What to do if things go wrong when you shop online

Citizens Advice warn about some of the things that can go wrong when shopping online.

Citizens Advice warn about some of the things that can go wrong when shopping online. - Credit: ARCHANT

When you are shopping online, it is not always clear who you should contact if things go wrong, says Nick Blencowe from Citizens Advice.

As a customer, your contract is with the seller that you bought the item from. It’s the seller’s responsibility to make sure the item is delivered to you. They should chase the courier to find out what happened to your order if there’s a problem.

If your parcel hasn’t arrived:

● Check the delivery address you gave the seller, to make sure it’s correct.

● Then contact the seller and ask where your order is.

● If the seller claims they've delivered it or doesn't know where it is, you can ask for a redelivery. You might be able to get a refund in some circumstances where the delivery time was essential and you let the seller know ahead of time.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you can ask the seller to deliver the item to you again if the item wasn’t delivered either by an agreed date, or within a reasonable time - usually within 30 days.

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If the new delivery fails to come within a reasonable time, you can ask the seller for a refund.

If your parcel was left somewhere:

Another problem people face is when parcels get left in different places, for example outside or with a neighbour.

If your item was delivered by Royal Mail:

If Royal Mail left your package with a neighbour or in a certain place because you told them to, it’s not the seller or Royal Mail’s responsibility if it gets lost.

If they leave it somewhere you hadn’t instructed, it’s the seller’s responsibility if it gets lost. You should contact the seller to ask for a redelivery or a refund.

If the item was delivered by a courier:

Check your terms and conditions or account details - they might include other places for delivery, like your porch or a neighbour’s house. If you agreed to them, it’s not the seller’s or courier’s responsibility if your order has gone missing. However if you did not agree to this, then it’s the sellers responsibility if your order goes missing.

If you ordered something from a private seller or you’re still having trouble after trying the tips above, you can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for help.

If you need help and support from CARC please contact us through one of the following methods:

Adviceline: 0808 278 7807   

Monday to Friday 09:30 to 15:30 

 Universal Credit Help to Claim line:   0800 1448444,  for anyone seeking to make a new claim for Universal Credit  

 Webchat or Email via:  www.citizensadviceruralcambs.org.uk 

 Information also available on our website at www.citizensadviceruralcambs.org.uk or at www.citizensadvice.org.uk