Stolen package: how to get your money back | Dollars and cents

You arrive home from work, impatient to find the package you just received on your doorstep. But when you get home you don’t see the package anywhere. Don’t worry: you have several options to get your money back.

Whether you are the victim of package theft or simply a delivery error, your rights are the same under the Consumer Protection Act (LPC). The general principle to remember is that the merchant has the obligation to use the necessary means to receive your order. If this is not the case, you have the right to request a refund.

Before starting your steps, a clarification is necessary: ​​you have recourse even if the delivery company took a photo of your package delivered to your door (and it disappeared). But if you explicitly ask for the package to be left on your doorstep or in a mailbox, that’s different: the merchant can claim they respected their obligation to you, even if the package doesn’t arrive. hours later. Therefore, do not add this type of delivery information during the transaction.

If, despite these precautions, the item you ordered is missing, here’s how to proceed.

If you have not received your order within the expected delivery time – information that should be sent to you at the time of purchase – start by contacting the merchant to find out where your order was placed. Their exchange and refund policy may allow you to get your money back or an amicable settlement may be possible. This is the simplest and fastest way to resolve the situation.

If your exchange with the retailer is unsuccessful or you are unable to contact them, LPC allows you to cancel the purchase 30 days after the scheduled delivery date — or 30 days after the purchase date, if the retailer has not specified a delivery date. You must then inform the merchant verbally or in writing, and they will have 15 days to refund you. To facilitate your procedures, you can use this model cancellation notice provided by the Office of Consumer Protection (OPC).

“There is no maximum period for canceling the contract and requesting a refund from the merchant”, highlights OPC spokesperson, Charles Tanguay. But it’s better not to take too long, he adds, because this request must be made Before to receive your property. Which means if you receive your food processor six months after the expected delivery date, and in the meantime you’ve purchased another one, you won’t be able to request a refund… and your kitchen cabinets will be left cluttered.

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Request a chargeback

If the merchant has not refunded you within 15 days of sending you the cancellation notice, you have 60 days to do what is called a refund request in writing to the issuer of the credit card you used to make the purchase – e.g. Desjardins, National Bank, etc. Here again you can use a model provided by OPC.

However, you need to be patient and, in some cases, persevering. According to the lawThe financial institution has 30 days to notify you that it has received your request and a maximum of 90 days to refund the requested amount to your credit card.

If your credit card issuer doesn’t reimburse you within the allotted time frame, you can send formal notice and file small claims (for disputes of $15,000 or less). “Nothing would stop a consumer from notifying the merchant (not the credit card issuer) to refund them and bypass the chargeback process,” explains Charles Tanguay. However, the chargeback mechanism offers additional consumer protection, especially if you are a merchant outside of Quebec. »

Other remedies

Depending on the value of the lost or stolen package, it may also be advantageous to use home insurance, if your contract allows it. However, you must bear in mind that in the event of an accident you will have to pay a deductible, and maximum compensation may be provided for certain assets, such as a collector’s item or a bicycle. In short, it might be worth it if the contents of the stolen package cost $1,000; much less if we are talking about a toy or a kitchen item.

You can also report any package theft to the police. The Montreal City Police Service (SPVM), for example, encourages citizens who are victims of package theft to report it so that a report can be drawn up, says Mélanie Bergeron, spokesperson for the SPVM. However, this does not specify under what circumstances an investigation is triggered.

If you live in an area where package thefts are common and the police are able to arrest those responsible, you will have greater peace of mind when placing your next online orders.

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