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Royal Mail strikes and your rights to late, missing or faulty parcels

Strikes are currently happening all over the UK with the likes of nurses, teachers and ambulance staff fighting for better pay.

And in addition to this, the Royal Mail are also set to strike – and very soon – which is set to affect everyone in the UK.

It comes on the run up to one of the busiest times of the year – the festive season – with people being urged to plan ahead so they get their parcels on time.

READ MORE:Martin Lewis’ money-saving air fryer and microwave calculation amid soaring energy bills

The postal workers are set to strike across six days. These include:

  • December 9
  • December 11
  • December 14
  • December 15
  • December 23
  • December 24

According to experts at Ocean Finance, there are seven consumer rights for late, faulty or missing parcels that people should be aware of this Christmas.

But what are your rights when it comes to your post? Here’s what you need to know…

Royal Mail strikes and your rights

1. You can get a refund if your online order is delivered late

The experts say that under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the seller should deliver your parcel “within a reasonable time”. This is often within 30 days from the point of purchase, unless otherwise stated.

So if you’ve been waiting more than 30 days, you are within your rights to cancel your order and request a refund. In addition, you are also entitled to cancel and request a refund if the retailer agreed to a delivery date that wasn’t met.

Different rules apply for certain items however such as perishable and personalised items.

2. Missing parcel and your ‘safe place’

The experts say that “your contract is with the seller so it’s their responsibility to deliver the parcel”, and if you suspect your parcel has gone missing, you should contact them to track it.

However if they used a courier, they should contact the courier for you to see where it may be. If the seller says they’ve delivered it or they can’t trace it, you may be able to get a refund in some cases. Not only can you potentially get your money back if this happens, you are also entitled to a refund if your parcel gets left in a place you never specified.

The experts explain: “You can request a refund or replacement if the retailer has left your parcel somewhere you didn’t ask them to, and it has gone missing. Delivering it to a location without your permission is classed as a breach of contract. But if you provide instructions for your parcel to be delivered to a certain place, such as with a neighbour, the retailer isn’t responsible if they deliver it correctly and it disappears afterward.”

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3. Do not pay to return faulty goods

The cost of sending faulty goods back for a refund, repair, or replacement should be covered by the seller – not you. You should also get a refund for your initial delivery cost if you contact the retailer in good time.

The finance experts say: “If you’ve signed for a delivery and later opened the box to find the item is damaged or faulty, you still have the same rights to a refund or replacement. To be on the safe side though, it’s best to change the wording on the delivery note to ‘goods received but not examined’.”

4. Stolen parcel – but replacement not guaranteed

If your parcel has been stolen from your ‘safe place’ you requested, you should contact the police and the retailer. Some, however it should be noted not all, retailers may send you a free replacement as a gesture of goodwill.

5. Request a redelivery if your parcel doesn’t turn up

You can request redelivery if your item didn’t turn up by an agreed date or within 30 days of making the purchase.

If you request a redelivery and a second date also isn’t met, you can cancel your order and request a full refund.

6. If your parcel is faulty, reject it and take evidence

If your parcel arrives in the post damaged or faulty, you should complain to the retailer as soon as possible. Under The Consumer Rights Act 2015, you can reject and get a refund for goods that fit any of these criteria:

  • Unsatisfactory quality (e.g., damaged or faulty)
  • Unfit for purpose
  • Not as described at the time of purchase

This legal right only lasts for 30 days from the date you buy your product however rather than the day you receive it. Some retailers may extend the refund period though. If they don’t, you can ask them to repair or replace your item at their cost in the first instance. After that, you can request a full or partial refund if this fails.

It should be noted that this right doesn’t apply to digital downloads. The experts add: “It’s worth sending a complaint in writing and including photos of the damaged product, to back up your claim that it was faulty when you bought it.”

Get all the latest news and headlines from Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians sent straight to your inbox twice a day by signing up to our free newsletter.

From breaking news to the latest on the coronavirus crisis in Scotland, we’ll have you covered.

The morning newsletter arrives every day before 9am and the evening newsletter, manually curated by the team, is sent at 6.30pm, giving you a round up of the most important stories of the day.

To sign up, simply enter your email address into this link here and select Daily News.

7. Changed your mind about a gift?

If you no longer want the item you purchased online, you have the right to change your mind, according to Ocean Finance. You will need to inform the retailer within 14 days of receiving the parcel. Then you have another 14 days to return it to them. Bear in mind that perishable and personalised goods are excluded from these rules.

If you purchased goods from a company based outside of the UK, your rights might be different. In that case, it’d be best to check the seller’s terms and conditions.

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