The common act that voids your consumer rights if your parcel delivery goes missing

3 June 2024, 13:29 | Updated: 3 June 2024, 13:34

There is one common act that can void your consumer rights
There is one common act that can void your consumer rights. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

As increasing numbers of Brits turn to shopping online for their goods, there is one catch that is causing customers to void their consumer rights when a parcel goes missing. Here's how to avoid making the same mistake.

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What are your consumer rights if a parcel does not arrive?

When you make an order online, your contract is with the retailer and not the courier.

If an item does not arrive, it is the retailer's responsibility to either refund you or rearrange for another delivery.

However, there is one increasingly common act that could see you void your consumer rights altogether over a missing parcel.

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How do specific delivery instructions impact your consumer rights?

If you choose to give instructions to the retailer to leave your package in a 'safe place' and it is stolen, the responsibility lies with you as the customer.

The retailer and courier will have fulfilled their side of the deal by following your instructions and leaving it where it was requested.

Therefore, you will have voided your consumer rights to have the delivery sent out again or be given a refund.

Most couriers give options to leave a parcel with a neighbour or in a safe place
Most couriers give options to leave a parcel with a neighbour or in a safe place. Picture: Alamy

What delivery instruction policies are in place?


Amazon say they try to honour delivery instructions whenever possible but it not guaranteed that requests will be met.

They warn that if you choose to have your parcel left unattended on your premises it should be "protected from the elements and guarded from public view to avoid damage and theft".

Some orders are not eligible for unattended delivery.

Read full details on Amazon's special delivery instructions here.


DPD can pass on specific instructions to the courier before the collection date.

However, they warn that instructions cannot be changed if the driver is already en-route.

They also warn that parcels will not be covered for loss or damage when left in a safe locations as they will be unattended.

Read full details on DPD's special delivery instructions here.


You can either divert you parcel to a safe place or neighbour or neighbour only, depending on the service chosen by the sender.

If the sender has requested a household signature a package will not be able to be diverted.

Evri warn that diversions are not always guaranteed - but if the courier is not able to deliver they will return to the address two more times and leave it in your diverted location if possible.

Read full details on Evri's special delivery instructions here.

Some orders from Amazon aren't eligible for unattended delivery.
Some orders from Amazon aren't eligible for unattended delivery. Picture: Alamy

Royal Mail

Royal Mail offers the opportunity for you to set a safe place on all non signature barcoded parcels.

You can also change when and where your parcel is delivered after it has been sent.

Read full details on Royal Mail's special delivery instructions here.


UPS allow you to reroute or reschedule parcels as well as giving the option for the parcel to be held or delivered to a neighbour.

However, they warn that delivery options may vary depending on the items being shipped.

Customers are also told to keep in mind that changing the delivery address could delay its arrival and there may be additional transportation fees.

Read full details on UPS' special delivery instructions here.


To set up delivery preferences with Yodel, you need to download their app.

You can then take a picture of your chosen safe place or let them know your preferred neighbour options for if you're not in.

Yodel has specific guidelines for a safe place, including it being out of sight of passing traffic and that the parcel wrapping will remain dry in any wet weather.

Read full details on Yodel's special delivery instructions here.

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