My online order hasn't arrived, what can I do?

If you buy something online that requires home delivery and it arrives late or doesn't turn up at all, don't worry - you've got rights.

Missing or late delivery? Complain to the retailer 

You should complain to the retailer as it is responsible for undelivered goods, not the courier.

This is because your contract is with the retailer, who you bought the goods from.

So, if your goods are still undelivered and you would like to make a complaint, you should complain to the retailer - even if you think it’s down to a poor service from the courier.

The reason you wouldn’t make a complaint to the courier is because the courier is employed by the retailer to deliver your goods to you. Ultimately it is the retailer’s responsibility to ensure you receive your goods.

The Consumer Rights Act says that the retailer is responsible for the condition of the goods until you receive them, it's received by a nominated neighbour or anyone else you may have nominated to receive the goods on your behalf, or left in a specified safe place. 

Faulty or damaged goods?

If your goods arrive damaged in the post or the item you have received is faulty, you still have a right to refuse these goods and get a refund, repair or replacement.

If your parcel is late or hasn't turned up

If you paid for delivery by a certain date or time (eg by Christmas or next-day delivery) and the delivery arrives late, this is a breach of contract.

If it was essential that your goods were delivered on time, you have the right to terminate the purchase and get a full refund.

But if it wasn’t clear to the retailer at the point of purchase that it was essential and you didn’t make them aware you needed your goods delivered by a certain date or time frame, you should give them another opportunity to deliver your goods.

See our step-by-step guide on how to complain if your parcel is late or doesn’t turn up.

If your parcel was left somewhere or stolen

If you’re in the unfortunate position to have had your parcel stolen, your rights will depend on whether you agreed for your order to be left there.

See our guide on how to complain if your parcel was left somewhere or stolen for steps you can take to complain.

If your parcel was left with a neighbour who denies having it 

If your parcel was left with a neighbour who denies having it, your rights will depend on whether that neighbour was someone you confirmed the parcel could be left with.

See our guide on how to complain if your neighbour denies having your parcel for step-by-step information on your rights and how to complain depending on your situation.

Cancel your online order

Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations you can cancel orders for most goods bought online the moment you place your order until 14 days from the day you receive your goods, and get a full refund.

There are some items where you don't get a right to cancel. See our guide on how to cancel an online order for more information.

Entitled to a refund?

If you're having problems getting the result you're entitled to, speak to a Which? Legal expert for tailored advice and clear steps to follow.

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