Christmas shoppers put off by poor parcel service

With one month until Christmas Day, new Which? research reveals that poor parcel service last Christmas is putting shoppers off buying presents online.

As part of our Stamp Out Dodgy Deliveries campaign, we’ve found one in ten shoppers had a problem with a delivery last Christmas. Items arriving late was the top issue, with some saying they didn’t get their gifts in time for Christmas or arriving at all.

One in five people who had problems with a delivery last Christmas have been put off ordering items online this year. Four in ten (42%) of those who had an issue say they’ll use a click and collect service, get deliveries sent to another address or order items earlier to avoid a last minute panic.

Which? has launched a campaign to Stamp Out Dodgy Deliveries, targeting shops to improve the delivery service they provide.

We want retailers to:

• Provide specific time-slots for deliveries on a named day;

• Inform customers of the estimated delivery time on the day of delivery by phone, email or text;

• Ask customers to specify at the time of purchase what to do if the delivery is unsuccessful.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said:

“It’s a sorry state of affairs when people are put off buying online because they’ve had their fingers burnt by dodgy deliveries in the past. Retailers need to get a grip and make sure delivery services are first class, first time.”

To make online shopping easier, Which? has outlined five top tips to will help consumers know their delivery rights this Christmas:

1. It’s the responsibility of the retailer to ensure your gifts arrive on time NOT the delivery company;

2. If you’ve paid extra for delivery by a certain date or time, the retailer should refund this if your item is late;

3. It’s the retailer’s responsibility to make sure your parcel is delivered to you safely;

4. You can ask the retailer to repair, replace or refund an item free of charge if it turns out to be broken;

5. For most goods you order online you can cancel an order any time up until 14 days from when you receive it.

More consumer rights information is available for free at

Notes to editors:

1. Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed 2,070 UK adults online between 31st October – 2nd November 2014, about their experiences of ordering Christmas gifts online. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults.

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