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Follow up to this question.

The goods were eventually delivered six weeks after I sent an order. This was four weeks after I was initially told they had been dispatched and I informed the company I didn’t want them due to their lack of response to my initial request.

This was in December 2021. Since then they have been sitting, unopened, in my garage while I waited for the company to chase me for payment.

To date (May 2022), I have not received an invoice, payment reminder or anything. The only response I’ve had to my emails was in the early days of them saying there would be a restocking fee (which I told them I wouldn’t pay). I sent another email three weeks ago reminding them I had the goods and they could have them back, but I’ve had no response.

What further obligations are on me to try to return the goods? How long before I can just keep them? If suddenly a debt collector turned up demanding payment, would I have been deemed to have tried everything possible at this point to have tried returning them?

Note there is no paperwork on the package. I don’t know about inside as I haven’t opened it, as I said.

3 Answers 3

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What are my obligations towards goods received with no payment request?

An invoice implies a payment request unless the invoice or something in the package has some indication of waiver. You mention that you have not opened the package. Therefore, you cannot rule out that the package contains an invoice. If it does, your obligation now is to pay for the goods or pay whatever restocking fee the terms & conditions provide.

If you can prove that the company dispatched the goods after you gave a notice of cancellation, the company will not be entitled to a restocking fee.

would I have been deemed to have tried everything possible at this point to have tried returning them?

No. You could actually return the goods, in which case any dispute would be limited to the restocking fee.

there is no paperwork on the package.

That makes sense. Due to data protection laws, you cannot expect the invoice to be on the package.

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  • It’s quite normal for packages to have a packing slip attached to the outside, sometimes even a “documents enclosed” envelope with invoices etc. Also, as per the linked question, the company said they’ve emailed me an invoice. I’ve told them more than once I didn’t receive it but they haven’t re-sent it (or told me they have). I suppose I should open it just to be sure.
    – Darren
    May 7 at 11:17
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    "normal for packages to have a packing slip attached to the outside". Sure, but a packing slip is different from an invoice. A packing slip is not supposed to disclose more information than what the deliverer needs. May 7 at 11:25
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You are probably obliged to pay for them if and when they ask

If they don’t ask before the statute of limitations expires, they can’t make you pay.

You say “I informed the company I didn’t want them due to their lack of response to my initial request.” Why do you think that is a valid ground for termination of the contract? Is there a clause in there that allows you to terminate at will? If not, is there a clause that allows you to terminate “due to their lack of response to my initial request”? If not, you have no grounds to terminate: they have provided the goods, you are obliged to pay.

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  • That was addressed in the linked question. They didn’t acknowledge my order, failed to respond to several attempts to contact them and dispatched the goods some time after I placed the order without requesting payment. Due to their lack of response I assumed they had ceased trading (this was Covid times, so small businesses were shutting down left, right and centre). With hind sight I should have formally cancelled the order, but their own terms and conditions say the order is only accepted on the issuance of an invoice, which to this day I have not received.
    – Darren
    May 7 at 11:35
  • And more generally, yes. A contract offer can be withdrawn before it was been accepted by the other party.
    – Darren
    May 7 at 11:37
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You didn’t specify a location. So generally the situation will likely be this: 1. They have no rights to payment. 2. They have the right to pick up the goods, at their expense, at a time suitable to you. 3. You have to take reasonable care of the goods (garage is fine if the garage has a roof). 4. After several years any business relation ceases to exist and the goods are yours.

Someone will be able to fill in the details for your location.

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  • Sorry, UK. I’ll update the Q.
    – Darren
    May 7 at 9:36

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