1. Guides
  2. Reclaiming Money

Late or missed delivery consumer rights

Is your parcel late? Have you missed your delivery? Latest Deals is here to help you understand what your consumer rights are regarding deliveries. Learn more about it and make sure you are treated right.


What counts as a late or missed delivery?

Late delivery is a delivery that hasn’t arrived on a set date or within 30 days from the order.

Missed delivery is when you miss your order delivery because you were not at the address when the courier arrived. 

How can you complain about your late or missed delivery?

If your parcel is late, the first thing you need to do is to go to the shop’s website and reach out to their customer service. 

You can try calling or emailing them. If you are unsuccessful, you can reach them on their social media channels. The shop will give you an update about where your parcel is. 

Keep in mind that if you are trying to complain during busy times, like Christmas, you will need to wait longer. 

You can also check where your parcel is by the tracking number that you usually receive with your order confirmation email. 

If you missed your delivery, you will need to reschedule a new delivery. You can usually do that online on their website. 

Sometimes, you won’t be able to reschedule it, and you will need to collect your parcel. The company will let you know where to collect it. 

Royal Mail, the most popular delivery service in the UK, has a pretty simple system to make sure you can rearrange your delivery or collect it. 

What are your delivery consumer rights?


If you had agreed on a specific date when you placed your order, you will have more rights. 

If you don’t receive it by the date agreed, you are entitled to a refund. 

If you hadn’t agreed on a specific date when you placed your order, you will have fewer rights. 

By law, from the order date, the company has 30 days to deliver your order. Therefore, you need to wait for these 30 days.

Compensation for late or missed delivery 

Depending on your case, you might be entitled to receive compensation for late or missed delivery:

  • Direct loss: if the retailer will not deliver your order after 30 days, this is considered a direct loss, as you don’t have the product, and you are entitled to compensation. 
  • Extra time off: if you need to take extra time off to receive a delivery that didn’t arrive at the date arranged, you are entitled to compensation. 
  • Consequential loss: if the late or missed delivery has caused you to spend money, these are considered consequential losses, and you are entitled to compensation. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s very rare to be compensated for a late or missed delivery. Usually, what the customer gets is the delivery fee, and the order refunded. Any extra payments are very unlikely to happen. You would probably need to go to court for that. 

Facts about online order deliveries 

  1. You can cancel any online order no matter the reason up to 14 days after the purchase date.
  2. Every online order has 30 days to be delivered at the address agreed. 
  3. When you place an order with a company, they are responsible for handling the delivery, no matter if they have a third party involved, so they should resolve any problems.
  4. You have the right to complain if your order is late, missing, or turned up late. 
  5. You can claim back if you paid for special delivery and haven’t received the parcel on the agreed date, but you only will receive the difference between what you paid and the cheapest delivery fee.
  6. If you give specific delivery instructions and your delivery is missing, you have less right to complain, as your delivery will be considered delivered. 
  7. If your parcel is damaged, you have the right to get a refund or a replacement. 

Returning your order 

If you have received your order but you are not happy with it, you can return it to the sender and receive a full refund. 

If you have received your order later than you wanted, you shouldn’t open the parcel to be eligible for a refund for late shipping. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before buying the product with a company, make sure you check their returns policy as they might have specifications that can make the return not possible. 


Late Delivery Queries 

What to do if your delivery isn’t where it was told they had delivered it

If your parcel isn’t where you were told they had delivered it, you have two options. 

If you have specific delivery instructions written in your account, and they delivered the parcel following your instructions, you can’t do anything about it as the package is your responsibility after they drop it at the indicated place. 

If you don’t have specific instructions in your account, and they delivered the parcel anywhere, you are entitled to receive a full order refund or get another parcel. 

What to do if your delivery has been opened or damaged 

If your order has arrived opened or damaged, you can ask for a refund or a replacement. 

It’s important as soon as your parcel arrives you take pictures to use them as proof when you are making your complaint. 

Then you can complain to the company you ordered the product from.

Missed delivery Queries 

What happens if I am not home for the delivery?

If you are not home for a delivery, the courier will try to reach you to rearrange a new attempt. The courier will also leave a note by your door with the following instructions. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you knew that the courier was coming on a specific date and time and you weren’t there, you will have fewer rights. If the delivery service didn’t confirm a delivery date and time, you will have more rights.

What happens if I am not home for a second delivery attempt? 

If you have booked another delivery attempt and failed to be there, you might not be able to reschedule and will need to collect it.

What happens if I don’t collect my parcel? 

If you don’t collect your parcel, after a time, it will be sent back to the sender. You will need to pay the delivery fee again to be redelivered.



What do you think of this?+20 points
We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our website with improved customisation, analytics & advertising (inc. personalisation). You can read our full cookie policy. Please either , or .