Damaged item in post

Hi all…
I am reasonably familiar with consumer law however I am unsure how it will apply to this case. Any guidance welcome.

I ordered a car part (2nd hand) from a dealer in France. When it arrived (it was well packed) I found sections of the part broken and of no use.
Contacting the seller he stated it will have been damaged during transit and not his problem. However the parts broken were not in the item, had it been damaged in transit those bits will have been with it. Clearly it had been broken internally before supply. He of course refutes this.

Is there any legal action I can take without excessive costs to reclaim my money.
I paid by cheque…


AFAIK it will be your job to prove it was broken before shipping.
I wish you well with that.

Doubtful. You will need deep pockets.

Hi Haydn,
The seller can submit a claim against La Poste or whoever their carrier was for “goods damaged in transit.”

You have the right to return goods that are damged and to be reimbursed.

Under French consumer law ( article 121-20-1, la Code de la Consommation, le droit de rétractation ), a consumer has the right to return a product within seven days, without explaining why and without penalty (apart from the actual cost of returning the product). Reimbursement must be made as soon as possible, and within 30 days.

Situations when this law doesn’t apply:

  • If the consumer has waived their right to the seven day period
  • Purchase of food and other products which can go off
  • Audio, video or computer software that has been opened by the consumer
  • Purchase of magazines and newsletters
  • Services regarding transport, accommodation or leisure activities

some useful info here

Thanks for your comments…
However under EU Consumer Act (which France is part of) section 8, Article 20 does state the following :-
In contracts where the trader dispatches the goods to the consumer, the risk of loss of or
damage to the goods shall pass to the consumer when he or a third party indicated by the
consumer and other than the carrier has acquired the physical possession of the goods.
However, the risk shall pass to the consumer upon delivery to the carrier if the carrier was
commissioned by the consumer to carry the goods and that choice was not offered by the
trader, without prejudice to the rights of the consumer against the carrier.
s the supplier chose the method of delivery I believe they are responsible…


The problem, of course, is when the seller does not cooperate - enforcing your rights then starts to need those deep pockets.

How much money are we talking about here? (value of the goods).

… and did the supplier offer an insured (paid for) delivery service which option you decided not to accept?
It’s one thing to have rights but quite another to be in a position to exercise them…

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Frankly, if one has used a reputable firm, that firm should sort things out amicably.

In similar situations, I have emailed photographs of the damaged item , requesting replacement or refund.

best of luck

Thank you…in line with what I thought, but also some extra useful info


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This dealer is just trying it on, he hasn’t got a leg to stand on (and he knows it) as long as you return within the accepted retraction period.
Just make sure you return the item fully tracked and signed for, so you have proof.
If he doesn’t refund in the 30 days, porter plainte at your Gendarmerie, or online - this is free of charge.
PS take photos.