How do I pay for the groceries I have delivered

Ordering groceries online: the rights of customers

The delivery dates are rare, the rush is enormous: the online shops of local grocers have never recorded so many orders as they are now. But what if the fruit is delivered crushed or the milk runs out the next day? Even when shopping online, customers have the right to flawless products.

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"Perishable goods are not covered by the statutory right of withdrawal," says Karl Gladt, legal director of the Internet Ombudsman, an advisory and dispute resolution center for online transactions. This includes, for example, cold-stored products such as meat and milk or fruit.

In the case of non-perishable foods such as canned food, beverages, sugar and flour, however, the usual statutory right of withdrawal of 14 days applies. Within this period of time, the items from the online supermarket - unopened and in their original packaging - can be returned, and the customer gets their money back.

APA / dpa-Zentralbild / Jens Büttner

Check delivery upon arrival

If there is something wrong with the delivery - for example, the fruit has been completely crushed or the corn flakes package torn - you should complain quickly. Usually the fastest way to do this is to check the delivery carefully when it is handed over and to report any defects directly to the deliverer at the door.

Due to the current contactless handover, most dealers currently do not offer this option. Instead, Gladt recommends documenting the defect with a photo and then submitting a complaint by email. Customers can also report any damage to the products by telephone. The dealer then has to make improvements, i.e. deliver a new, faultless and undamaged product.

Milk has to be stable for a few days

Chilled fresh products such as sausage and cheese must be stable for at least a few more days from the delivery date. If the delivered milk expires on the next day according to the best-before date, online customers don't have to accept that. "In legal terms, this is about reasonable expectations, that is: what can I expect as a consumer, how long does milk have to be stable according to this expectation," says Gladt.

If this shelf life is not available, there is a defect and consumers can make warranty claims. In this case, too, the dealer must replace the product in question with a faultless one. If that is not possible, he must refund the customer the money. Fischer

The delivery is currently being deposited at a location of your choice without a personal encounter

If products are missing, they have to be delivered later

If the delivery is not complete, there is a delay in delivery, according to lawyer Gladt. "Consumers can insist on a subsequent delivery or withdraw from the contract and claim back the price for the missing goods."

If the wrong product is delivered, you don't have to pay for it, you can insist on the correct product being delivered. This applies to both ordering groceries in the supermarket and ordering pizzas at restaurants. Simply eat up the wrongly delivered products and only then complain and demand your money back is not possible. They have to be returned to the dealer - unless the dealer expressly waives them.

If the ordered product is not in stock, a replacement will be delivered

Sometimes a wrong delivery is not a mistake, but a service offered by the retail chains. For example, if the favorite brand's toilet paper is currently out of stock, the retailer simply packs another brand instead. According to the motto: better another than no toilet paper at all. Customers can keep or return such replacement items. If you do not want any other products than the ones you want, you can inform the dealer and you will then no longer receive any replacement items.

Even when ordering pizza via delivery platforms such as, the food must be flawless. If the wrong pasta dish is served, the tiramisu dessert is missing or the entire pizza topping is stuck to the top of the box, customers can complain.

Mjam acts as an intermediary here, the actual contract is basically concluded with the restaurant, according to Gladt. So customers should complain to the restaurant. If the order was paid for directly via the mediation platform, customers can also complain there and request the purchase price back, for example.

What if it doesn't taste good

However, consumers cannot demand the money back just because the food did not taste good. “In principle, I can only assert warranty claims if there is a defect. The fact that I do not like a meal subjectively is not a defect, ”says Gladt. It would be different if a dish was objectively completely salty or something similar.

APA / AFP / Tiziana Fabi

Just because the pizza doesn't taste good is no reason to complain

If the supplier is late, it depends on the situation. A certain time frame is usually agreed for the supermarket order, the messenger does not adhere to it, the customer must grant a reasonable grace period. Customers can only withdraw from the contract if this also lapses unused.

The pizza order, however, is legally classified as a firm deal. If delivery is not made within an acceptable period of time, there is a delay in performance and the contract automatically expires. “At dinner, you can expect it to be delivered in the evening and not the next morning,” said the Internet ombudsman lawyer.

Beate Macura,


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