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Tis the Season to Shop Online

By December 6, 2018January 28th, 2021Dispute Resolution, For Business

It’s the season when online shopping is at its peak.  According to the BBC  “Online retailer Amazon saw sales jump by nearly a third last year…The company reported record sales in the final three months of the year, driven by a surge in online shopping over the holiday season…The company said more than five billion items were sent using its Prime shipping service worldwide in 2017.”

With such a demand on Supply Chain and Logistics it is more likely that people will experience issues with missing items and shipments.   According to the Telegraph at least 12 million parcels will go missing at Christmas, research suggests, as consumer watchdogs warn of delivery chaos.

If your parcel doesn’t turn up you should first contact the sender/supplier who has the contractual relationship with deliverer.   If there is a problem with a delivery, say a parcel has gone missing or the contents is damaged, then individuals have rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Contracts Regulations.  Under the above statute when you buy goods from a retailer/ supplier they are responsible for the goods until you receive them.  So, if the courier loses the goods you ordered or they are damaged, the retailer is responsible for putting things right, not the courier.

For businesses the position is slightly different.  The Consumer Rights Act 2015 does not apply to business to business arrangements. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 a corporate entity can never be a consumer. By contrast a sole trader or partner can contract as a consumer; what matters is their purpose in the specific transaction.  A court will treat any business as a sophisticated party and there is an expectation that a business has better commercial awareness when entering into contracts.

During this busy time of year, businesses who heavily rely on Supply Chain/Logistics should think about a few things:

  1. Insurance – Do you have sufficient insurance in place to cover any losses? Or, in the alternative does your supplier/deliverer?
  2. Indemnity – Do the terms you have with your suppliers/logistics companies have indemnity clauses? Do the terms limit the amount you can recover as part of any claim if something does go wrong? By way of example it would be inopportune to lose goods to the value of £1,000,000 and only have indemnity in your contract for £50,000.
  3. Are your terms sufficient? Make sure you have decent terms and conditions as prevention is better than cure.

If you want any advice or have any questions get in touch.

Alison Rocca

Author Alison Rocca

Alison is a solicitor in our Litigation department.

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