Whether it’s that clothing order that you just don’t need anymore, or returning any unwanted Christmas gifts – it’s important to know your rights when it comes to returns, and how delivery times may affect it.
Peter Board, Commercial Director at DeliveryApp, a UK wide same-day delivery tech platform has given top tips for customers on how to make sure they’re getting the most out of their returns, and what to do if upcoming strikes may affect online orders:
1. Check companies return T&Cs
Make sure to keep order confirmation numbers and check the specific terms and conditions on the company’s return policy as this will vary, with some will have prolonged return periods over the festive period. Bear in mind that businesses might have a different return policy for sale items than they do full-price items and there are some items (e.g. underwear, cosmetics) that cannot always be returned.
2. Keep proof of return
Look out for a confirmation email that the business has received your return and has confirmed your refund. If you have sent items back using the company’s returns policy and courier, you are not always liable if the parcel is lost in transit on the way back to the business. Therefore it is important to be able to prove that you have returned your item which can usually be shown with a signed receipt, or a collection receipt from the courier themselves.
3. Track returns
Where possible, shop from retailers that use couriers that offer tracking on delivery and return of items to allow you to stay on top of its return journey. This will give you an indication of when the return is likely to be processed and whether you need to chase the company for your refund, as well as an extra layer of security by being able to see where your return is.
4. Request repair or replacement of damaged items
If your item is unfortunately outside the return window you may still be eligible for a repair or replacement of an item if it is faulty. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you have 6 months to return a faulty item to a retailer if it is damaged, with the responsibility falling on the retailer to prove that an item wasn’t damaged. To be safe, make sure to take photo evidence of the damaged item when you receive it as the retailer may ask for proof of damage before offering a replacement.
5. Check return costs
If returning something from a smaller company, check the return policy to see whether you will have to organise the return yourself and the potential cost that this will include. Although return costs can be frustrating, it is best to consider the costs of return versus keeping the item altogether.
6. Check if items are insured
If you are responsible for organising the return of an item yourself, most companies will only insure items up to a certain value. When selecting a return delivery method, check the terms and conditions of the courier to guarantee that items are fully covered in the case of loss or damage. Many couriers have regulations on specific items they won’t insure for damage (e.g. if it’s fragile) so using specialist couriers may be your best bet.
7. Check if delays or strikes could impact your return window
If your return is impacted by delays, strike action or adverse weather and does not arrive back to the retailer within the return window stated in their T&Cs, they may be within their rights to deem your return as late and not eligible for a refund. Therefore it is important to check if there is an agreement in place between the delivery company to avoid disappointment.
8. Return in-store if possible
Making a trip into town? If possible, take your online items in-store to return to avoid delays and any lost items in transit. This way you will also receive your money back within 1-3 working days.
Peter Board at DeliveryApp commented: “January is a busy month for the logistics industry, with people returning unwanted Christmas gifts and January sales items. As we saw in the run up to Christmas, delivery times can be unpredictable and with the possibility of Royal Mail strikes again in the near future it is important to understand your return rights.
Although many people may not always read the T&Cs when placing an online order, taking an extra two minutes to read through the small print will eliminate disappointment or surprise when it comes to your return and allow you to prepare for any additional costs or return deadlines in advance. If you’re returning something of high value, always consider how well tracked and reliable your return service is as well as choosing the best price. ”
For more information about DeliveryApp, visit: https://www.deliveryapp.com/