Report is “wake up call” for parcel delivery firms

Parcel firms are failing to deliver on customer satisfaction, according to a new report.

In a survey by Citizens Advice, Amazon Logistics came top and Hermes and Yodel bottom. All five firms surveyed, including Royal Mail and DPD, had performance issues.

Delivery firms were a lifeline for many people during lockdown but as online sales have rocketed over the past 21 months, so have parcel-related problems.

The organisation’s website advice section with the heading “If something you ordered hasn’t arrived” has been viewed around 160,000 times so far in 2021 – a 69% jump on the same period before the pandemic two years ago.

The report contains several examples of poor service, including headphones that ended up in Australia instead of their intended destination in Hertfordshire, and a man who spoke to 30 different customer service agents after his parcel was stolen.

A woman contacted Citizens Advice after one driver claimed her son’s £350 birthday present had been delivered, even though her home CCTV system showed them leaving with it in their hand.

Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive, said the report should act as a wake up call, but had reservations about how far companies would improve if left to their own devices.

Citizens Advice is calling for stricter rules for parcel companies, better complaints processes, and fines from Ofcom if company negligence leads to parcels getting stolen or lost.

Here are the charity’s top tips to help combat parcel delivery issues, which are well worth bearing in mind if you’re ordering Christmas gifts for family and friends:

  • Your purchase and contract are with the seller. If your parcel goes missing you should speak to them to deal with the problem, not the courier company
  • Make sure you know if you are dealing with a trader or a private seller on an online marketplace as dispute processes vary
  • Look carefully at reviews to gain an insight as to how reliable the company is and how well they deal with parcel delivery complaints and refunds
  • Find out the delivery times, costs and returns policies for the items you want before you place an order
  • Consider asking a neighbour or friend if the parcel can be delivered to their address if you think it may be a time or date you’re not at home.

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