Only one third of shoppers are receiving their Christmas deliveries as promised, according to a survey of more than 2,000 people.
Lengthy delays, damaged packages and parcels being opened by neighbours were just some of the complaints found by consumer group Which?
The survey, conducted earlier in December, found that more than half reported a delivery didn’t come on time, though a quarter claimed they had received parcels early. One in five (21%) told Which? at least one delivery did not arrive at all and for 18% at least one delivery was late.
Further gripes included parcels being damaged by being forced through letterboxes, one package being left under a car and one incident in which a parcel was left with a neighbour without permission, who opened it and showed it to other member of the village.
Another reported a fragile delivery being “tossed over the gate” and 10% said their items had been left outside their front doors without consent, with 4% having to retrieve their shopping from rubbish or recycling bins and 3% finding that their deliveries had been tossed over a hedge or fence. 2% of respondents said their item had been left with an unauthorised person and they had not been able to retrieve it.
In a separate survey, Which? found there is still confusion about who is responsible when something goes wrong during the delivery process. Only half (51%) of shoppers know to contact the retailer if posted goods go missing after being left on the doorstep or in the garden without permission. Around a third (36%) incorrectly thought that they should contact the delivery company and one in seven (13%) said that did not know who to contact.
Which? advice for consumers this Christmas is that if an order is damaged in the post, you should raise your complaint with the retailer, not the delivery company, as your contract is with the retailer. Of those who expected a delivery in the past month that didn’t arrive when planned, more than half did not complain at all.
If you paid an online retailer for delivery by a certain date or time and it turns up late, you have the right to terminate the purchase and get a full refund.
The Which? Consumer Rights site provides free online advice on all your shopping rights, including how to complain if your delivery is late, damaged, stolen or left with a neighbour who denies having it.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said: “A delivery nightmare can cause unwanted stress at this time of year, when more than ever customers want to know things will arrive in one piece and on time.
“Make sure you know your rights this Christmas just in case something unexpected happens to your delivery.”