Consumer group Which? has revealed two in five online shoppers experienced at least one issue with a delivery last Christmas, and reported incidents including a pet tarantulas held overnight, a parcel thrown into a pond and laptop left in the pouring rain.
The consumer champion surveyed more than 1,500 people in January 2022 about their experience with deliveries between November 2021 and January 2022, it released the findings on Thursday [15 December] as a warning of more disruption this year.
Lisa Webb, Which? consumer law expert, said: “With postal strikes looming, many consumers will be understandably worried about whether presents will arrive on time.
“Unfortunately, the festive season is peak time for late, damaged or missing parcels and we have heard about scores of delivery disasters.
“It’s important to remember that if something goes wrong with your delivery this Christmas, it’s the retailer and not the delivery company that you need to ask to fix the problem.”
Which? found one in seven (14%) ecommerce shoppers last year reported their parcel was late, with 11% saying it was left outside without their permission and 8% said their parcel was not delivered at all.
Among the issues reported by online shoppers were parcels thrown over fences, left in bins and even into the neighbour’s pond – despite being home at the time.
Which?’s survey found that nominating a safe place will not necessarily stop consumers from having problems with a delivery. One in four respondents (26%) who nominated a safe place for a delivery had something go wrong, with some saying their instructions were ignored altogether.
A shopper who named their enclosed front porch as their safe place instead found the parcel in the middle of the garden in torrential rain.
Amazon Logistics came top of Which?’s survey on courier firm satisfaction, while DHL came bottom of Which?’s survey with 64% of respondents saying they were satisfied with the delivery. And 10% said the condition of their parcel was poor when it arrived.