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What to do if your parcel is stolen

According to the Office for National Statistics, nearly a quarter of our shopping is done online. Unfortunately, this increase in online retail appears to be driving a stolen parcel epidemic.

So if you’re a victim of parcel theft, what can you do to recover your stolen package?

According to the Office for National Statistics, nearly a quarter of our shopping is done online. Unfortunately, this increase in online retail appears to be driving a stolen parcel epidemic.

So if you’re a victim of parcel theft, what can you do to recover your stolen package?

Written by
Anna McEntee
Home, pet and travel insurance expert
Last Updated
4 JUNE 2024
8 min read
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Someone has stolen my parcel. What should I do?

First of all, it’s worth checking with your neighbours, housemates or family members, in case the parcel has been left with them. You should also check whether your package has been left in a ‘safe place’, even if you didn’t authorise it. It could be behind a plant pot or fence – or even in your recycling bin.

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 it’s their responsibility – not the courier’s – to make sure your order reaches you safely.

What happens if I give authority for a courier to leave my parcel in a safe place and it’s stolen?

If you agreed for your parcel to be left in a safe place and it’s then stolen, it’s your responsibility. But if the courier left the parcel somewhere you didn’t authorise, it’s the retailer’s responsibility to sort it out.

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

Again, it’s the seller’s responsibility to make sure the parcel is delivered. Although, nowadays, many couriers take pictures of the package on your doorstep to prove the items have been delivered.

It’s worth bearing in mind that not all missing deliveries are the fault of the courier. A package could have been taken from your doorstep or nominated ‘safe place’ by a passerby. It might even be that a neighbour stole your parcel.

However, unless you have evidence, the police might not be able to do much to help. So, it’s best to report the missing parcel to the retailer.

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. You can call the company’s claims centre to see if you’re eligible for compensation.

You’ll have to wait until 10 days after the stolen package was due to be delivered before you can make a claim.

Amazon package stolen

If your Amazon package is missing but showing as ‘delivered’, Amazon advises you to look out for a notice of attempted delivery, as well checking around the property and with neighbours. 

If you still can’t locate the missing parcel, contact the carrier with the tracking information provided on your order. If that fails, you should contact Amazon’s customer service department within 30 days of the scheduled delivery date.

Evri stolen parcel

If your Evri package is stolen, Evri will compensate you for loss, damage or theft, depending on the level of cover selected by the retailer. The quickest way to get a resolution is to contact the sender, who’ll then need to make a claim via Evri’s customer service team.

DPD stolen package

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

UPS stolen package

If UPS has failed to deliver your parcel or you think the package was stolen, you can file a claim online. Just provide your details and as much evidence as you can, and UPS will investigate your missing parcel.

Yodel missing package

Yodel recommends checking your missing package’s tracking information first to see the status of your delivery. If your parcel is confirmed as ‘delivered’ but you still haven’t received it, you should contact Yodel’s customer service team via webchat.

What happens if my parcel arrives but is damaged?

If you spot damage to your parcel before the courier leaves, you can contact the retailer and ask them if you can hand it straight back. 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 the sender’s customer service department.

Steps to take if a parcel is stolen

If you believe a parcel has been stolen, you could file a police report or call 101. But, without solid evidence, you’re probably better off taking it up with the retailer.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the retailer is responsible for the delivery and quality of the item you bought.

If you paid for something by credit card but didn’t receive it and the retailer won’t give you a replacement or refund, you might be able to claim from your credit card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Although this isn’t guaranteed. It’s worth contacting your card provider to find out.

If you paid using PayPal, you may be able to receive a payout by contacting PayPal directly.

Do the police investigate missing parcels

If you have evidence that your parcel has been stolen, such as CCTV or doorbell camera footage, you might be able to file a police report or call 101. Without enough evidence, though, there’s little the police can do. They’ll generally advise you to contact the retailer.

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 into your property, it‘s unlikely to be covered by your home insurance. But check your policy or contact your insurance provider to make sure.

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?

To find out if you’re eligible for compensation on a package you’ve sent, you’ll need to contact the courier company you used.

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

If you send a parcel via Royal Mail and it 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 and 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.

If you told the courier to leave your parcel in a safe place, however, the responsibility sits with you.

Can I get a refund for a stolen parcel?

Yes, the retailer you bought your goods from is responsible for making sure your order arrives. If it’s stolen, missing or damaged, the retailer should arrange a refund or replacement.

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