Online shopping and failed deliveries is one of the most common complaints of all. A popular fob-off used by retailers is that you need to contact the courier firm. Another problem with online shopping is the question of who is responsible for collecting faulty goods.

Shopping safely online is something all consumers need to consider to avoid the various pitfalls and scams.


The retailer is responsible under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to ensure the goods you have ordered are:

  • fit for purpose
  • as described
  • satisfactory quality
  • last a reasonable length of time.


You have up to 14 days cooling off period if you change your mind for any goods ordered online under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013. You have up to 14 days to inform the retailer and another 14 days afterwards to return it.

Bespoke made items are not included unless they are faulty – the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies to faulty goods.


Your contract is with the seller, not the courier firm. It is up to the seller to resolve any issues that arise.

S29 Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that the goods remain at the trader’s risk until they come into the physical possession of:

  • the consumer, or
  • a person identified by the consumer to take possession of the goods

If something you have ordered has not arrived, you should contact the seller to find out where it is.

It is the seller’s legal responsibility to make sure the item is delivered to you. They should contact the courier and let you know what has happened to your item. It is not your responsibility.

If your item was not delivered to the location you agreed (for example – it was left with your neighbour without your consent), it is the seller’s legal responsibility to resolve the issue.

Courier drivers are usually self-employed and only get paid for each parcel that is delivered. This often means that packages are thrown over a wall in to a puddle, left in a bin or outside in all weathers. If the parcel is damaged in any way, it is the seller’s responsibility to remedy this and not the courier firm.

You are legally entitled to a replacement or refund if the package does not turn up.


You can write to the seller and ask them to deliver the item again. You should do this if the item was not delivered within a reasonable time or the item was not delivered by an agreed date.


You can ask for your money back if you do not receive the item either:

  • within 30 days of buying it
  • on the date you agreed with the seller – if it was essential to receive it by then (for example – for an event then or shortly after)

If the seller refuses to reimburse you, you should put your complaint in writing and follow their complaints procedure if they have one.


You can report the seller to a Trade Association, Trading Standards or claim on your debit or credit card provider under their respective refund schemes.

This is referred to as a chargeback. Your card provider raises a ticket when you dispute a transaction to investigate and reverse it if your claim is proved to be legitimate.


You can raise a chargeback on debit and credit cards within 120 days.

Debit cards are covered by a voluntary scheme with banks.

Credit card purchases are covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 for purchases over £100.



I often see problems where consumers are trying to reject and return faulty goods. Firms need to stop fobbing customers off with lies and legalese jargon and do what they are legally obliged to do.

In an era where everything is pretty much the same, the one thing that sets a firm apart is great customer service. Bad experiences travel much further and faster than good experiences and consumers are more than willing to share them on various platforms including Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, Facebook and elsewhere.

Have you had problems with online shopping and failed deliveries? If so, how did you resolve it?

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