TWO-THIRDS of online shoppers have had parcels lost, damaged or arrive late in the last year, a survey has found.
Parcels left in rubbish bins was one of the most common complaints received by Citizens Advice, who found that 69% of internet shoppers have suffered some form of problem with their delivery.
Customers waiting at home for a parcel only to receive a note saying they were out when the delivery driver called was another frequent complaint.
As summer sales season gets under way, Citizens Advice said those who paid for a premium service guaranteeing next day or a named day delivery also suffered problems.
The survey of more than 2,000 online shoppers found 38% of people have had a parcel arrive late, including 16% who paid for a premium delivery service.
More than one in 10 received damaged items, more than one in five had a parcel go missing, 28% had their parcel left in an unsecure location and 28% were at home but had a note through the door saying the parcel could not be delivered.
However, more than half of people (54%) do not take any action, such as complaining or asking for a refund, if their parcel is late.
Some 40% of those who did try to complain had further problems, such as having difficulty contacting the retailer or delivery company on the phone.
The research also found that half of consumers are not clear that retailers are responsible for ensuring that their goods reach customers.
Citizens Advice said it helped consumers with 2,600 parcel delivery issues each year, while more than 23,000 people sought help via its website last year.
Among the complainants was a woman who was on holiday when her parcel was left in a bin, returning to find the bin had been emptied and told by the retailer that it was not their responsibility.
Another man ordered a car part online which was left in a bin that was emptied by the time he got home from work, with the sender also claiming it was not their fault.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “Waiting at home for an item that doesn’t arrive is frustrating and time consuming, but our research shows many people aren’t taking action to resolve delivery issues, and others are running into problems if they do.
“Retailers are responsible for getting the parcel to the customer, and making this clearer to customers at the checkout could help them sort out problems quicker if deliveries go astray.”
Citizens Advice said consumers with delivery problems should contact the retailer, who is responsible for ensuring the order arrives.
Deliveries should arrive within 30 days of the order being placed, unless a specific date has been arranged, after which the customer can cancel the order and get a full refund.
Items damaged on delivery should be replaced or refunded by the retailer, as should items that are not left in the location named by the delivery company.
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