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Delivery problems for Christmas shoppers leading to lost hours and money

Last Christmas, delivery problems blighted many shoppers with more than 4.8m issues and more are expected this year, new research from Citizens Advice suggests. Christmas is the busiest shopping and delivery period and those problems led to 11.8m hours being spent trying to sort out issues.

All of this means that online Christmas shoppers spent two and a half hours trying to sort out delivery problems last Christmas. Those problems include items turning up late, broken items or items not arriving at all.

The charity’s latest advice comes just a couple of weeks before Christmas 2016 when delivery problems are predicted to get worse. As more and more people shop online instead of venturing out to the stores to complete their Christmas shopping, many of these problems are bound to get worse, unless retailers and delivery firms start to work together better than they currently do.

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Many people managed to obtain refunds or replacement items for faulty or missing goods. However those that were not compensated were left £148m worse off, this works out at about £30 a parcel. The £30 is not just for the cost of the item, it also takes into account time spent trying to contact the relevant people and any time away from work to post parcels etc.

Currently, many retailers are blaming delivery companies for issues with goods arriving in poor state or not arriving at all but Citizens Advice has suggested that it is the retailer’s responsibility to sort out delivery problems.

On 18th December last year, there was a 60% spike in people trying to find missing parcels online before the Christmas period started and businesses shut down for the season. Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, spoke to The Guardian regarding their new research; “Shopping online should make people’s lives easier – but not if their items turn up damaged or don’t arrive at all… It’s really important people know that if an item they’ve ordered doesn’t turn up – or if there is a problem with it – it is for the retailer to sort out.”

With the popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday a month before Christmas as well as growing numbers of people shopping online over the Christmas period, it is clear that something needs to be done in order to improve delivery systems. The best advice for you is to shop as early as possible, track deliveries along with finding out your courier’s name and make sure you file complaints and ask for refunds if necessary.

Royal Mail Christmas posting dates are 2nd Class – 20th December, 1st Class – 21st December, Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed – 22nd December and Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed – 23rd December. For more information and international postage dates visit the Royal Mail website.

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