I have been waiting on an item being delivered since September that I ordered online. This is for a Christmas gift, and the closer we are getting to the big day, the less hope I have that the item will arrive. Can you help please?

I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues with your delivery. There are various things that could be causing the delays, but your statutory rights are the same, regardless of the reason supplied by the retailer.

If an online retailer has advised that you should have received items within a particular timeframe, then you should have received them within this period.

Since you ordered online, you have certain rights when it comes to delayed deliveries.

Consumer Contracts Regulations

You are protected by Consumer Contract Regulations which apply to items purchased over the telephone, by post, or online.

As you have waited more than 30 days on the delivery arriving, then you are legally entitled to cancel the order or contract and receive a refund. This can be done regardless of whether the item was purchased in-store or online.

As a side note, it is also possible to cancel orders in situations where you have waited for less than 30 days on your order coming.

According to the same regulations, it may also be possible for you to cancel orders that have been made online before they arrive.

Additionally, you have up to 14 days after receiving a delivery ordered through one of these methods to inform the trader that you wish to return the items due to a change of mind. This applies to unwanted goods, and not just goods that are faulty or damaged.

Returning Goods Bought Online

After the seller is notified, you then have an additional 14 days to return the items in the unopened packaging that they arrived in.

Once the seller receives your item, they should process the refund within 14 days. This should be for the full amount, including the amount paid to deliver the item if you paid for standard delivery.

Returns Policies & Costs

You should always read the seller’s terms and conditions, that can usually be found on their website. If this is not clearly stated, you can try contacting the seller directly to confirm their policy.

If you have paid an additional fee for the same, next day or expediated delivery, or for a specific delivery time window and the item does not arrive within this timescale, you can ask for a refund of the delivery charges as well.

It should be noted that the rules are not always applicable, specifically in the case of personalised, custom-made, or perishable items such as food.

Resolving the issue

You should get in contact with the retailer to highlight your concerns and what you expect them to do to remedy the matter. It is always best to do this in writing, sending via a letter with recorded delivery, or an email with read receipt.

Advice Direct Scotland run, and are the official consumer partner to the Scottish Government.

Scottish citizens can get free, practical, and impartial advice and information on a range of consumer-related issues, including understanding your consumer rights; what to do if there are issues with purchases; as well as sources of additional support that are available. 

You can contact specialist consumer advisers by calling 0808 164 6000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, or by visiting

I hope this helps and you get your gifts on time for Christmas.