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Online shopper reveals parcel was dropped in toilet, as one in two people face delivery woes

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Over one in two online shoppers experienced delivery problems. [Photo: Getty]

Over half of online shoppers had problems with their parcel deliveries last Christmas, a survey has revealed.

Some 54% of people ordering online at this time said they had experienced at least one delivery which did not go as planned – with issues ranging from some parcels left in the rain to others left with unauthorised neighbours.

One person’s parcel was left sodden in the rain for 48 hours while they were away for the weekend, according to the report from Which?.

Another horror story was of an online shopper whose parcel was posted through a bathroom window – landing in their toilet.

Just under one in 10 (9%) said a driver had left a note saying they weren’t at home when they actually were.

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For others, it was a question of timing: 29% said a delivery arriving early had caused them to miss it, while one in five people (17%) said their deliveries had failed to arrive in time.

Almost a quarter of online shoppers (24%) had also ordered an item which failed to arrive at all during the Christmas period.

Customers share their delivery woes

In the Which? report, consumers shared stories of their parcel deliveries not going to plan.

“I had clothing delivered and as the packaging was ruined in transit, the courier went into my garden and hung it on the washing line!” was one response.

“I had a parcel that was given a “delivered” status online, with no further information and no card left. I found the box about nine months later in my bushes when doing the gardening,” read another.

Off the back of these survey results, some online shoppers have shared their own delivery horror stories on Twitter.

One person shared an image of their parcel dumped in a dirty bin, while another spoke of a birthday bouquet going awry.

Delivery complaints procedure

It’s important to know your rights through the Consumer Rights Act, when it comes to online shopping deliveries.

For delivery issues, the retailers hold responsibility rather than the person delivering them – yet less than one in three (31%) of those experiencing issues complained to the online vendor.

Customers are entitled to a replacement, repair or refund if their parcel arrives damaged or faulty.

In cases where customers have paid extra for a special delivery that arrived later than promised, they are also entitled to a refund.

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Which? consumer rights spokesman Adam French said: “Online shopping can take the hassle out of Christmas shopping but dealing with late, missing or damaged deliveries can be a nightmare for shoppers.

“Under the Consumer Rights Act, online retailers have a duty to ensure online orders are delivered within a reasonable time and in good condition, so if your delivery hasn't gone to plan, don't suffer in silence, and speak to your retailer to resolve the issue.

“But be aware if you give permission for your delivery to be left in a specified safe place, or received by a nominated neighbour, and something goes wrong, you will still be considered to have received the delivery.

“Think very carefully about those options when you're making a purchase.”

Despite these figures, online shopping remains popular.

Some 51% of UK consumers say they prefer shopping online compared to in-store, according to the results of a separate survey conducted last year.

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