New research from Which? reveals that one in ten men (8%) plan to leave their Christmas shopping until the week before Christmas. Whereas most (64%) women started their Christmas shopping well before December.
Of those we surveyed, most women (70%) claimed to have started their Christmas shopping before December, with one in seven (15%) having started in the summer, whilst 3% started as early as the end-of-year sales the year before. Meanwhile, a third of men (34%) planned to start their Christmas shopping in December, with one in ten (9%) planning to hit the shops in the week before Christmas and on Christmas Eve.
With the last Christmas delivery dates looming, a third (32%) of the online shoppers we surveyed said they experienced a problem with their online deliveries. We asked shoppers who they thought they should complain to if their package was late, damaged or just didn’t turn up, and found:
Nearly half (46%) didn’t know that they should contact the retailer for a full refund if they agreed a delivery time and their package didn’t arrive.
A third (33%) didn’t know that they should contact the retailer to complain if they received a damaged package.
Six in ten (62%) didn’t know that they should contact the retailer for a replacement package if their order was delivered to a neighbour and they didn’t receive it.
Alex Neill, Managing Director of Home and Legal at Which? said:
“If you’re planning to shop online this Christmas to avoid the high-street rush, do your research on last postal dates and brush up on your delivery rights, in case something goes wrong.
“Knowing who to speak to and what you’re entitled to will save you time, and hopefully from being left empty-handed this Christmas.”
Whether you’re yet to start your Christmas shopping, or just have a few last minute online purchases to make, be aware of your online delivery rights so you’re in-the-know should something go wrong. Which? Consumer Rights sums up 7 of your key delivery rights:
If your package is late – The Consumer Rights Act says your package should be delivered within 30 days unless a different time period is formally agreed (eg. next day or express delivery).
If your package is damaged – If your order gets damaged in transit, any damage or breakage en-route is the responsibility of the shop you bought the item from – go there first, instead of to the delivery company.
If your package is left outside and stolen – If your package is left on the doorstep – without your instruction to do so – and is stolen, you can argue that the company is in breach of contract (as they didn’t hand the goods over to you or someone else at the address you specified) and should redeliver your item .
If your package was left with a neighbour, who claims they don’t have it – If you give instructions for your package to be left with a neighbour and the parcel is delivered to them, the seller has fulfilled their obligation and isn’t responsible for any further problems. If your package is left with a neighbour without you having given instructions to do so, you can argue that,by leaving them at a different address, the company is in breach of contract and you are due a replacement.
If you change your mind – If you’ve made an online purchase, you have 14 days from the date of delivery of the item to get a full refund, including postage.
Signing for your package – You’ll usually be asked to sign to accept your delivery. We say it’s always a good idea to write on the card or electronic device (if possible), ‘goods received but not inspected’, in case you do find problems with your item when you open it.
If you post a package, but it turns up late – If you’ve sent a package that turns up late, you’ll be due compensation, but this will vary on the length of delay, the courier and the type of delivery you paid for. Check the compensation entitlements before you choose a delivery option. We also suggest checking whether you’ll be refunded the full cost of postage as well as compensated for the value of the contents if your parcel goes missing.
The Which? Consumer Rights site provides free online advice on all your shopping and delivery rights.
Notes to Editors
1. Which? Consumer Rights is providing free and independent online advice on your delivery, return and exchange rights, to prepare you for Christmas and beyond.
2. Ahead of Christmas, Populus asked 2,088 general population respondents (on our behalf) when they intend to start their Christmas shopping, whether they had experienced any problems with their online orders being delivered, and who they thought they should complain to, should something go wrong with their package.