I am often asked numerous questions about what your rights are when goods are delivered in instalments. Here’s what you need to know:
Do I have to accept instalment deliveries?
In some cases it is obvious that goods will be delivered in instalments, such as when you buy goods that are part of a set that are sent on a monthly basis – such as collector magazines. On these occasions, the instalment delivery is part of the nature of the goods. However, there are occasions when goods may be delivered in instalments when you were not aware of this. A prime example is when you buy furniture sets, as often the retailer will deliver in separate batches.
If a trader wants to send your order in instalments, they have an obligation to inform you of this and seek your agreement. If they fail to do this, section 26(1) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that you can reject the order.
What if an instalment doesn’t arrive?
I hear many traders say that if an instalment doesn’t arrive or is damaged, that your only entitlement is to have: i) a replacement (of that part of the instalment) or ii) a refund (again for that part of the instalment). These same traders also say that a problem with one part of the instalment does not mean that the consumer has the right to reject the whole order. This is not correct. Section 26(3) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 makes clear that if one or more instalments fail to arrive, or are defective, the consumer can indeed demand a full refund for all of the goods.