Unsolicited Goods & Services Act 1971

Reference: UK/1971/C/30

The Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971 (as amended) makes provision for the greater protection of persons receiving unsolicited goods, and amends the law with respect to charges for entries in directories.


Under the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971 it is an offence to demand payment for goods known to be unsolicited - sent to a person without any prior request made by them or on their behalf.

Someone who receives goods in these circumstances may retain them as an unconditional gift, and does not have to pay for or return any unwanted goods. Anyone who receives a demand for payment for unsolicited goods should report the matter to their local Trading Standards Department.

However, in the case of unsolicited goods received before 1 November 2000, the recipient is required to give notice to the sender to collect them within 30 days, or otherwise to wait for 6 months, before being able to treat the goods as their own property.

The Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971 (Electronic Communications) Order 2001 (as amended) was made under the Electronic Communications Act 2000 s 8 to facilitate e-commerce.

Supervision and enforcement

Further Information