A parcel ordered through a store was meant to be delivered to me on Saturday 30th. It wasn't. Going through the delivery firm's customer service, they couldn't determine where it had been delivered to and considered it a missing parcel. This led to the store submitting a refund to me and a fine to the delivery firm.

I have now canvassed the places it could have been miss-delivered to and found the parcel.

Do I have to notify the store?

If I do, do I have to agree to them cancelling the refund?

  • 1
    Why do you not think this is called fraud or theft? Jan 2 '18 at 19:55
  • 1
    How did you obtain the parcel from the (incorrect) recipients?
    – DJohnM
    Jan 2 '18 at 20:12
  • Not a full answer, but this would probably be a "silent fraud" or "fraud by omission".
    – sleske
    Jan 4 '18 at 10:38
  • At the very least, you should be able to keep the refund for the delivery charge portion. Jan 4 '18 at 17:56

If you have received the item, and continue to let the store believe you haven't, then you are obtaining money under false pretenses, which is pretty much the definition of fraud.


Do I have to notify the store?

Yes, probably. Not notifying the store would probably be considered fraud, specifically Fraud by failing to disclose information. The law says:

3 Fraud by failing to disclose information

A person is in breach of this section if he—

(a) dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information which he is under a legal duty to disclose, and

(b) intends, by failing to disclose the information - (i) to make a gain for himself or another, or (ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss

Fraud Act 2006, Chapter 35

An example from a lawyer, which is very similar to your question:

An example would be where a person makes an insurance claim for a ring that they believed had been stolen. They report this to their insurance company and make a claim. They subsequently receive an insurance payout of £15,000 for the ring. Following this they later find the ring under the bed in their spare bedroom.

They have discovered that the ring was not stolen but lost and decide not to tell the insurance company and then decide not to tell the insurance company about it and keep the money (sic). They are then guilty of an offence of failing to disclose information.

Quentin Hunt - Fraud by failing to disclose information

Note that the penalty for fraud is imprisonment for up to ten years (though you probably would not receive it).

Also note that the law is a bit vague on when exactly "fraud by failing to disclose information occurs. The act just speaks of "dishonestly failing to disclose information" and a "legal duty to disclose". In court the prosecution will have to prove that you acted dishonestly, and that you had a legal duty to disclose the information - the case law on that point is complicated. Usually the duty is more likely to be upheld if there is an existing relationship between the parties (such as in your case).

If I do, do I have to agree to them cancelling the refund?

Yes, you do. Once the store knows you have received the parcel (no matter how they find out), they have a right to get back the refund. Not paying back the refund is probably not a criminal offence (only a civil wrong), but the store may sue you if you do not pay.

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