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What to do if your parcel is stolen

According to the Office for National Statistics, more than a quarter of our shopping is done online on sites like Amazon and Ebay. Unfortunately, this increase in online shopping appears to be driving a stolen parcel epidemic. If you’re a victim of parcel theft, what can you do to recover your stolen package?

According to the Office for National Statistics, more than a quarter of our shopping is done online on sites like Amazon and Ebay. Unfortunately, this increase in online shopping appears to be driving a stolen parcel epidemic. If you’re a victim of parcel theft, what can you do to recover your stolen package?

Written by
Helen Phipps
Insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Rachel Lacey
Insurance and money expert
Last Updated
23 MARCH 2023
8 min read
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My parcel has been stolen. What should I do?

First of all, it’s worth checking with any neighbours in case the parcel has been left with them. You should also check whether your package has been left in a ‘safe place’, like behind a plant pot or even thrown over your fence.

If you can’t find it and you think it’s been stolen, start by contacting whoever sent it to you. If that was a retailer then it’s their responsibility – not the courier’s – to make sure your order reaches you safely. So if your delivery doesn’t turn up, it’s down to the retailer to deal with it.

What happens if you gave authority for a courier to leave your parcel in a safe place and it’s stolen?

If you were asked to nominate a ‘safe place’ for the courier to leave your parcel and it’s then stolen, it’s your responsibility. But if you didn’t nominate anywhere, then it’s the retailer’s responsibility to refund or replace the stolen parcel.

What happens if the courier says the parcel’s been delivered but it hasn’t turned up?

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for couriers to claim delivery of a parcel that doesn’t arrive. But to avoid false accusations many couriers, including DPD and Evri (formally known as Hermes), now take pictures of the package on your doorstep to prove items have been delivered.

Depending on the delivery company, there’ll be a different way of reporting a stolen parcel:

Royal Mail stolen parcel

If your package was sent via Royal Mail, it’s worth checking their retail compensation policy, which covers both first and second-class mail. The company has a claims centre, where you can check to see if you’re eligible for compensation. You’ll have to wait for up to 10 days after the package was due to arrive though.

Amazon package stolen

If your Amazon package is missing, but showing as ‘delivered’, Amazon advises you to contact the carrier. Keep a note of the tracking number or delivery confirmation. If that fails, you need to contact customer service within 30 days of the scheduled delivery date.

Evri stolen parcel

If your Evri package is stolen, Evri will compensate you for the loss, damage or theft, depending on the level of cover selected by the retailer. Contact the sender first, who’ll then need to make a claim themselves. The retailer is responsible for the package being delivered.

DPD stolen package

If your parcel hasn’t arrived, DPD ask you to contact the sender, who’ll then need to contact DPD to start an investigation into your stolen parcel.

UPS stolen package

If UPS have failed to deliver your parcel or you think the package was stolen, you can make a claim. Just give them some details and as much evidence as you can, and they’ll investigate your missing package.

Yodel missing package

Yodel recommend that you first check your package’s tracking page, to confirm the status of your delivery. If your parcel is registered as ‘delivered’ but you still haven’t received it, you should contact their customer service team via webchat.

What happens if my parcel arrives but is damaged?

If your parcel is damaged when it arrives, you’re under no obligation to accept it. If you want, you can give it straight back to the courier to return. If the courier’s long gone by the time you spot the damage, you can take it up with the retailer later. It may help to take pictures of the damage and email these to their customer services department.

Steps to take if your parcel is stolen

If you believe a parcel has been stolen, you can file a police report or call 101. But you’ll probably find you’re just as well taking it up with the retailer.

The retailer is responsible for the delivery of the item you bought and should replace it with minimum fuss.

If you encounter problems and the retailer doesn’t give you a replacement, and you paid by credit card, you may be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act – although this isn’t guaranteed. This means you may be able to make a claim with your credit card provider. It’s worth contacting them to find out.

If you paid using PayPal, then you should contact them. PayPal will review the claim to see if you’re due a pay-out.

Can I claim on my home insurance for a stolen parcel?

If a parcel is stolen from your doorstep and there’s no sign of forced entry to get to your property, it’s unlikely you’ll be covered by your home insurance. And that’s the case whether or not you have possessions cover outside of the home.

Tips to help ensure a parcel isn’t stolen 

  1. Get a doorbell camera/security camera
    Doorbell cameras are an increasingly popular way of improving home security and deterring thieves. If your parcel is stolen, you can use the footage as evidence in your claim.
  2. Install outside lights
    These are useful for deterring thieves, who’ll find themselves in the spotlight when approaching your home.
  3. Make sure your safe place is secure
    If you’ve asked a courier to leave a parcel in a safe place, make sure it really is safe. If you’ve asked them to drop it over the fence but the garden gate is left unlocked, then that’s not secure enough.

Frequently asked questions

What if I sent a parcel that goes missing? Am I eligible for compensation?

If you send a package via a courier company and it goes missing, you’ll need to contact the company. You should be due at least the cost of delivery.

Can I claim compensation from Royal Mail if my parcel goes missing?

If you send a parcel to someone else that goes missing, you may be eligible for compensation. You’ll need proof of posting, however. That’s why you should always get a receipt or proof-of-postage certificate when sending packages at the Post Office.

What if I pay for express delivery and my package takes too long to arrive?

If you pay for next-day delivery but your parcel doesn’t arrive within the promised time, you can claim back the extra postage from the retailer. If the item arrives so late you no longer need it, you can send it back for a full refund.

Who is responsible if a package is stolen?

The retailer is responsible for delivering a parcel safely to you. If it’s stolen, you should contact them to arrange a refund or replacement.

But if you told the courier to leave your parcel in a safe place, then you’re responsible for it going missing or being stolen.

Can I get a refund for a stolen package?

Yes, the retailer is responsible for the delivery of your package. If it’s stolen, missing or damaged, you should get a refund or replacement delivered.

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Helen Phipps - insurance expert

Having worked in both sides of the industry, Helen’s a real insurance expert. She’s worked directly with several insurance providers and now Compare the Market. She’s always searching for the cheapest prices for customers and is passionate about saving people money. Being married with two kids, Helen knows all about the cost of living and the benefits of having the right products and insurance for the whole family.

Learn more about Helen

Rachel Lacey - Insurance and money expert

Rachel’s a self-confessed money nerd who’s been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She spent 17 years writing for Moneywise, including a few years as Editor, and likes making complicated subjects like insurance, pensions, investing and tax, easy for people to understand.

Learn more about Rachel

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