What to do when deliveries don’t reach you

10 ways to help your deliveries arrive safely

Most of the time you can order an item and it gets delivered just fine. However, sometimes you don’t even get as far as receiving the post/parcel! So, what can you do if this happens?

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Here are some common reasons for not getting your deliveries and what you can do if they don’t arrive:

1) The wrong address details are on the envelope/parcel! Sounds obvious but it is common, make sure you check all the details when you make an order and that other people sending you items do so too!

2) If post often goes to the same wrong address, try and investigate why? Is it a similar sounding address? Contact Royal Mail and your local delivery office. The most common problem is no postcode. This can often happen with a new build. Contact Royal Mail with details.

3) Not sure where the post is going? Contact Royal Mail and complain. Point out the dangers of identity theft if certain post goes missing. Keep a record of post that you know has gone missing. Give details of post when it was sent and where from. Ensure that the person sending the post also complains to Royal Mail, as they should get redress.

4) When using a courier, make sure you add notes about how to find your property if it is difficult to find or where an item should be left if you are not in.

5) Sometimes, particularly apps can get muddled with house numbers and house names! In general, it is best to use the house number, if possible. And make sure the number is clearly on your door. This from Royal Mail website regarding multiple versions of the same address:

“Sometimes this might happen when an address has a property name and not a number, or has both. You can use either to address mail, but generally it’s better to use the property number, rather than name.”

There are also occasions when you might see multiple results for a single address, for example a house converted in flats, where the mail is delivered to a single, shared front door. In these cases we show the main property number and street name, and then the property number with the individual flat number. For example, there may be three results; 3 High Street; 3A High Street; and 3B High Street, or 3 High Street; Ground Floor Flat, 3 High Street; and First Floor Flat, 3 High Street.”

If your property has already been designated a number, you must always display the house number clearly within the boundary of the property legally anyway. Always use the house number in your address line.

6) If you have moved address, make sure you notify Royal Mail to get your mail redirected and regularly check that it is working properly!

7) If it is one particular courier causing problems, write and complain to the CEO. Get the address from com and explain the situation. The CEO may not respond personally but the issue should be passed through to the relevant departments to resolve.

8) It may seem obvious, but make sure the person delivering can access your building! Locked porches, inaccessible entrances or unknown access codes can mean that you don’t get notification that someone tried to deliver a parcel.

9) Provide your phone number where possible when ordering. Not all couriers will phone but many will do if they are having difficulty finding your property.

10) Keep an eye on any tracking app for a courier and be quick to contact the courier as soon as you get notice that there has been an issue.

Bonus tip! If a fast-food delivery company seems to not deliver to you but actually drives along your road write to the CEO and point out the idiocy of the business decision!

See also:

Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries Purchasing items online or through mail order, what are your rights with incorrect or damaged goods.

How to complain about food in restaurants, deliveries, take aways, and hotels! (and from stores!) your rights when you order fast food.

Help with your complaints

Top 20 tips for complaining effectively

5 top tips for complaining effectively

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101 Habits of an Effective Complainer provides you with more tips like the one in this post




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Business Companies customer service Deliveries

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

Help with complaints

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To ensure that you know your rights and how to use them take a look at How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results, as one reviewer says you’ll get more than your money back the first time you use it!



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101 Habits of an Effective complainer designed to improve the way you look at and make complaints. Each page gives you a complaining habit to consider and an example of how and why it empowers you to become more effective in getting the results you want.


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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.”