FROM broken packages to waiting months for an order, delivery nightmares are causing major headaches for shoppers.
But this week, industry watchdog, Ofcom slammed delivery firms for messing up orders and failing to sort them out.
It plans to introduce new rules to improve how companies handle complaints – but they don’t come in until April 2023.
Lucy Alderson looks at the five biggest delivery blunders and explains how to fight back when it goes wrong.
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A QUARTER of customers struggled to get through to firms last year to report problems, Ofcom says.
More than 100,000 people complained about delivery woes in the year to March 31, according to resolution service Resolver.
WHAT TO DO: If you ordered an item from a retailer, your contract is with it and it should sort out any delivery mishap.
When you complain, you will need to include key details like your order number.
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SHOPS offer next-day delivery through subscriptions or for an extra charge.
But The Sun Money has spotted swathes of complaints from customers on social media who have paid extra, only to receive their package days later.
WHAT TO DO: Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you are due a refund on the extra charge you have paid.
Moneycomms personal finance expert Andrew Hagger said: “If you shelled out extra for special or faster delivery and your order gets to you later than was specified, you can claim back the extra delivery cost as the service wasn’t delivered as per your agreement.”
Claim back the money from the retailer – not the parcel firm.
An Amazon spokesperson said: “The vast majority of deliveries make it to customers without issue. In the rare case something occurs, we are sorry and we work with customers to make it right.”
FIVE and a half million customers had a parcel go missing last year, says Citizens Advice.
Couriers may drive off before you answer the door, or dump parcels on doorsteps or behind bins, leaving them easy prey for thieves.
WHAT TO DO: Contact the shop you bought your order from to sort it out.
Resolver’s consumer campaigner Alex Neill said: “If your parcel doesn’t turn up, is left in a place you didn’t specify or something is wrong, the retailer must sort things out.”
Before you order your package, ensure you read the seller’s delivery terms and conditions.
Some firms automatically leave items on the porch if you or your neighbours aren’t in – so leave a note outlining a safe place.
You could argue there has been a breach of contract if a package is left on the doorstep without your permission.
IT’S disappointing to wait for a parcel, then open it to discover its contents are broken.
Last year, Resolver received hundreds of complaints about quality issues with deliveries.
The Sun Money has heard from dozens of customers this year alone about broken goods.
WHAT TO DO: Immediately report any damage to the retailer and take photos as evidence.
Grace Forell from consumer champion Which? said: “In the eyes of the law you have a faulty goods claim, and as such you have the right to a refund, repair or replacement.”
If you struggle to get a response and you paid more than £100 using a credit card, use Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act to claim a refund.
It covers you for faulty goods, missing deliveries or the retailer going bust. Ring your card provider’s customer services.
If you paid by debit card, you may be able to use Chargeback.
PESKY RETURN FEES
SOME retailers have started charging customers to send back items for refunds.
Earlier this month, Boohoo introduced a £1.99 charge while Zara customers will have £1.95 deducted from their refund when sending back online orders.Some retailers have started charging customers to send back items for refunds[/caption]
WHAT TO DO: Before placing an order, check the company’s refund conditions.
Make sure you are prepared to cough up for any return charges and factor this in to your budget.
But if you are returning your item because it is broken or faulty, you should be able to claim back this cost.
Broken mirror a Christmas blow for four-year-old
CHARLOTTE JESSOP watched her daughter’s face fall as she opened her Christmas present and discovered it was broken.
The mum of two, 36, ordered a mirror last December from Amazon.
When it arrived at her Norwich home, the packaging looked undamaged, so she wrapped it and put it under the tree as a gift for four-year-old Alice.
But when Alice unwrapped it, she was shocked to discover the frame was broken and the glass was cracked.
Charlotte said: “I was frustrated at myself for not opening the box and checking it, but I didn’t have any reason to think the mirror wasn’t OK. It was disappointing.”
Charlotte complained to Amazon and sent pictures of the damage. A replacement arrived a couple of days later.
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Charlotte, who runs the finance blog lookingafteryourpennies.com, warns other shoppers to check their items when they arrive.
If there is any damage, she advises: “Take pictures as evidence and contact the seller as soon as you can.”