Update: 3.30pm, 2 January 2015: The administrators have confirmed a "small quantity" of parcels are being held by contractors so some customers won't be able to collect them from the depots. It adds that it's in discussions with the sub-contractors to enable parcels to be returned.

Thousands of customers waiting for City Link parcels have just a week left to pick up packages from depots after the delivery firm appointed administrators on Christmas Eve.

City Link, which handles deliveries for retailers such as John Lewis, Amazon and Mothercare, still has 30,000 parcels waiting for collection at 53 depots across the UK.

Adminstrators today said that depots will remain open until 8pm on Tuesday 6 January for customers to collect City Link parcels.

Most of the retailers who used the parcel firm have arranged an alternative way of delivering orders but some have been unable to and in those cases, customers must go to depots to collect their parcels.

Administrators of the failed firm say that parcels should be claimed "as soon as possible" from depots.

How do I find out where my parcel is?

First, check with the retailer that you ordered from. It should be able to tell you if it has arranged alternative delivery. If not, then you can use City Link’s online tracking service to find out which depot has your parcel. You will need your order number to locate your parcel and this should be on your delivery confirmation. You can contact City Link on 0844 4930932.

How long do I have to collect my parcel?

You’ll have to be quick. Administrators said that depots will remain open for recipients and City Link customers to pick up parcels until approximately 6 January 2015. Depots will be open from 8am to 8pm and we've asked if this is Monday to Friday and includes New Year's Day. We'll update this article as soon as we get a response.

To collect a parcel you'll need to bring proof of purchase, plus proof of ID and proof of address. If you're collecting a failed delivery, you may have received a card through your letterbox which will also provide instructions.

If you don't collect the parcel in time, it doesn't necessarily mean City Link will not hold on to it, but we don't know yet what arrangements will be made after 6 January.

What if I can’t collect my parcel?

Your contract is with the retailer, not the delivery firm, so it’s up to them to refund you for the item and the delivery charge.

Legally you are entitled to ask for a refund if your goods haven't arrived, but if you have a problem securing one from a retailer and you've paid for even a proportion of the cost by credit card, then you could try to claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act as long as the item is worth at least £100 and under £30,000. For more information, read our Section 75 guide.

Where Section 75 doesn't apply, there's another rule that you may be able to fall back on if you've used a debit card or paid for an item worth less than £100 on a credit card. It's called chargeback, and it allows the card provider to reverse a payment you've made to a retailer if it agrees you've a legitimate complaint. See the full Chargeback guide.

Which retailers are involved?

John Lewis, Amazon and Mothercare, as well as many other retailers, have used City Link to deliver packages.

A spokesman for John Lewis says: "John Lewis operates its deliveries and click and collect proposition through a number of external suppliers as well as its own in-house green van fleet. This enables us to work flexibly and we have since transferred all our business with City Link to alternative carriers."

"Mothercare has transferred all business with City Link to alternative carriers. It is our plan to deliver customer orders according to the original schedule," a spokesperson from Mothercare says.

We have asked Amazon for information and will update this article as soon as we receive a reply.

What happens to staff?

The joint administrator, Hunter Kelly announced on Wednesday 31 December that 2,356 of the 2,727 staff will be made redundant after an offer which "significantly undervalued the assets to be acquired" and which "offered no money up front" was declined. The remainder – 371 will be retained to "deal with outstanding parcels, to help realise assets and to wind down operations".

Any staff made redundant have statutory rights to redundancy pay and cash for unused holidays – this is met by the Government if City Link itself can't pay. See our Redundancy Guide for more on your rights.