Delay in delivering the parcel - what compensation should you claim?


The vast majority of online stores use the services of courier companies, because it is the fastest way to deliver packages to customers. Fast delivery is one of the most important advantages of online stores. If there has been a delay in delivering the parcel by the courier, you can claim compensation. Its height, however, is limited.

Delay in parcel delivery - how much can you request?

If the parcel was delivered late, you can demand compensation from the courier company. What amounts are at stake?

The maximum amount of compensation for damage caused by delay in delivering the shipment is twice the shipping fee. Such a limit results from Art. 83 sec. 1 of the Transport Law Act and concerns transport carried out in Poland.

If the delay in transport caused damage to the shipment (because, for example, the transported items were spoiled), you can additionally demand compensation for damage to the shipment. As a rule, however, untimely delivery does not cause such damage.

Double the fee for sending the parcel - the maximum amount of compensation for delay in delivery of the parcel

Is compensation "automatic"?

It does not follow from the transport law that in each case when there is a delay in the delivery of the shipment, compensation should be paid in the amount of twice the fee for sending the shipment. The regulation says that the carrier is obliged to pay compensation "up to twice the amount of transport", and not "in the amount of twice the amount of transport".

The carrier could therefore request evidence that the delay in delivering the shipment caused the damage. The damage could be, for example, that the online store had to reimburse the consumer for the amount for the courier shipment in a situation when the shipment was delivered late. The damage may also be that due to the delay in delivery, the customer withdrew from the purchase and exercised the right to withdraw from the contract.

In practice, however, whether the compensation in the amount of double the amount paid for the shipment is paid automatically or whether the damage has to be proven, is determined by the regulations of the courier company (which is part of the contract concluded with it).

Example 1.

The regulations of Pocztex services show that if the shipment has not been delivered on time, the customer is entitled to compensation in the amount requested, but not more than twice the fee for sending the shipment in a given service.

Therefore, on the basis of the provisions of the regulations, which is more favorable for customers than the provision in the Act - Transport Law, the courier company must pay compensation in the double amount of the fee for sending the shipment (maximum amount of compensation), if such an amount is requested by the customer.

Check the time of shipment

It is not only the fact that the courier actually delivered the parcel after the contractual deadline that decides whether there was a delay in delivering the parcel (and therefore whether the compensation is due). You need to answer the following questions:

  1. Was the package posted before the cut-off time? If the parcel is sent at a courier facility, check in the contract (regulations) to what time it should be sent; if you are even a minute late, it will be treated as if it had been posted the next day.

  2. Has the courier attempted to deliver the parcel? The fact that it has not actually been delivered does not mean that there is a delay; It may turn out that the courier tried to deliver the parcel, but did not find anyone and left information about an unsuccessful attempt to deliver.

International transport - other rules

Different rules apply to international road transport. The Polish Act - Transport Law does not apply then, only the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR).

What are the differences?

In the case of domestic transport, the limit of compensation for delay in delivery of the shipment is twice the fee for sending the shipment. In international transport, the compensation is lower - it cannot exceed the amount for sending the shipment (Article 23 (5) of the CMR Convention). You can raise this limit, but it requires entering into the bill of lading, in agreement with the carrier and for an additional fee, the so-called the amount of special interest in the delivery of the parcel in the event of its loss or damage, as well as in the event of exceeding the agreed delivery date (Article 26 of the CMR Convention). Then the maximum amount of compensation is equal to the declared amount of special interest.

How much time to claim compensation?

There is little time on demand for compensation for delay in delivery in domestic transport - we are dealing here with one of the shortest limitation periods provided for in Polish law. Claims expire after two months from the date of delivery. The limitation period is suspended for the period from the date of filing the complaint to the date of responding to the complaint and returning the attached documents, but for a maximum period of three months.

In the regulations of transport companies, you can meet with longer deadlines for submitting a complaint, even annual. And in practice, courier companies accept complaints submitted before the end of the year, without any excuse for the statute of limitations, although they could do so.

Another limitation period applies to international road transport. The limitation period is one year from the date of delivery of the shipment (Article 32 (1) of the CMR Convention). However, you have to remember to submit reservations in writing related to the delay in the delivery of the shipment - it must be done within 21 days from the date of placing the goods at the disposal of the recipient (Article 30 (3) of the CMR Convention).