All you need to know about unsolicited goods

Have you received unsolicited goods?

Unsolicited goods are very uncommon

Second to posts about my History with Tesco this is the most read post. So we glean from that, that many people receive items that they did not request! However, typically these are not unsolicited goods. NONE of the comments from people believing/hoping that they have received unsolicited goods so far, relate to true unsolicited goods other than one regarding items from Estonia!

Well over a hundred comments and only has been truly about unsolicited goods and they were goods from abroad! The answers to your queries are in this post, the links and comments, your story will be there.

What are unsolicited goods?

Most people are familiar with the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971. Unsolicited goods are also covered in the newer regulations The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 which say you have a right to keep goods delivered to you that you didn’t request. Specifically, from the legislation:

“Part 4 of the Regulations contains provisions concerning protection from unsolicited sales and additional charges which have not been expressly agreed in advance. Regulation 39 introduces a new provision into the Consumer Protection Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 which provides that a consumer is not required to pay for the unsolicited supply of products. Regulation 40 provides that a consumer is not required to make payments in addition to those agreed for the trader’s main obligation, unless the consumer gave express consent before conclusion of the contract”.

You are under no legal obligation to contact the trader and can keep the goods. However, true unsolicited goods sent within the UK are rare these days and I have yet to hear of any in the last few years.

Request for payment for unsolicited goods

Should you receive a request for payment from a trader for unsolicited goods it has committed a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. You can report them to Trading Standards. Bear in mind that if you have chosen to keep an item sent to you in error which the company can prove  e.g. from a screen shot of the wrong code being put into the system then the company has not committed an offence and you will have to pay for the item should you not follow the advice below on “Not unsolicited goods

The days of receiving packages with a demand for payment seem to have gone as this is illegal and no-one in the comments below other than someone who received a package from outside the UK has received unsolicited goods.

Not unsolicited goods

1) If you have been sent items by mistake; such as a duplicate order or additional items, mistaken identity, wrong address, in your name but you didn’t order them, any kind of fraud

2) Replacement order

3) Faulty item

4) Item you have that was faulty and waiting for collection at any point in the replacement process

5) If you have had any contact with any company and you have any order with them and they send you something different/additional

6) Substitute goods should be agreed with the trader and you.

For the examples above, the company is in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. See also this post on deliveries. this is NOT unsolicited goods.

7) Thing(s) meant for someone else. Still not unsolicited goods if clearly a mistake and you are able to contact the company which sent the item.

What to do with non unsolicited goods

1) Contact the company and request that they come and collect the goods. Tell them that you are giving them 14 days in which they can contact you and arrange collection or you will dispose of the goods. Make sure that you do this in writing with proof of postage/read receipt email so that you have a record if you dispose/keep/sell the item. See this post.

2) There should be no cost or inconvenience to you. State also that you will dispose of the goods if you are not sent a return postage label/packaging or arrangement for a courier. Keep this correspondence evidence.

3) If you have been in contact with the company regarding ordering items see Mail Order, online and deliveries and Consumer Right Act 2015

Your call as to what to do with truly unsolicited goods

Mostly, it boils down to morals and whether you want to take the risk keeping an item and I cannot make that call for you. But bear in mind that if the item(s) were sent in error (see “Not unsolicited goods” section above) they may contact you and if you have used the item you will have to pay for it. Many times the company says keep the item.

General rule of thumb which answers most if not all the questions in the comments – if you have received goods from a company that you have dealt with, it is 99% likely that there has been an error such as someone putting in the wrong number into the computer. These are NOT unsolicited goods. Unsolicited goods are simply receiving something out of the blue from a company that you have not been in contact with!

You must try to do everything to return the item if it falls into any of the other categories above.

Further help about problems with deliveries

It is extremely unlikely going from the popularity of this post and the comments I receive that you are in possession of unsolicited goods, or that your case is unique. You probably HAVE received poor service however and there is probably a breach of consumer law! For that, please see :

Top 20 Tips for complaining effectively

Consumer Rights Act 2015Parcel outside door, delivery notirrived? Arrived late? Left and stolen? Your rights to redress

 

 

Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries

 

 

If you are having problems contacting the company try the ceo and you can get the contact details for him or her here at ceoemail.com

Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

For masses of information, consumer rights, advice, stories and template letters….

GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

Top 20 Tips for Complaining Effectively

 

 

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 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!

Delivery

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!

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 date 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.

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.

Returns

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.

returns – your rights

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 shopping online

Further help

Top 20 Tips How to complain effectively

 

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!

 

 

Also more free tips here and on the Youtube channel.

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