Have you ever ordered something online and had issues with delivery? Perhaps the item is nowhere to be seen or you’re worried about theft. Not sure who to contact or who is responsible? Here’s what the law says in BC.

Who is responsible when you don’t get your package?

It can get a bit complicated, but the bottom line is this: regardless of the outcome of your package, the business must always be able to prove that they delivered the item properly. The law in BC sets out how this is supposed to be done. You can learn more about when goods are deemed to be supplied by reading section 53 of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

What kind of things prove the delivery took place properly?

  • The business should have provided you with a reasonable notice of delivery so you have an opportunity to receive the package – this could be a shipping notification and estimated delivery time.
  • It’s up to the business to decide how they demonstrate that the item was actually delivered to the correct location

My order is not here and the business says it’s been delivered – now what?

  • If the business can prove that they did everything they were supposed to and you’re concerned about theft, you can report the issue to your local police.
  • If the business cannot prove they delivered the goods to your home in the ways outlined above and you still don’t have your package, you can follow the steps below to cancel your order and receive a refund.

Online orders in BC

When you buy something online, you are usually entering into something called a distance sales contract.. This “contract” may look like an order confirmation or digital receipt. In BC, with these transactions you are within your rights to cancel your order and request a refund if:

  • The business does not give you a copy of the contract within 15 days, you have up to 30 days from date of purchase to cancel the contract
  • The goods are not delivered to you within 30 days of the delivery date noted in the contract
  • OR if you weren’t given a delivery date in your contract and the order doesn’t arrive within 30 days of the purchase

How to cancel your order and request a refund

If the business cannot prove that the order was delivered, then you can “cancel” the contract for one of the two reasons above. Follow these steps to cancel your order and request a refund:

  1. To officially cancel the contract and request a refund from the supplier, you can use one of the official cancellation forms available on our website. Once you have filled out the right form, you can send it to the business (by mail, email, or fax). The seller has 15 days to refund you the total amount.  
  2. If the business does not give you your refund, the recourse is now through your credit card provider. You can request that the charges on the card are reversed or cancelled – we also have a form available to help you through that process.
  3. If you are also denied by your credit card provider, we want to know about it. Both the credit card provider and the business would be in breach of the laws we oversee. We would encourage you to submit a complaint to us so we can review it.

Questions? Feel free to ask us your questions in the comment section below or explore some of the other blog posts about online orders.

Did you like this? You might like these posts too!

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About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.