What are your rights if Christmas presents go astray?

Getting hold of some delivery companies can be an absolute nightmare

Published: December 17, 2021 at 10:23 am

There are few things more frustrating than ordering Christmas presents, only to discover they’ve either gone astray, or their delivery has been rescheduled so they’ll arrive after the big day.

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Unfortunately, this is more of a problem than usual this year due to Coronavirus outbreaks, and Brexit red tape holding up some deliveries from the EU.

Here, we look at what your rights are if presents are delayed, or worse still, are lost altogether.

What happens if the present I’ve ordered hasn’t arrived?
Getting hold of some delivery companies can be an absolute nightmare, with some only offering email addresses to contact, and others providing helplines which are seemingly never answered.

Remember that if you are chasing up a delivery that hasn’t arrived, or has been delivered to the wrong place, it is the retailer’s responsibility to ensure that your goods arrive and to resolve any issue with the delivery company. Don’t be fobbed off if the retailer tells you that you should have got the items your haven’t and tries to pass the buck to the delivery company – ultimately it’s down to the shop you bought the item to make sure you get what you’ve ordered.

Unless they can provide you with proof that it’s been delivered to you, they must either re-send the item or provide you with a refund.

What if I I’ve been told my Christmas presents have been delayed?
Your items should be delivered by the date that was given when you made your order. Usually, if there is going to be a delay, the retailer will get in touch and may agree to refund any delivery charges you’ve paid if you ask them to.

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If you weren’t provided with a date by which your goods would arrive, they should turn up within 30 days of you placing the order. If they don’t arrive within this time, then you are within your rights to ask for a full refund. Some large items, such as furniture, or those that are being made to order, might take longer than 30 days to get to you, but the retailer should always let you know this upfront when you place your order.

What happens if the shop I’ve ordered presents from is refusing to help?
If you’re not having any luck either getting the goods you’ve ordered, and you haven’t been offered a refund, you might want to try using Resolver , which is a free, independent issue resolution service. It connects consumers with organisations to help them try and sort out any issues they are having.

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It’s also worth checking how you paid for the goods you bought, as you might find this gives you some protection. For example, if you’ve bought an item costing £100 or more using a credit card and it hasn’t arrived, then under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, your card provider is jointly liable with the online store and may agree to refund you if the company you’ve bought the item from refuses to pay up.

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