either but that’s your decision. I’d also write to PayPal and ask their advice – how often this happens and would they be able to give you a further statement of why they found in favour of you.

We ordered a bed which was faulty when delivered. We paid through Amazon Pay who has refunded us as the supplier would do nothing about getting the bed collected. The company will not collect the bed, telling us it’s down to their supplier. We have told them we bought through them, not their supplier. It has been 3 weeks since the bed was delivered & we do not have the space to store it. How long do we have to wait for “their supplier” to collect the bed? The supplier says their supplier will only collect when they are in our area.

What can we do when a parcel was left with a neighbour. We had not asked for this. Who now say they sent it back! They have no proof of postage, the company says it wasn’t free return and would have cost about £50 to return. Which I find hard to believe the neighbors would have paid and the parcel hasn’t been received back by company. Do we report to the police? How likley are we to get our money back? What can we do?

Wow saying they sent it back? Who does that and who actually thinks anyone would believe it? New one on me and in the long list of issues with deliveries that Which? highlighted it didn’t come up! It is a grey area. But, if you did not give permission for the parcel to be delivered to the neighbour then you can state that and that they therefore did not fulfil the contract as agreed or with reasonable skill and care. CRA 2015. Why on earth didn’t they just claim it didn’t come or they refused to take it in. After quoting law will depend on whether trader wants to write to the neighbour and challenge them. Don’t forget contract always with retailer. Do not correspond with the courier. You’re welcome.

An online credit purchasing account in my name was hacked and changes were made to my personal information, an address change, to which i was alerted by the web site. Less than 3 minutes after they sent me a confirmation of an order for goods valued at £423.00. My response was immediate, I informed them using the online form that I had not made the changes and I had not placed the order, requesting that the order be cancelled. I decided to change the data back to my address and change my password. Later the same day I discovered the order had been sent to dispatch so I phoned the Care Line to discuss this and the cancellation of the order and the changes to my data, I was told that the operator had put a hold on the order and I need to leave more time before I get a response. The next day I checked my account and discovered that the order was out for delivery. Within three days of being informed of data changes I find myself in possession of an item ordered by a criminal, in my name, and the company telling me that I am responsible for either paying for it or sending it back at my cost. As I understand it this is not unsolicited goods but what protection do I have under what Acts.

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