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10 parcels go missing every minute – what are your rights?

10 parcels a minute go missing

Research published today shows that parcels in the UK are going missing at the shocking rate of 10 every minute, due to loss and theft

The research, undertaken by Citizen’s Advice, found that 38% of all UK adults have received a ‘Sorry you were out’ card when they were at home, often leading to parcels left in insecure places such as doorsteps and bins. One in ten people have had a parcel lost or stolen.

Pressures on drivers is a significant factor in the delivery problems.

According to Citizens Advice:

  • In a single week, almost 7 million people (13% of all UK adults) experienced a parcel issue related to driver pressure. Such as the driver leaving before the customer could get to the door, or leaving the parcel in an insecure place like a doorstep or bin
  • In a single week, almost 3 million people (6% of all UK adults) missed a parcel because they didn’t have time to get to the door. This figure rises to 8% for people who are disabled or have a long term health condition and 9% of parents with young children”

Citizens Advice is calling for fines on companies for losing parcels and better protection for courier drivers.

I’m not surprised by the findings. Consumers tell her me on a regular basis about problems with deliveries. It often boils down to retailers using the cheapest couriers, which results in companies cutting corners.

It is important that consumers know how to deal with courier problems and so here are my top 3 tips!

  • Your contract is always with the trader to whom you gave the money. So the trader should deal with any delivery issues, not the courier.
  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) Act states that goods must be delivered within the time frame agreed with the seller. If one hasn’t been agreed (you have agreed a time frame if the listing supplies a time frame) the trader must deliver ‘without undue delay’ and at the very latest not more than 30 days from the day after the contract is made. After this time you are entitled to a full refund.
  • By providing details for a “safe place” to leave a parcel you are agreeing to it being safe. If there is a chance that it could be stolen, don’t use it as a safe place! It has become your property as the retailer has left the item where you specified. Items should be delivered with reasonable skill and care under the CRA, if the courier has not left the parcel in your safe place and has left it to get broken or stolen you are entitled to a full refund, including any delivery cost.

We have seen such an increase in online shopping during the pandemic and there are no signs of this dropping despite shops reopening. Instead of offering free delivery, retailers should look at adding a small cost, as people will pay for convenience.

Further details on your rights Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries

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Citizen’s Advice Press release 30 July 2021

Ten people have parcel lost or stolen every minute finds Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice is calling for fines for delivery companies as new research finds five and a half million (one in ten) people have had a parcel lost or stolen in the last year.

In addition, over 20 million people (38% of all UK adults) have received a ‘Sorry you were out’ card despite being home, resulting in some parcels being left in insecure places like doorsteps and bins

The charity, which is the statutory consumer advocate for the postal sector, is warning that the way parcels are delivered is not fit for purpose. This comes as it detects links between worrying pressure on drivers to meet targets and poor service.

Citizens Advice also found:

  • In a single week, almost 7 million people (13% of all UK adults) experienced a parcel issue related to driver pressure. Such as the driver leaving before the customer could get to the door, or leaving the parcel in an insecure place like a doorstep or bin*

  • In a single week, almost 3 million people (6% of all UK adults) missed a parcel because they didn’t have time to get to the door. This figure rises to 8% for people who are disabled or have a long term health condition and 9% of parents with young children

Despite these high figures, the majority of delivery companies receive no penalty for lost or stolen deliveries. Currently only Royal Mail is subject to fines if this happens, despite 58% of parcels being delivered by other companies.

“I have a sign on my front door asking for deliveries to be left in a specific place I can access, but nine times out of ten it’s ignored and my parcels are left in completely inaccessible places.

Charlotte, a quadruple amputee, is heavily reliant on delivery services, but drivers often ignore her pleas meaning parcels are left in inaccessible and insecure places. She says as a result she has to call one of her children to come round and pick up the parcel for her, inconveniencing them both.

The charity is warning of a link between poor customer service and heavy pressure on delivery drivers. High targets and short time frames as well as insecure working conditions mean many drivers struggle to provide a satisfactory level of service.

“I often felt like a kid playing knock down ginger. It was awful that I didn’t have time to wait. I’d deliver parcels to older people and couldn’t even help them put the package inside when they needed extra support.”

Jake, 28, worked as a self-employed contractor for a delivery company to earn extra money when he found out he and his girlfriend were expecting a baby. In the advert, he was told he would need to deliver 80 parcels a day but this expectation quickly rose to 180. This gave him less than two minutes for each parcel. Jake said this meant it was impossible to help customers with their access needs.

Citizens Advice is calling for an end-to-end overhaul for the parcels market:

  1. All delivery firms should face penalties for losing parcels: Currently, only Royal Mail faces a fine if a parcel is lost or stolen. Ofcom should extend penalties to all delivery firms to make sure that they take appropriate measures to keep mail safe

  2. It should be easier for consumers to get compensation for late or lost deliveries: Redress systems are complicated. Nine out of ten people (88%) said they found help difficult to access. Ofcom should extend consumer protection rules to cover all delivery companies, not just Royal Mail. This would mean all consumers received the same level of service if something goes wrong

  3. Drivers need better protections: Drivers’ employment conditions are often insecure, with unstable incomes and unpredictable working hours. These can lead to poor practices like leaving before consumers get to the door. The remit of the newly announced Single Enforcement Body should be widened to include the power to determine working status. This would make sure all drivers are on the most appropriate employment contract.

