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Insight: two thirds of online shoppers suffer problems with parcel deliveries

A new study has revealed that two in three online shoppers have had parcels lost, damaged or turn up late in the last year.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Insight: two thirds of online shoppers suffer problems with parcel deliveries

The research by Citizens Advice found that late delivery was the most common problem for shoppers, including those who paid for a premium service guaranteeing next day or a named day delivery.

Other common issues included parcels being left in unsecure locations and unnecessary failed deliveries where people waited at home for a parcel, only to receive a note saying they had missed it.

The organisation's new report, ‘Parcel delivery: delivery services in the online shopping market’, also reveals that more than half of the 2,000 people surveyed did not take any action if their parcel was late while a third did not complain if a parcel was damaged. Of those who did try to complain, over 40% ran into problems such as difficulty contacting the retailer or delivery company on the phone.

The research also found that half of consumers were unsure about who was responsible for the delivery of their parcel in the first place.

As a result of the findings, Citizens Advice is suggesting a number of measures to make it easier for consumers to sort out their delivery problems. These include asking retailers and parcel firms to explain more clearly on their websites about customers’ delivery rights. It also calls for the setting up of a quality mark scheme for parcel delivery firms that retailers could use to judge which offer the best service to their customers.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “Online shopping should be quick and convenient - but problems with delivery create unwanted hassle.

“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.”

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