Shipping and delivery

Introduction

If you bought something from a business, to be delivered, the seller must deliver the goods within 30 days. This applies unless:

  • You agree a different arrangement with the trader
  • The trader is based outside the EU

If you agree a specific date for delivery of the goods as part of the contract and you do not get the goods on or before that date, you can cancel and claim a refund.

Because your contract is with the seller (and not the courier or delivery service) it is the seller’s responsibility to make sure the item is delivered to you.

This document explains your rights and some of the most common consumer problems with late or non-delivery, items damaged or lost and additional costs.

Deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on many businesses ability to meet agreed delivery timescales. You may experience delays or even non-delivery. If you bought the products from a trader within the EU, you have strong consumer rights - see more below.

You can keep up to date with updates about An Post delivery services on anpost.com or An Post’s social media channels.

Delivery costs and restrictions

By law, you must be told about delivery costs and any restrictions that apply.

Delivery costs

The seller must give you information about the total cost of the order in a clear and understandable way. This must include information about extra unavoidable costs such as delivery or postal charges and arrangements for delivery.

For products bought at a distance (that is online, by phone or away from the business premises), you must get this information by the time you get to the payment stage, at the very latest. A seller cannot charge you extra without your explicit agreement.

These requirements are set out under the Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU (CRD)(pdf). Read more about consumer rights in the EU.

Pay attention to any other charges. For example, if you buy from a trader based outside the EU, you may have to pay for Value Added Tax (VAT) and customs. This may be collected on your doorstep by the company delivering the product to you.

Delivery restrictions

The seller must also tell you about any delivery restrictions that apply.

There may be restrictions on the locations that the seller delivers to. A trader is under no obligation to deliver to Ireland, if they do not provide this service.

However, a seller cannot deny you access to their goods and services based on your nationality or place of residence under the Geo-blocking Regulation. This means that you are entitled to order the goods and collect them at the trader’s premises, or have them delivered to an address or pick up point, where the trader offers these options to local customers.

You can find examples from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) CCPC on how the Geo-blocking Regulations apply (pdf).

My goods are delayed

Your purchase must be delivered without undue delay and not later than 30 days from the date the order was placed (unless you agreed to a different arrangement). This only applies to products bought from traders based within the EU.

If the seller does not deliver the goods within the time agreed, you can ask for the goods to be delivered at a later, more convenient date. If the seller fails to deliver within this additional period, you can cancel the contract and get a refund of all the money you paid without too much delay.

If you told the seller that delivery by a certain date was essential and the seller agreed to this, you can cancel the contract and get a refund if they fail to deliver as promised. You can also cancel the contract and get a refund if the seller tells you that they cannot or will not deliver the goods.

My goods are lost or arrived damaged

Generally, the seller is responsible for damage or loss of your goods from the time they are dispatched until you receive them. This is the case where the seller has offered a particular post, delivery or courier service and this was not organised by you.

If you organised your own delivery service or nominated someone else to receive the goods (for example, a neighbour) then the seller’s responsibility for the goods ends once the person you nominated recieves them.

If you are using a home delivery or proxy address service (for example Parcel Motel or An Post’s AddressPal) then you have a separate contract for that service. The seller’s liability ends once the goods are passed to this third party. In this case, the third party has responsibility for your goods but there may be terms and conditions in your contract that limit their liability for loss or damage.

What about delivery costs where I want to cancel the order?

If the seller fails to deliver your goods within 30 days or the specified date, you can cancel the contract and get a refund of all the money you paid (including delivery) without delay.

For goods bought at a distance (that is online, by phone or away from the business premises), you have the right to cancel your order within the cooling-off period (14 days from delivery) without having to give a reason. However, you may have to pay for the cost of returning the goods. Always check the returns policy before buying.

Where you use your right to cancel, you must be refunded for the full amount you paid, including the standard delivery costs to send the item to you. You are only entitled to a refund for standard delivery. If you chose to pay more for next day, express or nominated day delivery, the seller only has to refund you for standard delivery.

If I need more help

If you have a problem with delivery of something you have ordered, you should first contact the seller, in writing if possible.

If you cannot resolve the issue with the seller directly, you can contact the following organisations for further information and advice:

  • The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) for disputes with traders based in Ireland
  • The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland for disputes with traders based in other EU/EEA countries.

Find out more about consumer protection organisations.

Alternatively, you can consider the following options:

  • If you paid using a credit or debit card, you can contact your card provider and ask them to reverse the transaction. This is known as chargeback. Some other payment methods also provide protection schemes (for example, PayPal buyer protection). The CCPC has more information on chargeback.
  • Take a claim against the trader through the courts using the small claims procedure.

Find out more about how to make a complaint.

Further information

You can read more in our document on postal services.

Your Europe has more information shipping and delivery.

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Bloom House
Railway Street
Dublin 1
D01 C576

Opening Hours: - Lines open Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm
Tel: (01) 402 5555 or 402 5500
Locall: 1890 432 432

ECC Ireland

Macro Centre
1 Green Street
Dublin 7
D07 X6NR
Ireland

Tel: (01) 879 7620
Fax: (01) 873 4328

Courts Service

15-24 Phoenix Street North
Smithfield
Dublin 7
Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)1 888 6000
Page edited: 22 June 2020