Matthew Upton, Director of Policy, said:

“Poor service shouldn’t be accepted as part and parcel of the delivery market. It’s clear that the current system isn’t working for drivers and consumers alike.

“As key workers, delivery drivers have become familiar faces for lots of us. During the lockdowns they helped us receive gifts from loved ones, clothing for growing children, and in some cases vital medicine for those unable to leave the house.

“It’s easy to lay the blame at the door of individual hard-working drivers. But the reality is that these failings are baked into the system. Addressing the unsustainable pressure that drivers are under and holding companies to account is the real way to improve this essential service for the millions of people who rely on it.”

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Complaining about goods and services – all you need to know

Consumer rights and how to use them when complaining about goods and services

There are loads of posts on complaining about goods and services on the blog. Here for ease are links for you to find the information most relevant to your issue.

Using consumer law to complain about goods

A Guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – the main law covering faulty goods and services

What you need to know about the Consumer Rights Act 2015 digital content additional information

How to use the Misrepresentation Act 1967 all areas of the Act

The Acts of law protecting you from poor service & faulty items particularly useful for items and services purchased before 01 October 2015

Stories about using consumer rights to complain about goods

When flowers aren’t delivered: What to do a quick story regarding complaining flowers not delivered.

BHS customer care mistakes which made it look like it didn’t care! Although BHS is no more this story covers what you can do when a piece is missing from a product and you don’t want to take the item back, you want the piece!

How to beat Uncle Tom Cobley’s customer service a story of the rare occasion when it may be better to deal with the manufacturer

How to complain about an item over a year old and how not to be fobbed off

Rip Off Britain faulty goods your rights

Complaining about services

How to complain about a dry cleaners – when something goes wrong with your dry cleaning

A Guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – the main law covering faulty goods and services

How to use the Misrepresentation Act 1967 all areas of the Act

The Acts of law protecting you from poor service & faulty items particularly useful for items and services purchased before 01 October 2015

Stories about using consumer rights to complain about services

How to get the cream (without being a clot!) a story of complaining about poor service when wanting a cream tea!

When flowers aren’t delivered: What to do a quick story regarding complaining flowers not delivered.

Not such an Easylife customer service a story about perseverance and complaining on principle

How to complain about deliveries

What happens when a business doesn’t prepare for a promotion story of how a delivery was late, then packaged badly causing damage. The claim.

Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries all you need to know regarding how to complain about purchasing items off premises

How to complain about deliveries

All you need to know about unsolicited goods what you need to know if you have received items that you didn’t order

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How to complain in different specific sectors

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All you need to know to make a complaint about energy  posts about your additional rights specific to the energy sector for various situations

 

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All you need to know about complaining to telecom providers  posts about your additional rights specific to the telecom sector for various situations

 

 

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All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights/travel posts about your additional rights specific to the travel sector for various situations

 

How to take complaints further

How to contact CEOs when and how to get contact details of CEOs and how to write a letter to a CEO

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): What it all means post that explains what it is all about and how you can use it.

Landing in court with Ryanair warning about using AviationADR when dealing with aviation complaints

Ombudsman Omnishambles and More Ombudsman Omnishambles the research reports looking at how some ADR schemes such as the one run by Consumer Dispute Resolution Limited which used to run The Retail Ombudsman and lost the title are being approved and monitored.

Rip Off Britain talking getting redress with independent reports and ombudsmen

Tips on complaining effectively

Top 20 Tips How to complain effectively! Lots of tips and advice to making sure you always get what you are entitled to when you complain

How to write a letter of complaint a sample formal letter  of a complaint written regarding an issue with Sharps fitting a bedroom.

Everything everyone needs to know about call centres the secrets of how they work and how to beat them

What happens when a business doesn’t prepare for a promotion outlines how you can get to the front of the queue of complaints.

Why you suck at complaining (and what you can do about it) not good at complaining? The reason and what to do about it may be here!

Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively whenever you can you should write not phone, here’s why.

Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow BBC Breakfast TV Discusses How We Complain in the UK

7 Common fob offs that companies use to not give refunds! typical fob offs companies use to stop you asserting your rights and how to address them!

15 Great words to use in complaints helpful to use in those emails!

10 Types of Complainer Which Are You? check yourself out!

How to use social media to complain

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5 ways how not to use Twitter to complain (and 5 ways how you should)

 

Questioning why you should complain

7 Questions you should ask yourself if you don’t complain!

Warning: How not complaining drives up fat cat profits!

Complaining in the EU

What did the EU do for consumer law? various consumer laws that cover you when shopping in the EU.

What to do when your flight is delayed – the full guide everything you need to know about delayed and cancelled flights, your rights and how to take matters further and a warning should you use AviationADR

Your rights Ryanair strikes

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For more advice, consumer laws and template letters GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

5 top tips for complaining effectively

Nearly everything you could ever need to make a complaint about anything!