The best and worst delivery firms in the UK can be revealed, according to a consumer survey.
Parcels lobbed over fences, forged signatures and packages chewed almost beyond recognition by foxes were just some of the Christmas delivery disasters endured by online shoppers – as new Which? research reveals two in three had at least one issue with their deliveries last year.
The consumer champion surveyed more than 2,000 people about their experience with deliveries during Christmas last year and around two-thirds (69%) said they had at least one problem.
Among the delivery problems experienced by survey respondents were parcels damaged after being thrown over fences, a clothes delivery tossed in the food waste bin and a parcel left out in rain, where it was chewed up by foxes.
The consumer champions can also reveal the best and worst in different categories.
Best for quickly delivered orders - Amazon.
When it came to how quickly couriers delivered orders, Amazon was the best with nine in 10 (92%) people satisfied with the length of time between ordering and delivery.
Best for communication with customers - Amazon and DPD
For communication with customers, Amazon (85%) also finished joint top with DPD (86%), with the highest proportion of satisfied customers in this category. DPD was also the best delivery firm for delivery slots, with more than eight in 10 (82%) happy with the slots offered for their most recent delivery.
Most satisfied with deliveries left - Royal Mail
Royal Mail had the most satisfied customers in the category for where deliveries were left, with more than nine in 10 (93%) happy with where the driver left their most recent delivery. All delivery firms performed well when it came to maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Worst courier for keeping customers satisfied - UPS
UPS was consistently the worst courier for keeping customers satisfied across key categories. One in four UPS customers said they were unhappy with the delivery slots offered (23%) and how the company communicated with customers (24%), and one in 10 (11%) said they were not pleased with where the delivery driver left their order.
One UPS customer told Which? they received a smashed computer after it was delivered upside down by UPS, despite a clear “this way up” label on the box.
One respondent also told Which? that their signature was forged by a courier to suggest they had personally accepted the delivery, when in fact it had been left on their doorstep even though they were inside waiting for it to arrive.
Nearly one in five (18%) told Which? their delivery arrived late last year, while one in ten (11%) said they did not receive their delivery in time for Christmas. These included a grandfather who had to buy extra gifts for his grandson because the toy robot he had ordered failed to arrive on time.
Almost a quarter (23%) who shopped online last Christmas said at least one delivery did not arrive at all – leaving them to face the inconvenience of having to apply for a refund or buy the product again.
One respondent said a laptop they had ordered never arrived but had apparently been signed for the month before.
With Christmas just weeks away, more people than ever will be shopping online and relying on delivery firms to get their gifts – so it is important for consumers to know their rights if a delivery arrives damaged, late or not at all.
Customers are entitled to a replacement, repair or refund if a delivery arrives faulty. Customers can also get a refund from their retailer if they paid extra for a special delivery that then arrived late.
If a delivery fails to arrive, customers should immediately contact the retailer, which should either help track down their order or send a replacement.
Adam French, Which? Consumer Rights Expert, said:"Christmas is when we really want parcels to arrive on time – but unfortunately it’s also peak time for late, damaged or missing deliveries and we have heard stories of shockingly bad service from the big courier firms.
“With more people than ever expected to shop online this Christmas, it is worth getting your orders in as soon as possible. It’s also important to remember that retailers are responsible for ensuring orders arrive in a reasonable timeframe, so don’t be afraid to make a complaint if you are having problems.”