Your rights if your parcel doesn’t turn up on time


General Finance

You know how it is. A parcel is due to be delivered but you have no idea when it will turn up. You’ve just been told ‘between 9am and 5pm’. But that means you have to stay in the house all day, and then your parcel doesn’t even show up!

Even worse? When you’ve paid extra for one-day delivery because you need something urgently and it turns up two or three days later. If this has happened to you, let’s take a look at what your rights are if you have a delayed parcel.

Contact the company

When you have a parcel delivered late or that never turns up at all, your first port of call should be the company you ordered it from. Often, they’ll have a policy that you won’t have to pay delivery costs if your parcel was late. They might also be willing to offer you some other kind of compensation if you’ve incurred any extra costs because of the delay. For example, if you had to buy a replacement to cover the package that didn’t turn up in time.

However, this all depends on the individual company’s policies so you’re not guaranteed to get any money back. The best way to go about it is to speak to the company and explain exactly how the delay has caused you problems.

Stayed home from work

If you’ve taken the day off work because you were expecting a delivery and it doesn’t turn up, you’ll be especially put out as you’ll have wasted a day’s holiday, with no parcel to show for it. If you have to arrange and wait for a redelivery booked for a specific day, meaning more time away from work, it’s possible that you could claim compensation.

Same day delivery

Paying extra for one-day or even same-day delivery is something that most of us would generally try to avoid. But, there can be times when it’s the only option. For instance, if your child only lets you know last-minute about something they need for school and you’ve paid £5 to make sure you get it delivered urgently, you probably won’t be pleased if it doesn’t turn up until days later.

In this situation, if you have paid extra for a special delivery to ensure the item arrives on time and it has arrived later than agreed, you can claim back the additional cost. This is because the service that you paid for wasn’t delivered.

It’s important to make sure you order in time to qualify for the one-day or same-day delivery. For example, if you have to order by 5pm to get your parcel the next day but you actually put the transaction through at 5.15pm. Not doing so could mean the company you ordered from hasn’t actually done anything wrong and they don’t have to refund you.

How to claim

To claim for any late parcels, it’s a good idea to get in touch with the company first again. Your contract is with the retailer, not the delivery firm. Some companies have a standard policy for compensation for late deliveries and you should be able to find details of this on their website or by ringing the company in question.

Most companies will usually be fairly forthcoming and pay out compensation quite quickly. However, if you don’t hear back from them, you should write a formal letter to the company, detailing your case for compensation. If you still don’t get a response, you can take the company to the small claims court. This can be difficult and take time, so make sure you’ve exhausted every other possibility before you resort to this.

Jonathon Sabinsky, Head of Communications, at thinkmoney says “Waiting for a parcel can be frustrating, especially with the vague timelines given by the delivery company. We can end up waiting in the house all day for a parcel only for it not to turn up which can be annoying as well as disappointing.”

“In the run-up to Christmas, it’s so important to know your rights when it comes to a parcel deliveries. You should always contact the seller to see what reimbursement is available for you. After all, if you have paid for a service, whether it is standard or next day delivery, you expect to receive it."

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