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Package delivery: practical but risky

Package delivery: practical but risky

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“Help”, Ö1 consumer magazine, every Saturday at 11.40 am Ö1 Radio And as Podcast.

A package delivery permit provides consumers with a number of benefits, including convenience, time savings, and flexibility. The problem arises when the delivery is lost, stolen or damaged.

A complex triangle when shopping online

Online shopping is a complex three-way relationship: There is the customer who buys something online. Then there is the online retailer who supplies the goods and ensures that they reach the consumer. And as a third party, the parcel service that takes care of the delivery.

There is no contract between the recipient and the conductor

If something goes wrong with the delivery, the retailer and the parcel service have to figure it out on their own. Recipients have no way of knowing where their package has gone.

“The problem is that there is no separate contractual relationship between the consumer and the delivery service, and only the seller or dispatcher is the contact person,” says Alexander Wordich, a lawyer at VKI, the consumer information association.

The parcel fell into the wrong place

A woman from Vienna who was waiting for an online order also experienced how difficult the procedure was. Because she had given permission for her departure, the package should be – as agreed – in front of the door of her apartment. She also received a notification that the delivery had taken place – but there was nothing. After a complaint, the parcel company sent her a photo of the delivery location, which was supposed to prove the correct delivery.

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“It shows that the storage location is neither my peace nor my apartment door,” says the consumer. After another phone call with a request to track the shipment, she was told that it was only the recipient, not the customer. “So I have no rights.”

Who can place an investigation order?

The delivery company recommended the woman from Vienna contact the online retailer. There it was said that nothing could be done to her since she had given a parking pass. She must call the parcel carrier and return it to the merchant. They turned in circles.

The woman had already paid 85 euros for the goods in the package. “Although I am the owner of the missing package, I have no right to request an investigation – which is very frustrating.” In fact, only the online store can issue this inquiry request.

Consumers bear the risks

If there is a deposit permit, the postal service provider has fulfilled its obligations once the package has been deposited at the agreed location. Then it is considered delivered. If something happens next — goods are damaged or stolen, for example — consumers are out of luck.

With a parking permit, consumers assume the risk of loss or theft. However, this only applies if the goods are placed at the point for which permission has been granted. “In this particular case, there is a photo as evidence that it was sent to the wrong place,” says Worditch.

Simply storing packages is not possible

In this specific case, the online store had to deliver the goods again because they were lost. According to Wurditsch, the consumer should not give up and send the retailer the photographic evidence proving the faulty delivery. If that doesn’t work, consumer protection organizations such as VKI the Internet Ombudsman and RTR, which is the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, which has its own responsibility Post dispute resolution board he have.

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In general, parcel services are not allowed to place the ordered goods in front of the front door on their own. In any case, the recipient must give his consent in advance. And this should be well thought out.

Choose a safe place for delivery

“It is important to determine where the package may actually be parked,” says the attorney. Accurate descriptions and possibly pictures are helpful to avoid misunderstandings. The storage location should not be visible from the outside and should be protected from rain and other weather conditions.

By the way, the missing Viennese woman’s package appeared after all. Three days after her last complaint, she was at her apartment door without any further explanation.