Commissioner's Blog: Click and wait – who’s responsible for delivery issues?

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A lot of us love a bit of online shopping. The convenience and fast delivery times are all part of the lure. Online stores like Temu, Amazon and Shein are great for a bargain but who do you approach to get help when delivery is delayed or even worse… it never arrives?


Based on the complaints Consumer Protection receives, we know a lot of people believe they need to take delivery issues up with the courier service. But that is not always correct.

The online retailer is responsible. They are the ones who hold the contract with the courier service.


Under Australian Consumer Law (ACL), goods or services must be supplied to consumers within a reasonable amount of time or within a timeframe the retailer has indicated. The law also applies to online retailers here and overseas. However, the law is much harder to enforce internationally, so keep this in mind when doing your online shopping.


The retailer should not be accepting payment for items they cannot supply, or when they know, or should have known, they would not be able to supply the item in a timely way.


If the retailer claims to have posted the item, they are responsible for resolving any issues with the company used to deliver your item, such as Australia Post or the courier.


So how do you fight back when you’ve been waiting weeks for your item?


In the first instance, contact the retailer and attempt to resolve it with them. If that gets you nowhere consider seeking a charge back on your credit card via your bank or payment provider. This highlights the importance of only paying through secure methods, our advice is to never pay via bank or wire transfer as you cannot get your money back.


If your item arrives damaged, surely that is the courier’s fault? It’s not. The retailer has an obligation under the ACL to supply a product of acceptable quality.


Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be entitled to a refund, repair or replacement. The retailer should also cover the return postage costs.


Before you return the product to the seller, take a photo of the damage for your own records.



For more information or to make a formal complaint about a retailer, report it to us at, or email or call 1300 30 40 54.


If your complaint involves Australia Post or Star Track you can lodge formal complaint with the Postal Industry Ombudsman.


Consumer Protection
Media release
29 Feb 2024

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