It is important that both consumers know their rights and those responsible for the delivery know their obligations.
Good online retailers should give an estimate of when the goods are due to be delivered – this date then becomes part of the contract you have with the seller. It is common for retailers to include in their terms and conditions that ‘delivery times are estimated’ or ‘time is not of the essence’, which means the goods only need to reach you within a ‘reasonable time’. What is considered ‘reasonable’ time will obviously vary from case to case.
Ultimately, the online retailer is responsible for the on-time delivery of your goods – you should contact them and not the courier should there be a problem.
Cancelling your order
If a reasonable amount of time has elapsed and you want to cancel your order, the retailer will be responsible for any return postage costs, even if the items are with the courier. If you choose not to cancel the order for any reason, you may still be entitled to compensation. This compensation will be awarded on an ad-hoc basis and will also vary from case to case.
Late timed delivery
If you paid specifically for delivery by a certain time or date and the delivery does not arrive inside this window, this is a breach of the contract form the seller and they are responsible for rectifying it. At the very least you should be refunded the cost of the faster delivery.
If you were unable to receive your delivery in person, it is up to the consumer to follow the directions laid out by the delivery company in order to collect the parcel. Carefully check any documentation that was left in place of the parcel for valid collection times, and ensure you have the necessary identification needed to collect your goods.
If you unable to get in contact with the delivery company, you should contact the seller and remind them of their responsibility to ensure the goods reach you within a reasonable time.