Consumers are being warned to beware of “porch pirates” as the theft of parcels from doorsteps is on the rise in the run up to Christmas.
Online gift buying is increasingly popular as an alternative to the high street and, as deliveries rise, so too do the opportunities for thieves.
Research from home security experts has revealed just how many of us are falling victim to these crooks.
Almost one third of those surveyed admitted that they had a parcel go missing at least once from their “safe place” at home. This could mean that up to 19 million parcels have gone missing from porches and other safe places across the UK in recent years.
More men have reported parcels going missing than women, with over 30% of men having had a package disappear from their doorstep, compared to only a quarter of women.
There is a common theme within the survey data which outlines the division between the older and younger generations.
Younger people are more likely to have a parcel go missing, with this happening to 38% of under-34s at least once. On the other hand, 79% of over-55s have never had a parcel go missing.
Does this highlight the technological gap between the generations, or are fewer of th over-55s’ parcels going missing due to them being at home more often? Or are porch pirates simply capitalising on the shift to online shopping?
Jonathan Wall, UK general manager at security consultants, SimpliSafe, advises people to take extra measures to secure parcels, especially with Christmas around the corner.
He said: “The number of parcels that get delivered increases in the run up to the festive season and the statistics from the survey are concerning, especially if millions of people could be a victim of parcel theft.”
Citizens Advice has reported that one in three consumers whose parcel went missing took no action as they didn’t think it would make a difference.
“However, what if there could be video evidence of an item being stolen, or to deter the porch pirate in the first place?” said Wall. “There are extra measures that could be taken to secure online deliveries.
“One potential solution is to use an outdoor camera or video doorbell, so you can keep an eye on what’s happening on your property 24/7 as well as deter would-be porch pirates away from your home, and it’ll also provide extra peace of mind.”
He added: “You could also avoid the problem altogether by getting your parcel delivered to a neighbour or to your workplace.”
How to deal with courier problems:
Your contract is always with the trader to whom you gave your money. It is the trader who should deal with any delivery issues not the courier.
Goods must be delivered within a certain time frame:
Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) Act states goods must be delivered within the time frame agreed with the seller. If one hasn’t been agreed the trader must deliver “without undue delay” no more than 30 days from the day after the contract is made. After this time, you are entitled to a full refund.
Provide a “safe place” for delivery:
Providing details for a “safe place” to leave a parcel you are agreeing to it being safe. Items should be delivered with reasonable skill and care under the CRA. If the courier has not left the parcel in your safe place and has left it to get broken or stolen you are entitled to a full refund, including any delivery cost.
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