This does not affect your statutory rights – parcel labels on delivery

by scotslawstudent

“If this tape is broken or if the package is damaged, check entire contents in front of carrier and sign carrier’s cheet in accordance with actual condition and quantity of contents. It is not sufficient to sign “Unexamined.” Written complaints must be made to the carriers and the senders immediately, otherwise no claim can be entertained.”

No claim can be entertained? Really?

This was written on some packing tape wrapped around a new computing purchase and it caught my eye because I believe it is simply unenforceable. I’ve not given the retailer a right of reply so I won’t identify them here but I thought I’d take the opportunity to give a bit of consumer advice. You have a right of rejection which you only lose at the point you accept the goods. That lets you return the goods for a refund, a replacement or a repair. Acceptance is a legal term which has a legal definition beyond the normal one.

The legislation someone should point to if they’re directed to this sort of sticker is s35 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979. This talks about what acceptance actually means. In particular, point them at subsections (2), (3) and (5) and which gives you, as a consumer, the statutory right of a reasonable time to examine the goods after they are delivered and the protection as a consumer against losing your rights “agreement, waiver or otherwise.” The retailer simply can’t change legislation by putting a message on the parcel, and even if they were trying to, it needs to be very, very clearly pointed out on the parcel. This is slightly different for people who are purchasing in the line of business but you’re still allowed to catch your breath before your right of return expires. If you don’t examine a parcel that’s delivered to you you should write “unexamined” – it’s the truth.

Obviously if your carrier brings a half destroyed, collapsed and burnt box with the tape broken you should check it right there on the door and not sign until you confirm that it was delivered to you in such a sorry state. You should because that protects you from assertions that it was delivered to you fine and you broke it. You don’t need to though, your contract involves the goods inside the package — not the parcel itself and your statutory rights are not affected.

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