/ Shopping

Did Santa lose your Christmas presents?

Cardboard box

A YouGov poll this week revealed that a third of British online shoppers had problems with their deliveries in the run up to Christmas. This includes some of our Dodgy Delivery campaign supporters…

Derek’s wine for Christmas dinner went missing despite the courier saying it had been delivered:

‘Majestic Wine failed to deliver Christmas wines. Said they delivered on 22 December at 0853. No answer, so the courier left the wine in the porch. There is no porch in out house. Also my daughter was at home recovering from a serious operation. They now blame the courier! Needless to say my son-in law is very unhappy at not having any wine for the Christmas lunch!’

This shows the problem of being stuck between two companies, the retailer and the courier. Remember though, your delivery rights are with the retailer.

Missing Christmas deliveries

Bill was able to get a refund for his delivery problems, but that didn’t help him at Christmas lunch:

‘Bought an item from John Lewis by phone. John Lewis contacted Yodel who said they would deliver on the 24/12/14. I stayed in all day till 7pm – no delivery and no phone call. Again phoned John Lewis on Christmas Eve morning – Yodel stated they had delivered the parcel the previous day at 12am, but not to my address.

‘John Lewis were very helpful in chasing up Yodel and because I never received the parcel they will credit my account with a full refund. It left me no time to find a suitable replacement present so I went to Christmas lunch with one important present missing.’

In YouGov’s poll, 45% of those who had a problem said their orders arrived late or not at all. This includes Nicola, who’s still waiting for her Christmas lights (we hope you get them in time for Christmas 2015 Nicola!):

‘I placed my order for Christmas lights on 3 December 2014 sold by Ray Online BIZ and advertised on Amazon Marketplace. The estimated delivery date was 8-11 December 2014. We are still waiting…’

Kids’ presents in the bin

And it wouldn’t be a tale of delivery nightmares if there wasn’t a parcel in a bin. Cameron’s children’s presents nearly got hidden by rubbish:

‘I had ordered my parcel from Tesco Direct and had waited for two days for it to arrive. The day my parcel was supposed to arrive at my address was a day when I was not in my house so the normal plan is for it to be taken to my local store (what usually happens) but this time I had no paper through my door.

‘Whilst I was on the phone to Tesco’s customer services my husband was putting out the rubbish bag into our bin and my parcel was inside the bin. He then came running through to me with this box and said is this your parcel? I thought this was very irresponsible of Tesco especially with the parcel containing Christmas presents for my children which could have been wrecked just before Christmas.’

Did all of your Christmas shopping arrive on time? Or are you still chasing up missing deliveries?


Disappointed of Norfolk writes: . . . Nothing found in our bin on return from the Xmas exodus except a few chunks of gold, some bottles of frankincense and a couple of tubes of myrrh together with a bent shepherd’s crook, a false beard, some snapped crackers [beyond repair unfortunately] and a bit of straw with a broken camel under it; certainly nothing to make your bells jingle.

All our deliveries arrived on time, via a range of carriers – including those ordered a bit near the deadline. And stockings were there also bang on the 25th before breakfast.

A third of people had problems? We make a rod for our own back really; we should get stuff organised earlier. We always resolve to do Christmas shopping by end of November – it never happens so it ends up as Amazon in the week before the big day.

I wonder just how reliable these polls are. An earlier conversation (“Would you share or swap your car, house or power tools?”) said 25% of Brits took part in online sharing – that’s around 15 million of us. Really?

Like so many surveys we are provided with highlights and not the underlying questions. The questions might be quite simplistic and designed to commercially aid the commissioner of the research , in this case JDA Software.

The selection of the online respondents also is of interest as one assumes that like Which? Connect each company has a panel of people it emails for its surveys. Are people who volunteer, or who are paid to complete surveys, representative of the population?

Particularly where one is paid there exists the possibilty that some people might take on multiple personalities and ages to give responses and earn easy money.

This gives a flavour of the way Yougov works:
“I’ve done Yougov for nearly 4 years. I’ve had one £50 cheque and I’m at the £40 mark now (must have been about one survey a week). They paid promptly.

I prefer them to others I’ve tried because I’ve never started a survey, only to be disqualified – they seem to use your profile before sending e-mails and pay you even if you don’t have to answer many questions.The trick with all these surveys is to remember that they’re all ridiculous and exist only to make profits for the surveying companies and headlines for the media! They don’t use random sampling so their results are completely meaningless – don’t waste time thinking at length about your answers! ”

I have no doubt that there is a germ of truth to most things but I think we the public may be fooled because fundamentally we like to think that these are scientific surveys and that the outlets that use them are concerned that they are accurate.

Incidentally a French survey found that blondes and left-handers are slower surfing the Net. This actually was a scientific survey of 4000 people.

Thanks Sam. I’d have more faith in your poll than, initially, in one that gives such a high proportion of failures. Are you going to repeat last year’s research? It would be interesting to see whether this Christmas was disastrously different. I assume you check the credibility of the YouGov poll before publishing its results?

Post Xmas Sale deliveries seem very fast.
M&S order arrived in 14 hours via Parcel Force; a new fastest ever delivery for me

Poppy says:
10 January 2015

Hermes the worst. 1 expensive electronics item in just a box left on doorstep in rain. No knock on door -we were in! 2nd parcel they told supplier they’d delivered, but they delivered a few days after that. 4 parcels never turned up including a mobile phone. 3 people without Christmas presents despite ordering early to mid December. Hermes told supplier they had delivered and left in safe place but we were in all day those days and no knocks on door and they had no access to anywhere other than front door!

I so wish the customer could control the consignment. There are several firms I dread discovering are bringing my goods. Time is not usually of the essence but the worst carriers are usually the slowest as well. So many sellers do not package goods adequately these days to cope with the ups-&-downs of delivery practices and the over-the-gate heave-ho that epitomises so many of them.

I agree, it would be nice to know which carrier is being used; would influence my choice of online seller.

I did not have any problem with Christmas deliveries. Just before I went away for the Christmas break I thanked my postman for his efforts. I asked him if Royal Mail had changed since privatisation because I have not seen any difference. He warned me that service standards will fall and gave some reasons. I don’t know if this is true or just resentment to change.

Like Rarrar, I like to know which carrier a company uses. At present my preference is for Royal Mail/Parcelforce because I live close to their depot and it is usually more convenient to pick up parcels than to wait in for a delivery.

+1 for Royal Mail & Parcel Force for me.
Parcel Force guy is very good at leaving items with neighbours, local shop or even at one’s place of work in the small town where I live.

rarrar, this must depend upon the particular person making the delivery – whether Royal Mail or courier – as to how helpful they are. My daughter’s postman found out that she and her husband worked fairly close to their house. When he had a parcel he went to their security officer, asked if he could contact her, got permission from her to leave her parcel and asked if, when she was at work, whether she would like him to leave anything there in future. It works well, and shows caring and initiative.