• Deliveries ahead of Christmas not arriving as expected

  • Deliveries by courier companies have not been arriving as expected, with lengthy delays, damaged packages and poor communication reported over the past month, new Which? research has found.

    Which? asked more than 2,000 people about their experience of receiving deliveries from online purchases within the past month, and found that only a third received all of them as expected.

    More than half of survey participants reported that a delivery didn’t come when expected, including a quarter of people receiving a delivery early.  One in five told Which? that at least one delivery did not arrive at all, and around the same amount of people said at least one delivery was late.

    Consumers complained about lengthy delivery delays, lack of communication, delivery instructions being ignored and packages being damaged when forced through letterboxes.  And in a separate survey on people’s understanding of their delivery rights, Which? found there is still confusion about who is responsible when something goes wrong during the delivery process.

    However, Frank Proud, a Director at market analyst Apex Insight, believes the problem lies with unrealistic consumer expectations, rather than poor performance from parcel carriers. 

    Quoted in Motor Transport, he said:  “It simply isn’t the case that large proportions of deliveries are late.  Many carriers “change their delivery commitments and some premium or faster services are withdrawn, so they are not making promises they can't keep.  Hence I’m not sure what Which? means by 'expect'.  Is it actually a realistic expectation based on what the retailer has promised?  It sounds like it isn't.”