Commissioner's blog: Online shopping delivers delays

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Shopping online during a global pandemic certainly has its perks – you can order almost anything your heart desires from the safety and comfort of home, while playing your part to reduce the spread of a deadly disease.

Therefore it’s little wonder that online shopping sales have boomed during COVID-19, but if you have ordered something from the internet lately, chances are you would have noticed a delay in its delivery to your door.

Despite delivering up to two million parcels a day, Australia Post attributes the delays to a combination of the higher demand, reduced air freight capacity due to restrictions on domestic and international flights, as well as the implementation of extra health and safety measures to protect its staff and customers.

Many businesses are also struggling to manage delays in supply, so it’s important to be patient and anticipate some deliveries may take longer than usual.

Consumer Protection has received 136 complaints about late delivery of online orders since the start of this year, with 42 of those complaints lodged in April alone.

If you have ordered goods online in the pandemic and delivery is delayed, contact the supplier immediately to ask whether the goods are still available and when you can expect delivery.

Should the goods fail to arrive in a reasonable amount of time, your Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights mean you can ask for a refund or other remedy such as a credit note. If you have paid by credit card and do not receive your purchase, you should seek a chargeback from your financial institution.

When placing an order, always confirm the timeframe for delivery and keep a record of your transaction by printing or taking a screenshot of your order confirmation, invoice or receipt. Be sure to check the seller’s policy on returns, refunds, shipping, insurance and warranties, especially if they are based overseas.

It might be the World Wide Web, but the ACL is generally easier to enforce if you buy from an Australian business, so this is one of the major benefits of shopping with online retailers based in Australia. For other online shopping tips visit:

To lodge a complaint about delivery delays or goods not arriving at all, contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or

Consumer Protection
Media release
21 May 2020

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