With more companies and private individuals doing business online, there’s been a huge rise in the volume of parcels of every size being shipped out to customers and clients throughout the UK and overseas.

The majority of couriers and parcel delivery companies, including Pharos Parcel, run a “tight ship” using state of the art equipment that normally guarantees the items arrive at their destination in a timely fashion. However, there are times when items go missing for many reasons, which means you need to know your rights when parcels get lost in transit.

Knowing Your Rights is Important

Tracking your parcel is great but it can go wrong

If you’ve bought something online and then find it doesn’t arrive or if the item arrives later than you expected, the first task will be to contact the person who sold you the item. The reason being more often than not, it is the retailer who decides which courier or parcel service to use. The law under the Sale of Goods Act states that items need to be delivered in a “reasonable time”.

However, this can be seen as a “grey area” and does depend on the sort of items that are being posted out as well as the original estimated delivery time. With this in mind and when you believe that a “reasonable time” has indeed, elapsed and you have still not received your items, under the Distance Selling Regulations currently in place, you are entitled to cancel the order and receive a full financial refund. Should you have paid an extra charge to have something delivered the next day and it does not arrive, you would be entitled to ask for a refund on the amount you paid for a faster delivery service.

Your Options When Sending Parcels

There are three basic options for sending out parcels which are to use the Royal Mail, to go direct to a courier or a parcel delivery service, or to use a third-party broker that sell a variety of pick-up and drop-off options throughout the UK.

These are typically a same day service, a next day service or a 48 hours service. If a parcel or other item goes missing, when a third party is involved things can be a little more complicated which means it can get frustrating, not to mention it can turn into a time -consuming affair. Luckily, most courier and parcel delivery companies including Pharos Parcel, use online tracking features which normally help keep track of where items are at any given time. However, this is not always that reliable and things do go missing whilst in transit. The thing to remember the service a customer receives when an item is lost is only as good as the parcel broker that was used. If a parcel is late in arriving after you have paid an extra charge for a faster delivery, as previously mentioned you are entitled to compensation but the amount received will depend on factors like the length of time of a delay, the courier used and the sort of delivery that was paid for.

Consequential Losses Will Not be Compensated

The one thing that you need to bear in mind is that no courier or parcel delivery company will offer any sort of compensation for any “consequential losses” which means that if you suffer any repercussions as a result of an item not arriving on time, you will not be compensated for this loss.


Knowing your rights when a parcel gets lost in transit or is late arriving at a destination is important but it’s also crucial to read the “terms and conditions” page on a website of a courier or parcel delivery service to make sure you understand just what the company offers customers in this type of situation. If you pay for a faster delivery and an item arrives late you will be entitled to a refund on the extra paid for the quicker service. However, you will not be entitled to compensation on any “consequential losses” you may incur as a result of a late delivery or if an item gets lost in transit which is something many people do not know.

For more information on the above or any other parcel query contact us at 08456 478479 or 01738 633220, we are always happy to help.