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What Can I Do When Goods I've Ordered Don't Arrive?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 16 Jul 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
What Can I Do When Goods I've Ordered Don't Arrive?

“I ordered a laptop online, from a well known retailer. I paid on my credit card, and it was due to be delivered two weeks ago. It didn’t arrive on the day I expected it, so I e-mailed the company and asked them where it was.

“They told me that the model I’d ordered was currently out of stock, and that there should be more coming in later that week. I didn’t hear any more from them so after another week I called again, and was told that they still didn’t have any of that model in stock, and I should be getting my delivery as soon as they got more of them in. Apparently because it was such a good deal, there was a run on them, and they’ve been hard to get hold of.

“I still haven’t had anything, and I really wanted that deal. Can I force them to deliver the laptop?”

Advice

Well, if they don’t have any of them in stock, you can’t make them deliver, but this puts them in breach of their contract to you under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act, and so entitles you to ‘Make time of the essence’.

Making Time of the Essence

You must write to the company (but you can e-mail the letter, even though it’s a good idea to send a hard copy by recorded delivery too.) Explain that you ordered and paid for the laptop, and give the date, and that you paid for it at the time, but that they have failed to complete the contract, so you are now ‘making time of the essence.’

Add that you require your laptop to be delivered by a date in the future that you believe to be reasonable. You set this date, but you have to be realistic, because if you tell them you want it by tomorrow, it’s just not going to happen. Ideally, you probably need to give the company a week at least to come up with the goods, and you need to make this clear in writing.

Making time of the essence is legally inserting a condition into your contract under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act. This also gives you the right to terminate your contract if they don’t supply you with your goods by the time that you set out in your letter, so you can add that if the laptop isn’t with you by a certain date, you will have no option but to request a refund so that you can purchase the goods elsewhere.

Unfortunately, this may mean that you don’t get the same great deal that the company are currently offering, and there isn’t much you can do about that. You can’t force them to deliver goods if they genuinely don’t have any, but their breach of contract does mean that you’re entitled to a full refund of anything you’ve paid them.

If they refuse to give you a refund, then you can take the issue up in the courts. Usually a sternly worded letter, warning them that if you don’t have a refund within 14 days you will be taking legal action tends to make them pay up swiftly.

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Our Response:
In general your consumer rights say that you can ask for your money back if you don’t receive the item either within 30 days of buying it or on the date you agreed with the seller. If the seller refuses to give you your money back, you should put your complaint in writing. Looking at the retailer's website it seems that item's purchaed via their payment plan are treated differently and they include the following statement "Items purchased by Payment Plan will be shipped to customers once the goods have come into stock and the last payment has been charged and cleared. Shipping costs and any applicable taxes are added to the last payment."
When you order another item via this plan, we suggest you contact the retailer first asking them for rough time scale of when the item will be in stock. That will mean you can use your consumer rights with regards to delivery.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 6-Jul-17 @ 12:22 PM
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Dave - Your Question:
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Our Response:
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Our Response:
What are the details? Was this an online order? Was the insurance for postage? Was it a UK retailer? Sorry at the moment there's not enough information to comment.
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rach - 10-Dec-16 @ 10:21 PM
Wayne - Your Question:
I purchased something online and haven't received anything I've tried emailing but have got no reply

Our Response:
Try phoning. Sometimes a customer phone line is more effective. If you don't have the item delivered within 30 days, write to them and tell them you are cancelling your order for a full refund. Your card company should be able to help with this.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 5-Dec-16 @ 12:52 PM
I purchased something online and haven't received anything I've tried emailing but have got no reply
Wayne - 2-Dec-16 @ 8:59 AM
H - Your Question:
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Our Response:
You can cancel an order if it's not delivered within the agreed timescales. Write to the company (the address is at the bottom of their website pages) and say if it's not received within the next 7 days you will exercise your right to cancel. If they do not respond/your do not receive your item, contact the card provider of the card you paid with.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 30-Nov-16 @ 12:58 PM
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Kharv - 26-Nov-16 @ 5:31 PM
Sophie - Your Question:
Hi, I ordered 3 mini personalised footballs online on the 9th October 2016. Its now the 22nd November 2016 and im still waiting for the order. Ive emailed the company 4 times, messaged them on facebook and put a comment on their facebook page which they deleted. I try to ring them and I cant get through. I dont know what else to do or where I stand, could you please give me some advice?Thank you

Our Response:
You can cancel an online order that is not delivered within 30 days (unless an alternative date was agreed at the time of order). You should therefore write to them saying you are exercising this right and demanding a refund - contact your credit card company if they do not cooperate.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 23-Nov-16 @ 10:04 AM
Hi, i ordered 3 mini personalised footballs online on the 9th October 2016. Its now the 22nd November 2016 and im still waiting for the order. Ive emailed the company 4 times, messaged them on facebook and put a comment on their facebook page which they deleted. I try to ring them and i cant get through. I dont know what else to do or where i stand, could you please give me some advice? Thank you
Sophie - 22-Nov-16 @ 12:22 PM
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Mimi - 12-Nov-16 @ 11:27 AM
sam - Your Question:
Hi I have just bought a new kitchen for the charity I work for, when it was delivered my colleague checked and signed for the larger cost items such as the white goods, but did not feel confident to check all the other components such as doors, feet, end bits etc. so signed these items unchecked. On fitting (we have got volunteers to do this as we are a charity) we have found a whole cupboard and its components missing. When calling the store they said they are unable to do anything as we have signed for it!! Please can you advice me of my rights?Many thanks Sam

Our Response:
It's impractical to be able to check every unit of a kitchen on delivery - if you didn't sign for all the items, it was clear that you did not/were not able to check them. Go back to the retailer and insist on a replacement.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 2-Nov-16 @ 10:38 AM
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