If you have purchased something online, through a catalogue or over the phone, and it never arrives, you are entitled to a replacement or refund under reasonable circumstances.
The first thing to find out is the delivery date and whether you have any tracking information. If the expected delivery is within 7 days and you’ve reached the 8th day, it’s reasonable to wait a little longer as all services can slow-up from time to time. The same applies if you were told a package would arrive on a certain day and it never did.
If you have access to tracking information (through an email, text message or online account) you may get a clearer idea of where along the chain your delivery is, and it may have just been delayed.
If you have no tracking info or it says something erroneous like “delivery complete” and you’ve waited a couple of extra days – it’s time to contact the seller. All reputable online stores or catalogues will have a method to contact the support team.
Politely inform them of the issue and request for the order to be sent again. If they say the package was left with a neighbour, on the door step or some other area, but you cannot locate it, it is still their legal responsibility to make the situation right.
If after 30 days from the purchase date your order has not been delivered you are legally entitled to your money back, though they may happily refund you before this time.
Note if it has been determined that Royal Mail or another courier were at fault, it is still the responsibility of the seller to refund you after 30 days or get a replacement to you right away. It is common on auction sites like eBay for the seller to ask you to wait a certain time period until they have been compensated by the courier for losing the package. While you may choose to meet this request out of politeness, you do not have to and can make a claim through eBay or Paypal accordingly.
If the seller has made a claim, you may at some point be sent a form or receive a phone call from Royal Mail or the courier in question to verify the loss so the seller can get compensation. If they gave you a refund or resent the order, it would be respectful to go along with this procedure.
Still No Delivery or Refund?
If for whatever reason you still cannot get a replacement or refund, you can contact your bank or credit card company to issue a chargeback. You may want to send any supportive evidence, such as email printouts etc in this scenario.
A similar process can be done through PayPal, but don’t leave it any longer than 180 days.
If you believe a deliberate fraud has taken place you can also contact Trading Standards to have the seller investigated. Again you will need some supportive evidence to make sure you have a genuine complaint.