Two thirds of UK online shoppers experience parcel delivery problems

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Two in three online shoppers (69%) in the UK have had parcels lost, damaged or delivered late in the last year, according to new research by Citizens Advice – a UK-based non-profit organization that provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to the public.

Citizens Advice says problems with late deliveries affect online shoppers the most – including those who paid for a premium service guaranteeing next day or a named day delivery. Other common issues include parcels being left in unsecure locations, such as bins, and unnecessary failed deliveries – where people waited at home for a parcel, only to receive a note saying they’d missed it.

A survey of more than 2,000 online shoppers carried out in December 2016 revealed that 38% of people had a parcel arrive late – including more than one in 10 (16%) who paid for premium delivery service. More than 1 in 10 have received damaged items and more than 20% have had a parcel go missing. Results also showed that 28% had a parcel left in an unsecure location and that 28% were at home but had a note through the door saying the parcel couldn’t be delivered.

The report Parcel delivery: Delivery services in the online shopping market highlights some of the problems people face resolving their delivery complaints.

More than half of people (54%) don’t take any action if their parcel is late, such as complaining or asking for a refund. Meanwhile a third of consumers who receive a damaged parcel don’t take action. For those that 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. Citizens Advice’s consumer service helps people with around 2,600 parcel delivery issues each year. In 2016, more than 23,000 people also visited the charity’s website seeking help for parcel problems. A common issue reported to Citizens Advice was that parcels that had been left in rubbish bins.

Gillian Guy, chief executive, Citizens Advice, 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.”

To read the full report by Citizens Advice, click here.

June 19, 2017

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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