These are your rights if your goods aren't delivered - Gareth Shaw

Dear Gareth  I read your article about missing and damaged deliveries with interest as I am having a similar problem. I ordered a rather expensive chair online three months ago, and each time I am given a delivery date, it is missed.  At first the retailer blamed the supply chain issues, which I forgave, but now it is claiming that it is stuck with the courier. When I’ve contacted the courier, it tells me to speak to the retailer.  I feel like I am stuck in limbo, with both parties blaming each other for the delay – yet I’m the one who has paid out close £1,000 for a chair I can’t sit on! What should I do? Name and address supplied.

Gareth says…

It sounds like the retailer is giving you the runaround – when it comes to undelivered goods, your complaint should go directly to the retailer and not the courier. This is because when you bought the goods, the contract you had was with the retailer, not with the delivery company.

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This is enshrined in law, which puts you in a good position to complain and get a solution. Under the Consumer Rights Act of 2015, a retailer is made responsible for the ‘good condition and safe delivery’ of your order.

Under the Consumer Rights Act of 2015, a retailer is made responsible for the ‘good condition and safe delivery’ of your order. Picture: AdobeStock

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You should put this all in a formal complaint, and make your circumstances completely clear. If you still want the item, you should explain to the retailer that the delivery is late, and suggest a reasonable date for re-delivery. We have a template on our website to help you do this.

If the retailer fails to deliver the goods by the new deadline, you can consider that the contract has ended and that you should get a refund in full.

Although this isn’t an issue yet, as the goods haven’t been delivered to you, a word of warning about deliveries. Your rights may change if the delivery company has left your parcel and it has vanished.

If you did not specify a delivery location and the parcel has gone missing, the retailer is responsible. If your delivery is left somewhere like your doorstep – without your permission – and is then stolen, the retailer is in breach of contract.

Although the retailer may say that the goods were taken to the address specified by you in your order, you can argue that this means handing it over to you or to someone else at the address.

If you specify a neighbour, the retailer is no longer responsible if something goes wrong. This can get even more foggy when you agree generally that your parcel can be left with a neighbour or in a safe place without giving much detail, as that can be interpreted as you saying you’re happy for anyone in close proximity to accept a delivery on your behalf.

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Thank you

James Mitchinson