Item Not Received
You can ask our solicitors online for advice on item not received using the question box on the front of our website or the following free legal advice guide may answer your questions.
While most of the items that you purchase online will arrive in good condition and when they say they will, sometimes things can go wrong leaving you with an item that you have paid for but not received. Knowing your legal rights with late or an item not received is recommended so if you find yourself in the same situation you know what routes you can take to remedy the situation.
Shopping online, by phone or through mail order is a fast, convenient, and effective way to purchase products. However, when your item arrives late or item not received at all, you are entitled to request a refund from the seller. Store owners have a legal obligation to make sure that the items you buy from them are delivered.
If your delivery is delayed or your products go astray, sellers should try to find out where the order is and the reason for its delay. If the item fails to arrive but the seller refuses to issue a refund, you can take action to recover the cost of the item.
Item not Received Your options
There’s nothing more frustrating than paying for an item and it arrives long after you thought it would or not arriving at all. If this happens, you should in the first instance contact the seller to determine whether they are able to track the order and provide you with proof that the item was despatched. Hopefully, your parcel may just have been held up perhaps due to a delivery delay with the courier and the seller will be able to inform you of the expected date of delivery.
That said, if you have bought an item that hasn’t arrived, there are several steps that you can take. Firstly, you must contact the seller and notify them that you haven’t received your order. Where the item was not delivered or it failed to arrive within the expected timeframe, you can ask the seller to redeliver the item you purchased. Alternatively, you can ask the seller for a refund and request that they cancel your order. Another option that you have is to report the seller to Trading Standards.
Action for Late Delivery
Delivery timescales don’t always run to schedule. Under the guidance in the Consumer Rights Act 2015, retailers have full responsibility for the condition of the product until it is delivered to you or the recipient. Liability for loss or damage will always rest with the seller rather than you or the courier or delivery network.
It is recommended that you wait 30 days for delivery of the item, which is the standard timeframe for delivery, unless you have arranged an alternative timescale. Some furniture items for example may have a delivery time of 30-90 days. If the item is delivered later than the date you agreed and you required that the item was delivered by a certain date, you are entitled to cancel the order and request a full refund.
Refunds for Item Not Delivered
There are two scenarios when you can request a refund for an item that you have purchased.
- When the item does not arrive within 30 days from the date of purchase
- When the item does not arrive by the date that you agreed with the seller or if they specified a date at the point of purchase
- If the seller declines your refund request you can send them a formal complaint which must be submitted in writing, following the company’s complaints procedure.
You are also covered by certain regulations. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, it states that where a consumer buys an item either online or by phone, you have a right to cancel the order within 14 days of placing it and receive a full refund. You cannot claim for delivery charges. You can exercise this right even if the item was received on time and it was in good condition. It is crucial that you cite these regulations when requesting a refund for an item that was delivered late or failed to arrive.
Where the order confirmation does not state a delivery date, the Consumer Contracts Regulations outline that delivery must be made within 30 days of the order.
If you cite this legislation but you are still unsuccessful in your request for a refund, you can contact a trade association that are sometimes associated with certain orders, or you can pursue the matter through Trading Standards who will have an approved dispute resolution initiative. This scheme offers a route through which you can resolve disputes without the need and cost associated with taking the matter to court and it is supported throughout by an independent mediator.
You may also be entitled to pursue the refund through your payment provider or bank depending on how you made the purchase at the point of order.
Debit Card Payments
If an item is late arriving or it is not delivered at all, and you paid by debit card, you can contact the bank and notify them that you wish to action what is known as the chargeback scheme. If your bank grants your request, they can request that the sellers bank reverse the transaction and refund the amount to your bank account.
This scheme is not well known and even some staff within the bank are not aware that it exists so it may be necessary to speak to someone in a senior position at your bank to action this request. You may also need to submit a written request. Your chargeback request must be made within 120 days of placing the order.
Credit Card Payments
There are also actions that you could take if you bought an item with a credit card. For products that cost less than £100 you can contact your card provider and also use the chargeback scheme as with a debit card. If the item was priced between £100 and £30,000 you should in the first instance contact your credit card company to request what is known as a Section 75 claim to obtain your refund.
Within your PayPal account, there is a dispute resolution centre who will investigate problems on your behalf. If you wish to use this route if you made the purchase by PayPal, you have 180 days of paying for the item to raise a dispute.
Informing Trading Standards
There may be occasions where you wish to report the matter of a late item or non-delivery to trading standards. You must believe that the seller has broken the law, particularly if they refuse to deliver your order after you have paid for it. Trading standards can undertake their own investigations into a seller, but they don’t have any bearing on whether you receive a refund. To obtain a refund you will need to contact the payment provider using the steps outlined above.
As a consumer, there are steps that you can take to prevent your orders from either being delivered late or not at all. Where possible, always ensure that your items are tracked, and that the seller obtains proof of postage. They can do this by issuing you with a tracking number at the point of order so you can follow your item as it progresses through the delivery network.
Also, make sure that you buy from a reputable seller. Check for reviews from previous buyers and ask friends and family if they have ever bought from the seller.
Finally, always make sure that you provide clear instructions for delivery when you make your order. There are many stories online of couriers delivering items to wheelie bins, leaving them in hedges or on pavements and a number of other unsecure locations so always make sure that your delivery driver is given specific instructions as to where to leave the item if you are not going to be home.item not received