By Dean Dunham 24 February 2022

One of the most common complaints that have occupied my inbox in recent times relates to the delivery of goods, specifically where the retailer claims the goods were left outside and you tell me they are nowhere to be seen.
My response is always clear, unless you agreed that the goods could be left with a neighbour or somewhere safe if you are out when delivery occurs, it is not your responsibility if the goods go missing. The Consumer Rights Act therefore says that the goods should be delivered into your physical possession, unless you agree otherwise.
However, Rachael from Manchester has highlighted a new trick being deployed by some of the courier companies to get around this. She ordered a food mixer online. The night before it was due to be delivered she received a text message from the courier confirming the delivery and displaying a link for more information. Rachel clicked the link thinking it may provide an actual time for the delivery but she says it didn’t really tell her anything. The goods did not arrive the next day so she chased the retailer the following day. She was then informed the goods were left in her front garden at 2:50pm, which is when she was on the school run. It was clear the parcel had been stolen so she asked for a refund. The retailer then dropped the bombshell, as when Rachel clicked on the link in the couriers text message she authorised the courier company (and by default the retailer) to leave the parcel ‘in a safe place’ if she was out at the time of delivery. This meant the retailer could wash there hands of the issue, although I feel Rachel was misled and in these circumstances she will still have rights.
My advice is never agree for goods to be ‘left in a safe place’ if you are out at the time of delivery and do not click on links in a couriers text message. If you follow this advice and a courier company leaves a parcel with a neighbour or outside your property whilst you are out, you will be entitled to a refund or replacement goods if the parcel goes missing and you do not receive it, as this is the right section 51 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you.