The Most Common Parcel Delivery Problems (And Our Solutions)

According to research carried out by Citizens Advice, more than two in three people who shop online have had their parcels lost in the post, damaged or have arrived late. Find out the most common parcel delivery problems and our solutions below.

Late parcel arrivals

More than 38% of people have had a parcel arrive late – 16% of which paid for a premium delivery service. Whilst it’s not guaranteed that your parcel will arrive on time, when paying for an additional service you would expect it to. Items that are ordered during sale seasons are more likely to arrive late than those ordered at any other time of the year. Eventually your parcel will turn up but it may be too late when it does or take weeks to arrive. When it comes to the safe delivery of your goods, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Contracts Regulations, when you buy goods online it is that company who are responsible up until the moment they arrive. Start by contacting them on social media or call customer service to find out if your goods have actually been dispatched.

Unfortunately, you will only receive a refund if your item takes longer than 30 days to arrive. If you’ve paid for next day delivery but not received it the next day, you should contact the company you bought from who should be more than happy to refund your delivery fee.

Damaged items

If your item is damaged you may be able to make a claim and receive compensation or complain. Depending on the courier your parcel was delivered by, you may only be able to claim for certain items. Many parcel delivery services do not account for damage to ceramics such as decorative ornaments if it was send using the general parcel delivery service. If the sender knew the contents were fragile, they should have option for special delivery. For items that are posted to the UK from another country, you should contact the postal authority of the country your parcel was sent from who will discuss the situation directly with the courier.

Missing parcels

There are a number of reasons why your recorded delivery items go missing. If you haven’t received the goods you ordered, you should contact the seller first. They may argue that their responsibility is no longer valid when the goods leave their location before arriving at your home but you can argue that you didn’t agree for the goods to be left in that way. So by not delivering them to you, the seller can be in breach of contract. In the case that the seller argues that it was the delivery driver who failed to follow the delivery instructions, you should politely ask for a refund or if the seller can resend your items. If you are the seller, it is important to ensure that the parcel courier that you are using has some form of insurance included in the package item, or purchase additional insurance if the quote either doesn’t come with this add-on, or the value of your package is more than the initial insurance will cover.

Parcels left in unsafe locations

A safe place allows a courier to collect and deliver your parcel when you’re not at home. An unsecure location for a parcel includes the likes of wheelie bins, door steps and under plant pots or garden benches. Safe delivery locations include parcels left with a designated neighbour, inside a porch with a door or when a signature is obtained.

If your parcel is left in an unsafe place and it’s been stolen, you can argue that the company is in breach of contract and request them to replace and redeliver the order you placed. You may find that the seller argues against the fact that the good were taken to the address as noted in your order but you could argue that this meant handing the items to you or at someone else’s expense. Each courier will have different terms and conditions in relation to the leaving of a parcel in a safe or unsafe location, so it is important as a seller or individual sending a parcel that you know the ins and outs of this, so you are not caught out with a compensation claim.

“Sorry, you were out…”

You might receive a delivery note through your letterbox for two reasons; because a signature if required or because your parcel is too big for your letter box. It’s not always convenient to wait for a knock at the door and your parcel to arrive so you may get a ‘Sorry, you were out…’ card slip through your door. Getting to your local delivery office to collect it isn’t always convenient either which is why you can get your parcel redelivered to you home to make sure it arrives safely. You may decide to send it for free to your home address or to another address in your postcode area (such as to your neighbour) or get it delivered to your local post office for a small fee. If you decide to collect your parcel, you’ll need to take a form of ID along with you such as a Driving License or credit or debit card.

Refused a refund

If you are refused a refund you shouldn’t feel intimidated and proceed to make a complaint to the retailer. If you are unable to make a formal complaint, you should raise the case with the Retail Ombudsman who will get in touch with the company on your behalf whilst the action is suspended.  If you paid for your goods by credit card, you may be able to make a small claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, providing the item cost between £100-£30,000. If you opted to pay by PayPal, you are automatically protected by the Buyer Protection guarantee so you will receive the full amount of the item you bought back safely in your account.

If you are a seller looking to ship a parcel locally, nationally or internationally, then make sure that you find a parcel courier that suits your requirements, and offers the cover that you may require depending on the items you sell. Use our parcel delivery comparison tool online today.