Postal delivery issues? Know your rights

At Christmas time, we all know that Santa and his reindeer can easily deliver presents to good girls and boys all over the planet in just one night… but that’s the magic of Christmas!

If you don’t receive your package on time, don’t necessarily assume you’re  on this year’s naughty list. Delivery services are run by mere mortals and as such, mistakes can happen.

But did you know, you have rights and can claim compensation in certain circumstances?

Delivery obligations

Before confirming a purchase for delivery, the seller is legally obliged to clearly inform you of the date or period at which the goods will be delivered (or the service provided).

According to article L. 131-1 of the Consumer Code, if the contract does not indicate a date, the seller is liable for an administrative fine of up to €3,000 for an individual and €15,000 for a company

In the absence of delivery date information, the seller has a maximum of 30 days to deliver. This obligation applies whether the sale takes place in a shop or is concluded at a distance (by internet, mail order, telephone, etc.).

If delivery by a specific date is a condition of your purchase (for a birthday, anniversary etc.) you need to inform the seller in writing as part of the sales contract.

Late deliveries

If your package has not arrived on time, you can stipulate a new deadline, so long as your time expectations are reasonable, by registered post or by email. This does not apply in cases of force majeure.

If the delivery has still not arrived by the new deadline, you are legally able to withdraw from the contract. You must notify the seller by registered post, who must then refund you the full price within 14 days.

Without the initial notification of a new delivery date, known as mise en demeure, the seller has no legal obligation to refund you so make sure you keep proof of your letter or email.

late delivery
Know your rights if your package arrives late

Damaged goods

If your package arrives damaged, you should refuse to sign for it, or write your complaint on the delivery note before signing and then refuse the goods.

As above, you should contact the seller by registered post or email requesting a replacement product.

The seller is responsible for the return and re-delivery costs, and it is also up to them to take action against the transporter.

If the transporter did you not give you the opportunity to check the contents of your package before signing for delivery, you have 10 days to inform them of any problems, again by registered post.

damaged goods
Make sure you know what to do if your package arrives damaged BEFORE the due delivery date

Non-conforming goods

Write the issue/problem on the delivery note and refuse the goods. You can insist that the original order be respected and invoke the legal guarantee of conformity.

In certain cases, the contract stipulates that you have up to 3 days to inform the seller of the problem, but ensure you check this before the expected delivery date.

Non-conformity can take various forms: aesthetic difference, incomplete delivery, different functionalities, non-functioning of the product…

The costs of returning the product and sending a new order are at the seller’s expense.

cardboard man
Don’t get caught out this Christmas!

Non-respect of rules

In the event of a dispute, you can contact the government’s consumer affairs watchdog, la Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF), who will then help and advise you on your rights.

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