Your rights if your deliveries get lost or damaged in the run up to Christmas
Yet some of those affected don't do anything about it, even when they could get a refund.
Last year, a survey found that two thirds of online shoppers had had problems with their deliveries over the past year.
Common delivery issues included parcels being left in unsecure locations, such as in bins, and unnecessary failed deliveries – where people waited at home for a parcel, only to receive a note saying they'd missed it.
So what can you do if your package is damaged in the delivery, and you only notice once you open the box?
Or what if it's stolen, or worse yet, doesn't turn up at all?
Below are all your rights should the unexpected happen, and you're left without gifts this Christmas.
If your parcel is late or hasn't turned up
If your parcel is late or doesn't show up, it's important to keep in mind that your contract is with the retailer, not the delivery company.
In other words, if the courier loses the products you ordered, the retailer is still responsible for putting things right.
If your item has failed to show up on time, the first thing you need to do is raise it with the retailer.
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It is then be their responsibility to track down the package.
Unless you've paid extra for a dedicated delivery time or date, then the retailer must deliver the item within 30 days of when you placed the order.
If this does not happen, you are entitled to a full refund, as stated in the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013.
If you need a delivery by a certain date, you need to specify this when you buy, or you won’t be able to complain if it doesn’t come.
Can I get money back if my shopping doesn't arrive at all? Or if it doesn't arrive after 30 days?
Yes. If your item never showed the retailer should issue a refund for your shopping.
Legally, retailers only need to refund the cost of the cheapest delivery option – so if you paid for a premium "next day" or "named day" service, you may not get all your money back.
If your delivery has taken more than 30 calendar days then you can legally cancel the contract and get a refund – regardless of whether you bought the product online or in store.
If you've waited less than that, it will mostly depend on when you placed the order.
Most shops will have cancellation policies in their terms and conditions, but you can also give the retailer a call to find out.
If your parcel is damaged
We all know how frustrating it can be when items are delivered damaged.
Once again, it is the retailer’s responsibility to make sure items arrive in good condition.
If you contact them about the damage they should either offer to send you a new item or refund you.
Will I get a refund if I cancel the order?
Online shoppers also have a right to cancel an order from the moment you place it until 14 days after you received the goods under the Consumer Contracts Regulations.
The laws apply to all purchases made at a distance, so either online, mail order, over the phone or through a shopping channel.
But there are also some orders you don't have the right to cancel such as bespoke or personalised goods, as well as CDs, DVDs and computer software where the seal is broken.
You also don't have the right to cancel goods with a seal for health protection and hygiene reasons that's been broken.
As this 14-day period is the time you have to decide whether to cancel, the seller can’t say that you must have returned the goods within this time frame.
If your order is already on its way to you, you probably won’t be able to cancel it before it reaches you.
But, remember that you still have the right to cancel the item for up to 14 days after you’ve received it.
Once you’ve confirmed with the retailer that you’d like to cancel your order, you then have a further 14 days to return it.
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