Lost or Delayed Parcels
What do I do if my order doesn't arrive when expected?
First and foremost, for both UK and international orders, please check with your local delivery office that the parcel isn't there, awaiting collection. Delivery may have been attempted whilst you were out, without you realising.
It's important to be aware that Royal Mail, for UK deliveries - and most international postal services - will only hold an uncollected parcel for a limited time, often only 7 calendar days, before returning it to the sender.
In our experience, most UK parcels do arrive within 1-2 days of despatch. Please do keep an eye out for any cards left by your postman, to notify that delivery was attempted while you were out, advising you that you need to arrange to collect the parcel from your local delivery office or to arrange a re-delivery day.
We recommend contacting your local delivery office shortly after the expected delivery date, even if you haven't received an Unable to Deliver card, because occasionally, the postman fails to leave a notification card, or it may have been picked up by another member of your household, or perhaps fallen from your letterbox to an out-of-sight location. In situations such as this, the parcel might be awaiting collection, even though you're unaware that delivery has been attempted.
In cases of parcels being returned to us, the actual delivery cost to us would be payable, before we can re-send your order. Please be aware that this amount may differ from our standard delivery charge for your parcel, but we would notify you of this, if applicable.
If, however, your parcel hasn't turned up and delivery hasn't been attempted, there are varying dates (depending on the destination country) when Royal Mail will accept a formal report of a parcel being lost. Please see below for details.
When parcels can officially be reported as delayed or lost...
UK destinations: 1st Class Signed For (our standard delivery service for UK deliveries)
Earliest date reportable as delayed: 8 days from POSTING date
Earliest date reportable as lost: 14 days from POSTING date
Earliest date reportable as lost: 20 working days after the latest expected delivery date.
(Expected delivery to Europe is 3-5 days, with the 20 working days starting from the 5th postal day.)
Earliest date reportable as lost: 25 working days after the latest expected delivery date. (Expected delivery to the Rest of World is 5-7 days, with the 25 working days starting from the 7th postal day.)
We apologise that this isn't more straightforward to calculate but we've put forward a suggestion to Royal Mail to share their internal calculator for these dates on their public website. If we find they've implemented this, we'll certainly add the link here to make this much easier for you to work out!
We might just be very lucky, but at the time of writing, we've only ever had one parcel go completely missing without being returned to us... in nearly 9 years of trading! So rest assured, this really doesn't happen often!
We do consciously go to lengths though to do our utmost to avoid our parcels being delayed or going astray. We make sure our parcels are very clearly labelled, with typed addresses and all labels being very firmly affixed with tape and/or a waterproof plastic wallet to protect against rain or water smudging the address information. We also ensure that our return address is clearly displayed in two separate places.
Furthermore, international parcels' labels only show our initials of TOTC as the sender, rather than showing our full company name, to avoid giving clues about the contents and are left plain, ie without our logo, to minimise the risk of postal theft on its journey through other countries.
Of course, if your parcel hasn't turned up by the time of Royal Mail's above reportable dates, please notify us and we'll swiftly send out a replacement order, provided we have the item(s) in stock. Alternatively, if you prefer, you will be given a full refund of the goods and the postage you paid.
By default, we would send a replacement order by the same delivery service as your original order. You can request a different delivery service for a replacement order but if it's a more expensive service than the original order's, you would need to pay the additional cost. If you would like for a cheaper delivery service than used for your original order, the difference would be refundable.
We are usually only able to send out replacement orders for lost parcels once Royal Mail's "reportable" lost parcel date has been reached.
Delayed overseas parcels:
We do often hear that parcels to overseas destinations are delayed but, as mentioned above, only one has ever been completely lost. The likelihood is that it has been delayed and we've found that this is often the case once the parcel has reached its destination country, possibly due to delays in Customs. We strongly recommend keeping in regular touch with your local delivery office though as the parcel might be there, awaiting collection or re-delivery instructions, with you unaware that delivery has been attempted.
If a parcel hasn't turned up by the Royal Mail "reportable lost" time, please notify us.
We are currently offering, on a trial basis, standard Air Mail with proof of posting, as a more economical delivery service option, but we would stress that there is no way of tracing a parcel that has been sent via this service.
For high value orders (or for irreplaceable items that are discontinued) we would recommend opting for the Signed For service. This service also includes tracking for many destination countries. Countries without an asterisk on our Countries We Deliver To page do offer tracking.
Royal Mail can't guarantee your parcel won't get lost or be delayed, but the tracking and signature services do provide your parcel with an "identity" via its reference number and tracked parcels will be scanned at various points in their journey.
All of the above forms part of our Terms and Conditions