How to complain about a non/late delivery

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.

If an item has been left and then stolen it is your responsibility if you provided 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.

However, if some fool has put it in a wheelie bin and it’s a bin day then the service has not been carried out with reasonable skill and care and you are entitled to a full refund.

A common mistake people make is to contact the courier and some retailers will try and fob you off and make you do this. However, your contract is with the trader, their contract is with the courier. Here is a template letter for when things go wrong with a delivery (put in your own information instead of the writing in bold).

Use “faithfully” when it is “Dear Sir/Madam” and “sincerely” where you know the name of the person to whom you are writing) and replace the bold with your information!

Dear xxx

Re: Item

On the date I ordered and paid in advance for item(s). It is now the date and I have not received it/them.

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation  and  Additional  Charges) Regulations 2013 states that goods must be delivered within the time frame agreed with the seller. The listing for this item stated that I would receive the item(s) by date. You are therefore in breach of contract and I am requesting a full refund.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 my contract is with you and not the courier.

I look forward to hearing from you within seven days. Should I not be fully satisfied with  your  response  I  will  not  hesitate  in  taking  the  matter  further  which  will include, but not be limited to, informing Trading Standards and if necessary starting proceedings through the Small Claims Court.

Yours sincerely/faithfully

More information about your rights regarding buying online and deliveries can be found in Your rights mail order, online and deliveries.

If you don’t get a satisfactory response from the company contact the CEO. You can find the contact details for any CEO on



For more templates, advice,information and guidance about your rights and the laws there to protect you from faulty goods and poor service see How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

Deliveries ITV news with Martin Lewis, Helen Dewdney & Peter Handley