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I ordered a package through AliExpress a few months ago. It has since been lost, and it is impossible to get anyone to take any kind of responsibility.

  • I ordered from AliExpress.
  • Seller is Xiaozhufeifei All Magnets Factory Store.
  • The product left China on March 13.
  • The product arrived at PostNL (Dutch company) on March 16.
  • The product was forwarded towards Denmark, where I live, on March 17.

All of the above is confirmed from all parties included. What happens next seems to be unclear:

  • March 19, the tracking information on AliExpress claims the package has arrived in country of destination. This is the last tracking update from AliExpress.
  • PostNL also says the package arrived in Denmark at March 19.
  • PostNord (Danish) has March 16 as their latest update on their tracking info, and claim to never have received a package.

Now, both PostNord and PostNL says that I have to contact the seller because it is their responsibility, and that they cannot do anything.

The seller, however, says I have to go to the local post office and request them to find my package, as that is what they have been told by the shippers. Now when I try to contact the postal service company, they simply say that they have never received the packages in their system, like they have said before. When I relay this information to the seller, they pretty much just repeat what they have said before.

I have contacted PostNL again as well, as they are the last company which without doubt has handled my goods, but they just repeat that they are a gateway company, and they have no responsibility, and I have to contact the seller...

So now I am confused. This was a semi-expensive package, so I would really like to find out who is really legally responsible in this mess.

  • Any chance it could be in lost in customs? – mkennedy May 4 '18 at 17:30
  • No idea where it could be lost, to be honest. But anywhere I try to contact, they refuse to help, and say I should contact the seller. The seller didn’t come through, but AliExpress did fortunately. – KjetilNordin May 5 '18 at 18:39
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Available evidence is that the business relationship is between you and Xiaozhufeifei, but Aliexpress may assist you. Disputes have to be initiated within 60 days and you may have a few days left. You might get a refund, except if you contributed to the delivery delay (gave the wrong address for example), or non-arrival was due to exceptional circumstances outside the seller's control, or there were other exceptional circumstances outside the control of AliExpress. The later two circumstances seem to exist, so the Aliexpress guarantee probably wouldn't have helped you (they are not precluded from helping you, but they are not required to).

The seller contracted with PostNL to deliver to you, and PostNL seems to have subcontracted with PortNord. Because you are not a customer of PostNL or PostNord, you have no contract with them, and you cannot make them do anything. Your legal recourse is to file suit against the seller for breach of contract. We can't tell what kind of clauses there might have been in the sales contract when you bought the goods, for example a disclaimer that delivery cannot be guaranteed if...

  • I had already opened a dispute request. I didn’t know how it would work, but today, after about a week, AliExpress has said I will get a refund from them, and I guess that means they will handle the specific seller themselves. – KjetilNordin May 5 '18 at 18:37
  • I was wondering if their "exceptions" to the refund policy meant that you couldn't actually get a refund since they can't control how the shipper screws up. Good to know the policy does mean something. – user6726 May 5 '18 at 19:10
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Usually there would be a contract between the seller and the buyer, and the contract would specify up to which point the item is responsibility of the seller, and at which point it becomes the responsibility of the buyer.

The contract might say that the seller is responsible for handing the item over to a shipping company (or handing it to an employee at the post office), or it might say that the seller is responsible for delivering the item to the front door of the buyer's home. So depending on the contract, delivery may be primarily the seller's responsibility.

No matter whose responsibility it was, that person can then hold the shipping company responsible, that is the company who was paid to deliver the item. They can have subcontractors who caused the loss, but that is their problems, not yours, and not the seller's problem.

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