Fight for your Rights: Soak replaced broken items but its courier messed up order

When a company delivers broken goods that definitely qualifies as appalling service. But when things go missing, whose fault is that?

Reader NB from London told Fight For Your Rights: “A courier came to my property while my builders were there and collected five boxes which were not even delivered by the company he was working for. I have got a couple of the items back. However, [the company which sent the courier] is refusing to take any responsibility for the items incorrectly taken.”

Like a lot of complaints we receive, this doesn’t tell the whole story. For starters, why had Soak sent a courier to pick up items from NB? The sorry tale began a couple of months earlier.

NB is having some work done on his property and ordered some items from Soak, an online bathroom retailer. Annoyingly a few were broken. When the company was informed, it rightly agreed to pick up the broken items and replace them. So far, so good.

But when it sent a courier to the address, the situation took a turn for the worse. NB was not there so the courier asked a builder at the property where the boxes were. The builder pointed out some boxes so the courier picked them up.

Sadly, they included some wrong items and so the courier left with goods that were simply waiting to be opened and used.

When NB discovered what had happened, he rang Soak and demanded the return of his stuff. The firm returned what it could but couldn’t find some of the items. And that’s when he became really angry.


You can’t blame him. Rather than quickly resolving the problem of the broken goods by replacing them, it had introduced fresh problems.

Or had it? NB certainly thought so and sent off a strongly worded and lengthy email to the company’s boss. It detailed all the problems, but then went on to question the way the company did business. That was a mistake. The accusations and an angry phone call he made led to a breakdown of communication between NB and the company so he turned to Moneywise.

The heart of this complaint is the issue of the missing items. NB claims Soak took them while the company says it has no record of them, but it has returned all the other items which it found at its warehouse. Replacements for the broken items were delivered separately and then a courier was sent to retrieve the broken bits.

So where do we go from here? The problem arose when the courier was directed to a pile of boxes by a builder who probably didn’t know what they were. NB should have ensured that he was there to hand over the boxes or, in his absence, labelled them clearly so that there was no confusion.


After we talked with NB, he agreed that he was partly at fault for the situation. For its part, Soak accepted that it created the problem in the first place by delivering faulty items. The company said it remained keen to do what it could to keep the customer happy. NB said that the value of the missing items was around £200, so Soak offered to pay half of that as a gesture of goodwill. NB accepted that. We think that’s a good compromise by both sides.

Outcome: gives reader £100