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.
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.
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.
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 ceoemail.com
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.
Template letter for an item not received.
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.
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 ceoemail.com 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!
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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