Dear Rabbi Simon,
I placed an online order on Thursday lunchtime, where it said estimated 2-3 days for delivery. The company is usually efficient and the orders normally arrive on Day 2. This was the case on this occasion, with the parcel being left outside my front door on Shabbat afternoon. Is there any issue with me using/benefiting from the merchandise which was delivered? Particularly referring to the fact I knew it may well arrive on Shabbat when I placed the order?
Shavua tov and thank you for your interesting and practical question (particularly in the age of Amazon). Although there is sometimes a requirement to wait after Shabbat long enough to accomplish the melakhah which was performed on your behalf by a gentile on Shabbat itself, this is not necessary in this circumstance. Rather you may make use of your purchase immediately after Shabbat. The reason is that the delivery agent was not acting for you, at your instruction, but rather in accordance with his contract and terms of employment with Parcelforce (for example).
Rabbi Rashi Simon