Ordering things online or over the phone can be a lot easier and may provide you with increased choice, however these methods of ordering become less appealing when your goods do not arrive with you. The seller of the product has a legal responsibility to make sure that your purchases arrive with you, so they must take action if you do not receive your items.
The first thing that you should do if your delivery does not arrive as promised is to get in contact with the seller to find out if there is a problem. The seller can then chase this up with their delivery company and update you on what might have happened to the item.
If the item was delivered to an alternative location, then the seller is responsible for sorting this out for you. If they cannot locate the item and get it to you within a reasonable amount of time, then you are entitled to a replacement or refund.
When you are ordering an item, the company should advise you about how long it will take to fulfill and deliver your order. Failing to deliver the item within an agreed amount of time or missing the agreed delivery deadline may be considered to be a breach of contract. You can write to the seller and ask them to deliver the item within 14 days of their receipt of the letter.
Requesting your money back
You can request your money back for the item if it does not arrive with you within 30 days of buying it, or if the product has not arrived with you before a specific date which was agreed with you by the seller. If you needed the item in time for a special event and the seller had agreed to make sure that it was with you before this date, then you are entitled to ask for your money back. If the seller refuses to comply with this request, then you should make a copy of their correspondence and ask to make a formal complaint as per that company’s complaints process.
If the trader still does not offer to refund or replace the item, then you can try to contact one of the trade associations which they are affiliated with. Many traders will listen to a complaint that comes through a professional body, because this body will give them support in other areas. Alternatively, you may try using one of the Trading Standards alternative dispute resolution processes. These methods seek to redress complaints with the help of a third party mediator to avoid the claim going to court. You can also report the seller to Trading Standards if you feel like the seller has broken the law. Although they may prosecute the seller for their breach, Trading Standards will not normally be able to help you to get your money back.
Other methods for getting your money back
If the purchase was made in the last 120 day, using your debit or credit card, you can request that the bank refunds your money using the “chargeback scheme“. This scheme is not widely known about, so you may need to speak to the branch manager. Alternatively, if the purchase was paid for using a credit card and cost more than £100, then you can apply for a full refund using a “section 75” claim.
If you made your purchase using an online payment system such as PayPal, you should get in contact with the Online Resolution department of that particular payment system to discuss claiming your money back.