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Gave package to wrong neighbour... Liable?

(73 Posts)
Muminneedofadvicelol Mon 09-Dec-19 23:06:24


I have a dilemma tonight and can't sleep

A neighbour from across the street came to my door and said I had a package that belongs to them. My second name was the name signed and I couldn't for the life of me think what he was even saying as my new born was babbling away in the background. I just wanted to turn my attention to him as it was just after his bath time. Anyway, when he went away, I realised that I had indeed taken a package in, but gave it to the neighbour downstairs. That was over a week ago. When the delivery guy dropped it off, he said "can you take this for your neighbour" I stupidly assumed it was for the guy downstairs as he is my only neighbour in our block of flats. When I was leaving my house last week, he had come home and I just gave him the parcel without even looking at the label. (I'm an idiot)

Why hasn't he handed it over to the correct neighbour? Absolutely ridiculous.
Will I be liable for this?
Will baby brain ever get better!?!

MrBobLobLaw Mon 09-Dec-19 23:12:58

Just to clarify: last week driver gave you a package for your neighbour. You wrongly assumed it was for neighbour downstairs and handed it to him when you saw him. Neighbour across the road, who the package was actually for, came to claim it today but you had forgotten about previous package so (I assume) sent him away saying you knew nothing about it? But now you remember about your mix up. Is this right?

If so, then downstairs neighbour might have just forgotten to hand it over. Or maybe he automatically opened it without reading the box and now feels embarrassed/worried about handing it over in case he is accused of something.

Not sure what the knock on will be though since you signed for it..!

TrixieFranklin Mon 09-Dec-19 23:17:24

Just ask your downstairs neighbour

TheReluctantCountess Mon 09-Dec-19 23:17:48

I would ask the downstairs neighbour if you gave them the wrong parcel by mistake. See what they say. They could well be relieved at the chance to sort it out.

ShannonShouts Mon 09-Dec-19 23:18:14

Have you checked if downstairs neighbour has it still?

1Morewineplease Mon 09-Dec-19 23:24:22

Check with downstairs neighbour.

Emeraldshamrock Tue 10-Dec-19 01:14:21

Are you friendly with your downstairs neighbour.
You have to ask them. Lessin leant don't take in any more parcels unless it belongs to a trusted neighbour.

Derbee Tue 10-Dec-19 01:54:48

Ask the downstairs neighbour. If you’re not comfortable doing that, then go over to the neighbour who’s parcel it actually was, and explain what happened. Then the neighbour who’s parcel it was knows that your downstairs neighbour has the parcel, and can sort it out between themselves.

Spamantha Tue 10-Dec-19 02:31:25

You're not a delivery company, you would not be liable.

If you did it deliberately, it could be theft, but you didn't so it isn't.

You should ask your downstairs neighbor about it though.

dazzlinghaze Tue 10-Dec-19 04:11:57

Speak to your neighbour. I don't want to frighten you but this happened with a friend of my sister and she was arrested as the neighbour she incorrectly gave the parcel to denied all knowledge. The police took her in for questioning and apparently they found it quite funny and as far as I know nothing further has happened as they established it was a mistake rather than theft on my sister's friend's part. She found out the parcel in question was a box of spices so don't know if the low value had an impact on it not being taken further.

TotalRecall Tue 10-Dec-19 05:26:47

No you won’t be liable, you’re not a delivery company.

Just go down stairs and tel the neighbour you gave it to it was a mistake, if he has it then take it to the other neighbour. If he doesn’t, go to the neighbour who’s parcel it was, explain the mix up and tell them the delivery driver said it was for the neighbour, and downstairs accepted it. Let her take it from there.

SpaghettiSharon Tue 10-Dec-19 05:29:28

@dazzlinghaze arrested???? Read her rights and taken fo the station arrested???


Sounds unbelievable!

GiveHerHellFromUs Tue 10-Dec-19 05:50:17

Explain the situation to both neighbours.
Let them sort it out between themselves.

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 10-Dec-19 06:09:29

Yes - baby brain will get better, but not soon - in my experience, at least!

Go talk to the downstairs neighbour when you have time. Neighbour across the road has waited long enough to come and retrieve it so don’t feel too pressured. Not sure if there is any chance of you being civilly liable, but it seems very unlikely it would be pursued.

murmuration Tue 10-Dec-19 06:17:04

Are you sure it’s the same package? Lots of deliveries this time of year. You could have given downstairs neighbour a package for him a week ago and now across the street neighbour has had another package delivered (but not to you). Honestly that’d be my assumption given the time elapsed.

lborgia Tue 10-Dec-19 06:18:01

muminneed... depends how old you are - I started havin g babies late 30,s and don’t remember much clarity between baby brain sliding into perimenopause hmm

Oh, and parcel, honestly, I’d pop over the road and say you’ve just remembered giving a parcel to downstairs neighbour..might it be that one? It’s between them.

Sparklybaublefest Tue 10-Dec-19 06:36:27

But you dont know if the package was for the other neighbour, there could be two packages, there are plenty around currently!

justdoityourself Tue 10-Dec-19 06:39:33

I would just go to the downstairs neighbour and say "I gave you a parcel for him over the road last week by mistake, can I have it back to hand over"

BloodyCats Tue 10-Dec-19 06:50:34

You won’t be arrested op.
Your neighbour might be annoyed but I doubt it will go further than that.

Lulualla Tue 10-Dec-19 07:14:03

Yes. You could be. Its a grey area. When your neighbour contacts the company for a refund or replacement they may suggest he takes you to court. Its happened. Very very unusual and the company will most likely accept that its lost but you could be held responsible.

Back when companies started introducing "delivery to neighbour" options a watchdog tried to get commitments that all legal liability for damage and missing parcels would remain with the company but in practice, it's not set in stone.

However, it's probably only Ebay who would refuse a refund because they just need proof of delivery. All decent companies would sort it out.

Lulualla Tue 10-Dec-19 07:16:35


It can and does happen. When you sign got something which you know isn't yours and then it goes missing, you are lisbile. An elderly woman was taken to court because she accepted a parcel for a neighbour and it was then stolen from her house during a burglary. She was liable.

Lulualla Tue 10-Dec-19 07:18:19

*sorry she wasn't taken to court. The police threatened her with prosecution after s complaint from the neigbour. I'm guessing the crown decided against prosecuting!

XXcstatic Tue 10-Dec-19 07:19:51

When your neighbour contacts the company for a refund or replacement they may suggest he takes you to court. Its happened. Very very unusual and the company will most likely accept that its lost but you could be held responsible

What breach or offence is the OP supposed to have committed? She has no duty of care to the neighbour. She has made an honest mistake from which she does not benefit.

The only party in breach here is the supplier of the goods to the neighbour, which has failed to carry out the terms of its contract with him - unless he said the parcel could be left with the OP, in which case it's tough luck.

Lulualla Tue 10-Dec-19 07:25:11


I'm not making this up. You open yourself up to accusations of theft. Delivery companies can maintain that the item was delivered in good condition so contract is fulfilled.

If the neighbour has given permission for his items to be left with a neighbour then the company he purchases frim have fulfilled the order. He could take civil action if they refuse to re-send or refund it report OP for theft.

If he didn't give permission for it to be left with a neighbour then he can say they have bot fulfilled the contract.

This stuff has happened. I'm not making it up so sont quote me and then act like its nonsense.

Lulualla Tue 10-Dec-19 07:27:44

It's not just "tough luck". If it's an expensive item and he cant get his money back then OP can be reported for theft. Her signature is on it and she hasn't given it to him. Not sure how it would play out with her handing it to someone else though.

OP, you need to go talk to the guy you handed it too.

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