'Scrooge' Hermes delivery driver throws parcels off lorry

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Successive lockdowns and pandemic restrictions have caused a boom in online shopping. This trend looks to continue as home deliveries continue to rise. But as Brits embrace the ease of having goods delivered right to their door many are reporting their parcels going missing.

Research by Citizen’s Advice shows parcels are going missing in the UK at the shocking rate of 10 every minute due to loss and theft.

Citizen’s Advice found a whopping 38 percent of all UK adults have received a “Sorry you were out” card even though they were at home at the time of delivery.

Parcels are often left in insecure places such as doorsteps and bins.

One in ten people said they’ve had a parcel lost or stolen.

The pressure put on drivers to deliver goods quickly is a significant problem behind the rise in missing parcels.

Citizens Advice said: “In a single week, almost seven million people (13 percent 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.”

The unrealistic targets put on delivery drivers is thought to be behind the rise, many can’t make their deadlines if they wait for customers to come to the door.

Citizens Advice said: “In a single week, almost three million people (six percent of all UK adults) missed a parcel because they didn’t have time to get to the door.

“This figure rises to eight percent for people who are disabled or have a long term health condition and nine percent of parents with young children.”

How to deal with courier problems

Helen Dewdney from The Complaining Cow a Consumer Champion says it’s important consumers know how to deal with courier problems and has provided three top tips:

Your contract is always with the trader to whom you gave your money to

It’s the trader who should deal with any delivery issues not the courier.

Goods must be delivered within a certain time frame

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) Act states goods must be delivered within the time frame agreed with the seller.

If one hasn’t been agreed the trader must deliver “without undue delay” no more than 30 days from the day after the contract is made.

After this time you are entitled to a full refund.

Providing a “safe place” for delivery

By providing details for a “safe place” to leave a parcel you are agreeing to it being safe.

If there’s a chance 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.

Ms Dewdney said problems with deliveries are often because retailers use the cheapest couriers which results in companies cutting corners.

Ms Dewdney said: “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.”

Citizens Advice is calling for fines on companies for losing parcels and better protection for courier drivers to try and combat this growing problem.

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