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Deliveries Latest News Topical

Are online shops delivering the goods?

We may be in lockdown but as a nation we’re still doing a lot of shopping. Online, of course! Most of the time that goes smoothly and we get what we ordered on the day we expect it, but sometimes things go wrong.

boxes on shelves

Figures released today from research undertaken by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) reveal that almost half (47%) of British consumers have had a parcel delivery issue since the first lockdown in March 2020.

The figures show:

  • 96% of people say they’ve ordered an item for delivery since March.
  • The biggest problem consumers face is late delivery, with almost one in three people (30%) across the country facing a delay.
  • Nearly one in five people (18%) who experience a parcel issue also suffered some sort of financial loss, with 40% of those losing over £20.

The CAB’s Consumer Service has received three times as many calls about delivery issues since March compared to the same period last year.

National Consumer Week starts today and the theme is online shopping and your rights.

So what are your rights when shopping off premises?

  • 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 2013consumers 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 a refund of the additional charge. 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 wages for time off work if you have to arrange another date for delivery.
  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015 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 for the item and delivery costs.
  • Deliveries must also be carried out with reasonable skill and care. So, if anything is damaged during the delivery, including on your property, you are entitled to redress.
  • Has a parcel gone missing from the doorstep or your neighbour? By providing details for a “safe place” you are agreeing to it being safe! If there is a chance that it could be stolen then don’t use it as a safe place! This is common sense really! Once the retailer has left the item where you specified then it has become your property. You could possibly try and claim from your insurer. If you did not say the item could be left anywhere then a photo of the item on your door step is not proof that it was delivered. If, for example, 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.
  • Unless you paid the courier company direct (extremely unlikely when purchasing items online) then 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 always the retailer from whom you claim. Even if they try and fob you offand 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 from com
  • 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, telling them that otherwise you will dispose of the item.

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For more help, advice, tips, information and templates buy  How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

 

Categories
Complaining about customer service Latest News Laws Online shopping and deliveries Topical

Getting help for Coronavirus cancellation claims and shopping

During the current crisis, most businesses are doing the right thing when it comes to refunding consumers affected by cancellations.

For example, I had tickets booked for a charity comedy night full of A-list comedians and waited for news about the event. I was interested to see if they could reschedule (highly unlikely given all the names involved) and whether they would ask if I would like to make a donation to the charity. In fact, I received an email to say they were looking to reschedule a number of events and, soon after, received an email listing all the dates that were cancelled and those that were rescheduled. Ours was, of course, cancelled. The refunding of the card was already underway, according to the email.

However there are a number of companies still not doing the right thing. For example, those which are trying to give credit notes instead of cash refunds.

Whilst even I would say to allow companies a little extra time to give you that refund (and I would normally NEVER say that!) due to the amount of refunds that they are having to be processed, your consumer rights remain the same in all circumstances whether they are COVID-19 related, or not.

The crisis has hit nearly every sector. There is some support for many businesses, so it is not right for the consumer to bankroll these companies and also be out of pocket.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is closely monitoring businesses through this period. It has the power to open a consumer enforcement if it finds strong and compelling evidence that the law might have been broken. It can call on the company to change their behaviour by committing to formal undertakings or promises. If they refuse, then the case can be taken to court. It won’t take on individual cases but it is worth reporting any offending companies to the CMA.

The CMA is also monitoring price hiking (also known as “gouging”) and will similarly tackle companies that are attempting to profit from the current situation.

Coronavirus and price hikes

Help with getting the refund you are owed from business

Posts which will help with various scenarios:

What are your consumer rights during a pandemic

Coronavirus and travel – who’s taking advantage? outlines the law and what the different relevant agencies are saying/doing about travel companies and airlines and refunds.

Travel in the time of Coronavirus – Your rights explained  outlines what your rights are and how to assert them regarding holidays and flights in this country and abroad.

Coronavirus related cancelled and postponed events your rights outlines your rights and how to assert them when events in this country or abroad are cancelled.

Online shopping – know your rights during the pandemic explains your rights and how to assert them when things go wrong with an online shop.

Gym Contracts During COVID : Your Consumer Rights a guest post I wrote for Emma at the Money Whisperer.

Don’t get tied in knots over wedding cancellation some venues are not fully refunding couples, charging them fees, not providing a like-for-like alternative next year etc. Here’s what to do about it!

 

Coronavirus - how to ensure you gain redress when a venue cancels

Wedding venues and insurance getting refunds

Your consumer rights when shopping in store during a pandemic

Further help with getting redress

Top 20 Tips How to Complain! Use these tips when you complain to be effective!

Ceoemail.com is a site which gives you the contact details for CEOs. The CEO may not respond personally but it does get the matter escalated and you should get a response from one of the executive team.

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For more advice, tips and templates for complaining GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

 

Stressed out by the situation?

Stressful time? How to reduce stress with a little talked about quick and easy therapy

green background how to assert your legal rights Covid-19 related issuesCOVID-19 scams – How to stay safe a guest post by Paul Newton regarding current Covid-19 related scams.