High-street retailers have been forced to apologise after being bombarded with customer complaints over major delays in delivering online orders.
Angry internet sales shoppers vented their fury with many waiting weeks to receive deliveries which should have arrived in days.
Industry experts say major retailers have been thrown into chaos following the collapse of the parcel handler City Link. The courier firm went into administration on Christmas Day putting more than 3,000 jobs in danger.
Retailers who used City Link, including John Lewis and Amazon, have been forced to put emergency measures in place to ensure deliveries. A spokesman for Habitat said it was now using Yodel instead of City Link, which delivered an estimated 76 million parcels each year.
But the collapse of the parcel delivery business has left customers across the country in the lurch.
Mum-to-be Catriona Landgrebe, 30, of Edinburgh, ordered furniture for her baby’s nursery from Mothercare on January 5 and was told delivery would be no more than ten days. She was sent an apologetic email nearly two weeks later. But after speaking to the company’s customer service department last week she was told she would be waiting another three weeks.
Catriona said: “Then I had a text to say one of three items would be delivered on Thursday with no notice or option to change.
A spokesman for Mothercare said the company “sincerely apologised” to customers waiting for delayed deliveries. “I was due to be at the midwife as I’m 37 weeks pregnant and it arrived just as I was due to leave. “I’m still waiting on the rest.”
Maurice Mitchell, 64, of Aberdeen, ordered three lamps from Habitat on January 2. They only arrived eight working days later after a flurry of emails sent by Maurice, who said: “The effort I have had to put in to chase a simple order is ridiculous.”
Habitat said late orders were being processed “as a priority” and new orders will take about seven days.
Industry expert David Grimes, managing director of My Parcel Delivery, said consumer expectations for home delivery have increased over recent years.
“That is why, when a problem occurs, consumer patience wears thin quite quickly,” he said. “Post City Link, we’re seeing retailers big and small rushing around trying to pick up the pieces.”