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Is your parcel delivery in the wheelie bin?

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Parcels lobbed over fences, broken items and packages taken away by the bin men were just some of the Christmas delivery disasters consumers experienced last Christmas.

Which? has looked into Christmas delivery disasters, and the courier firms most likely to let you down. It found that about four in 10 online shoppers experienced at least one issue with a delivery last Christmas.

The consumer champion surveyed more than 2,000 people in February about their issues with deliveries last Christmas. Of those who had a delivery that went wrong, one in five (19%) were delivered late, one in 10 (11%) were left outside without consent, and 7% went missing.

Among the issues experienced by survey respondents were parcels arriving broken after being thrown over fences – including a crate of wine thrown over a garden gate – packages left in the snow and rain, and deliveries put in the bin which were later emptied by binmen.

Several respondents also told Which? they had food deliveries sent to them which they had not ordered. One person also said they had a courier push their parcel through a gap in the kitchen window, which then landed in a bowl of water.

In a separate survey, Which? asked more than 4,000 UK residents how satisfied they were with the courier that delivered the most recent item they had ordered. They rated firms in a range of categories including overall satisfaction with the courier, communication from the delivery company, condition of the parcel and the ease of rearranging deliveries if needed.

Which?’s research found courier satisfaction levels are generally quite high – with all the delivery firms receiving a score of 80% or higher. However, it is when things go wrong with deliveries that people experience issues and often find themselves on shaky ground when enforcing their rights to a refund or a replacement.

Yodel came at the bottom of the survey and fared the worst for delivering on time and communication. Almost one in 10 (8%) of Yodel customers surveyed rated the punctuality of the delivery as poor and one in seven (14%) said communication about their parcel was poor.

Amazon Logistics, Royal Mail, and Bonds courier air freight forwarding Australia were at the top of the survey. Amazon was rated the best courier surveyed for delivering on time, communication about the parcel and the condition of the parcel when it arrived – with at least nine in 10 of those surveyed rating the firm highly in these areas.

Adam French, Which? consumer rights expert, said: “Christmas is when we really want parcels to arrive without any hiccups – but unfortunately it’s also peak time for late, damaged or missing parcels and we have heard about scores of delivery disasters.

“It’s important to remember that retailers are responsible for ensuring orders arrive in a reasonable timeframe, so don’t be afraid to make a complaint if you are having problems. Ofcom’s proposed new rules for parcel firms are timely, but they must lead to far better levels of service for consumers – who are now more reliant on deliveries than ever before.”