11oct when goods arrive damaged or late hero
Research report
9 September 2017

Moving or sending goods

We explain your rights under the Contract and Commercial Law Act.

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David
12 Jan 2021
Retailer trying to opt out of responsibility for delivery damage after goods signed for?

I bought a number of kitchen appliances from a large NZ online retailer. After purchasing, they sent me an email stating that I cannot claim for transit damage after signing for receiving the products. The appliances arrived fully wrapped and boxed. The courier said I had to sign that they had been received "undamaged and in full working condition". He said he was allowed to wait a maximum of 15 minutes while I checked. There is no way I could unbox and fully check multiple appliances within that timeframe. Can a retailer legally opt out of transit damage if you have signed for receiving a product?

Frank - Consumer staff
13 Jan 2021
Re: Retailer trying to opt out of responsibility for delivery damage after goods signed for?

Hi David,

The retailer cannot contract out of the Consumer Guarantees Act, which is what they are trying to do here. It’s immaterial whether damage is caused in transit, in the warehouse or during manufacture – goods must be of acceptable quality when supplied to the consumer.

The expectation that a consumer should inspect a series of electrical appliances, and certify they are in full working condition, all within 15 minutes, and that they have no right of redress in respect of any damage not found in that time is contrary to the Consumer Guarantees Act as well as to common sense.

Kind regards,
Paul - Consumer NZ adviser

Previous member
13 Mar 2015
Goods got damaged during delivery? Can I ask the seller for total refund?

I bought some furniture from a trader on Trade Me. The seller got the delivery company to ship the furniture from Auckland to my place in Wellington. Unfortunately the furniture got damaged during transit. The seller was very apologetic and offer replacement to be sent out to me again. But I don't want the hassle anymore, am afraid the furniture will get damaged again. So can I cancel the purchase and ask the seller for a total refund (the furniture cost + delivery cost)?

Previous member
16 Mar 2015
re: Goods got damaged during delivery? Can I ask the seller for total refund?

Hello Irene, one of our advisors has said you should accept the replacement as (a) if the seller is in trade they’re entitled under the Consumer Guarantees Act to offer a replacement to discharge their legal obligations and (b) if they’re not in trade they’re only obliged to honour the original agreement and supply the goods as agreed. Unfortunately your fears about what might happen can be given no legal weight. As you are a silver member, you are welcome to call Consumer's advisors for more information. You can contact them on 0800 CONSUMER. Regards, Kate N - Consumer NZ staff.