Argos: Dubious Clause in Terms & Conditions

Argos has a somewhat dubious clause relating to home delivery in its Terms & Conditions:

3.3 Risk of loss and damage of products passes to you on the date when the products are delivered or on the date of first attempted delivery by us.

This potentially conflicts with consumer rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, which state:

Risk passes from the trader to the consumer when the goods are delivered unless the courier is one not offered or named by the trader as an option, but chosen and arranged by the consumer. In this case risk passes to the consumer when the item is delivered to the courier.

The problem with is that by agreeing to these Terms & Conditions you may be waiving your rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations.

Suppose you are not given the option to agree to a specific timeslot, as is true of some home delivery purchases from Argos.  The courier may turn up at a time when you are out and, depending on whether a signature is required, might either:

  • Leave the goods outside your property.
  • Return the goods to the depot.

If Argos’s T&Cs are to be believed, at this point liability for the goods has transferred to you.  So, if someone steals the goods from outside your home, or from the courier’s depot or the back of their van, or even if the courier drops the item and damages it, you are apparently now liable for the goods … and not Argos is not.

This does not seem to be a fair way of treating customers.  It is also questionable as to whether it is legally enforceable.  If someone finds themselves in this position, I would suggest it is worth insisting that Argos provide the goods, as they were never delivered to you in person.

If they are not inclined to do so, then it would seem sensible seek legal advice … or at least some assistance from Trading Standards or the Citizens Advice Bureau.