During the first lockdown many of us were relying on parcel delivery following an online purchase, but sadly it wasn’t always as reliable as we hoped. And now we are in a second lockdown, we are once again dependent on a good service.
This hasn’t always been the case.
Citizens Advice has found that three out of six adults in the South West have had an issue with parcel delivery since the country went into lockdown in March.
This comes at a time when over half of people across the country feel more reliant on parcel deliveries as a result of the pandemic, with 97 per cent of people in the South West saying they’d ordered a parcel since March.
Late delivery was the biggest problem faced by South West consumers, with 28 per cent reporting this issue. Despite widespread problems, the charity found that only 30 per cent of people across the South West knew their rights if something went wrong.
As a result this National Consumer Week, which runs until 22 November, Citizens Advice Dorset are working to help clue Dorset’s consumers up on their rights if something goes wrong with a parcel delivery.
Rovarn Wickremasinghe, chief officer, Citizens Advice Bridport, said, “With the current restrictions in place parcels will continue to be vital. So it’s not good enough that so many people across the South West are having issues. And it’s especially worrying that the number of people who don’t know their rights if something goes wrong is so high.
“With the festive season coming up, it’s important to remember that it’s the seller’s responsibility – not yours or the courier’s – to make sure the item gets to you.
“As we all turn to shopping online more, it’s important people feel confident that they can shop safely and securely from home.”
Citizens Advice Dorset gives their top tips to help local people shop safely and securely from home:
- Before you place an order find out what the delivery times, costs and returns policies are of the items you have ordered.
- Consider asking a neighbour or friend if it can be delivered to their address if you think it may be a time or date you are not home. But beware, if you do provide details of a safe space or nominated neighbour and something goes wrong it’s not the seller or courier’s responsibility.
- Make sure you know if you are dealing with a trader or a private seller on an online marketplace as dispute processes may vary. If you have an issue with a trader, a dispute can be raised directly with them, but if it’s a private individual it may be easier to go through a marketplace’s dispute process.
- Check and review if the trader is genuine. It’s always worth taking a look at reviews to gain an insight as to how reliable the company is and how well they deal with missing parcel complaints and refunds.
- Your purchase and contract is with the seller. If your parcel goes missing you should speak to the trader to deal with the problem, not the courier company.
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