Goods ordered / delayed
When goods are ordered and/or a deposit paid
This is a contract and if the customer later changes their mind and does not wish to pay for the order they are not entitled to receive the deposit back.
Clients could find that they are liable for the full cost of the goods, especially if it is a special order and cancellation wasn’t early enough to prevent the goods from being made or non-special orders from being shipped. Some shops will attempt to sell the goods on behalf of their customer but any losses will need to be covered by the client.
Delivery delayed on ordered goods
When a shopkeeper gives a delivery date for ordered goods, whether a deposit is taken or not, this date is deemed to have been given in good faith. Should the goods subsequently be delayed, the shop cannot be held responsible and a deposit is not required to be returned should the customer cancel the order. In fact, some traders will try to extract payment for goods specially ordered if the customer cancels the order or refuses delivery.
The only way to safeguard a deposit on ordered goods is to specify in writing at the time of placing the order that should the goods be delayed the contract is canceled with the deposit to be returned. Many traders would not be a party to such stipulations.
Goods under deposit
When a customer has paid a deposit on goods in a shop, the shop should hold those items and not sell them as a contract for sale has been entered to. Should the shop sell the goods (by mistake or otherwise) the customer is entitled to a full refund of the deposit. Not a credit note. If the item was a one-off, the shop should make all the efforts to find a similar item and if this is not possible, the customer could try asking for compensation in the form of a reduction on other goods for the disappointment suffered.
Where the customer has accepted a credit note from the shopkeeper for the deposit, this weakens the case for a refund of money.