Beware of what might be in your bin

The impact of shopping on line has surely to a large degree led to the disappearance of a number of well-known names from our high streets.  While Internet shopping can be quick and convenient, difficulties experienced by customers with the safe delivery of the goods they have bought and paid for can cancel out the benefits.

Citizens Advice commissioned a survey of online shoppers after being asked to help 2,600 on line shoppers every year who had suffered delivery problems.  The survey of over 2,000 online shoppers carried out in December 2016 reveals:

  • 38% received their parcel late,
  • more than 1 in 10 reported receiving damaged items,
  • more than 1 in 5 parcels reported that items went missing,
  • 28% of online shoppers said their parcels were left in an unsecure location,
  • 28% found a note had been pushed through the door saying the parcel couldn’t be delivered even though they were at home

The survey also revealed that many consumers don’t complain if the goods they bought online were damaged or delivered late and 40% of those who did encountered difficulties – like not being able to speak with the retailer or the delivery company on the phone.  One reason behind the reluctance to complain may be that half those surveyed were unsure whether the delivery company or the retailer was responsible for the problem.

Here’s some advice on how to deal with problems you may experience with the delivery of goods you bought on line

Your parcel doesn’t arrive when you expected

If you’re worried an item hasn’t arrived by the date agreed on your order, contact the retailer to find out where it is.  The retailer is responsible for getting orders delivered to you, not the parcel company.  If you didn’t agree a specific delivery date, it should arrive within 30 days of when you ordered it. You can cancel the order and get a full refund if it doesn’t arrive after 30 days.

Premium delivery

You can claim a refund for some of the cost of delivery. Legally, retailers only need to refund the cost of the cheapest delivery option – so if you paid for a premium ‘next day’ or ‘named day’ service, you may not get all your money back.

Your parcel is damaged

It is the retailer’s responsibility to make sure items arrive in good condition. Contact them about the damage and they should either offer to send you a new item or a refund.

You received a note saying your parcel couldn’t be delivered when there was someone was waiting at home for the delivery

Contact the parcel firm to arrange a redelivery, or if you don’t want it any more you can cancel the order and get a refund if it’s been less than 14 days since you bought it.

Your parcel was left in an unsecure location

Dustbins are common locations Citizens Advice helped one woman who complained when a delivery was left in a dustbin which was emptied when she was on holiday.  If you get a note saying your parcel has been left in a certain location and it isn’t there, the retailer should replace it or give you your money back.

If you have experienced problems with delivery of goods bought on line you can call the Citizens Advice consumer help line on 03454 04 05 06.

You can also get information and advice on how to deal with Debt, Benefits, Work, Consumer Issues, Relationships, Housing, Law and Rights, Education, Discrimination, Tax and Healthcare by:

  • calling 0344 848 7969 to speak to an assessor or make an appointment to talk to an adviser face-to face (calls to this service cost the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers included as part of a mobile allowance or a landline call package),
  • visiting to access our comprehensive range of information and advice,
  • or follow us on Twitter @Waverley CAB.
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