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How often do you have delivery problems with online shopping?

online shopping delivery

According to a recent survey of more than 2,000 online shoppers, 69% of them have suffered some form of problem with their delivery in the past year.

The survey, carried out by Citizen’s Advice, found that more than half of people don’t take any action, such as complaining or asking for a refund, if their parcel is late. It also showed that half of consumers aren’t clear that retailers are responsible for ensuring that their goods reach customers, as Which? Conversation commenter Sue reported:

‘Just had a call from a complete stranger to say he has picked part of an order due to be delivered today up from the middle of the road containing my name address and phone number and goodness knows what else. Who is responsible for this? I’m not happy my details were all over a public highway for anyone to pick up.’

Tesco tech glitch

On Tuesday last week, Tesco had to cancel thousands of customers’ home deliveries following an IT issue that affected some Grocery Home Shopping orders. According to a Tesco spokesperson, up to 10% of customers could have been affected.

Whether your order is a day late or doesn’t show up at all, not receiving your online order of groceries in time can be a bit of a pain if you don’t live nearby a supermarket or local grocery store. Add in a full-time job and hungry children, and you’ve got quite the perfect storm on your hands.

What are your online shopping rights?

Under the Consumer Rights Act, which came into force on 1 October 2015, goods should be delivered within 30 days unless a different time period is agreed.

In the case of online groceries, there would usually be a specific date and time allocated.

If your planned grocery delivery is late in getting to you and you need to get your goods, you should get in touch with the retailer to make a complaint.

If you told the supplier when ordering the goods that delivery by a date or timeframe was essential or you can show that it should have been clear or obvious to the trader it was essential, then you don’t need to give a further opportunity to deliver.

Do you order your groceries online? Do you regularly experience delays or cancellations with online orders? Has your experience with online orders gotten better or worse recently?


I hardly ever get delivery issues with delivery companies these days. I do still however get issues with Royal Fail delivering me other peoples post from about 2 miles away. Hopefully my last , of a long line , of very unsubtle emails to the CEO of Royal Fail , may have resulted in a proper fix. Although not the fix I’ve been suggesting for several years now.


I’ve had no problems with online orders, except 3 Christmases ago when I ordered a curtain pole from Dunelm and it turned out to be too long for their carrier. I collected it and then a few days later the original turned up; Dunelm did not want it returned. I’m not complaining – must be in the 31%. 🙂


We’ve never had a problem with on-line grocery orders. They have always turned up on time within the booked time slots.

The article doesn’t say whether Tesco e-mailed customers who were waiting for their deliveries. That would be helpful because many customers could drive there, cancel the on-line order, and buy the essentials.

I have a problem with Amazon deliveries. They just don’t seem to be able to keep to their delivery forecast. Last week I ordered two things that I couldn’t get locally and delivery was predicted for 3-4 July, which was fine. Except they turned up on Saturday 1 July when we were out and were taken to a house across the road. Not a big problem perhaps but I don’t like inconveniencing neighbours and prefer to have deliveries at the time stated. The trouble is that Amazon think they are doing us a favour.


I spoke too soon. Today we had a Waitrose delivery and there was an abnormal number of substitutions. They were understandable and sensible replacements but not what we wanted. The substitutions were all for mainstream stock items, not exotic and seasonal products. We don’t want to stop substitutions because then we would have to go out and get something elsewhere, but it is disappointing that the stock levels in the superstore that operates our delivery service are not sufficient to meet the demand, even though they have had five clear days in which to ensure they can do so. It is necessary to order well in advance so as to get a convenient delivery slot; I was hoping they would use that time to make sure they could supply what we ordered.

Waitrose did send an e-mail about an hour before the delivery slot listing the substitutions but by that time it was too late to ask for alternative replacements. At least they do not charge the higher price if the substitution is more expensive than the item ordered and they charge the lower price if the converse is the case. The only substitution that we thought could have been more acceptable was in respect of freshly-squeezed fruit juice where we ordered 2×1 litre cartons of each of two types of juice. They could not supply the pineapple or tropical juice ordered and substituted juices from concentrate; is that a reasonable substitution? I would have thought it should have been possible to supply freshly squeezed juice but from other fruit – even four litres of orange juice would have been better.

Apart from that, and the van driver losing his way, turning up late, and having a dodgy hand-held computer that would not take my signature, it was perfect. The driver didn’t seem to understand that sat-navs work on postcodes, not individual door numbers, and that a postcode can contain a number of individual addresses. He thought the marker on the screen pinpointed the precise house. I explained that you still have to look for the house number but he said they do not run consecutively so I also had to explain about odds and evens! He was smartly presented though, although not looking comfortable in the Waitrose uniform collar and tie.


I had forgotten about our recent Waitrose experience [see above] so this is just to bring the story to a conclusion.

After the delivery there was an on-line follow-up questionnaire, which I suspect is routine and not targetted, and I gave low scores for certain aspects of the service identifying key concerns. That was followed by an email from the central customer care team asking for more information which I fulsomely supplied. In response I received an explanation of the company’s order-picking approach, which I challenged because it was not intelligent enough, and information on how there had been words of advice and support given to management and personnel at the store where the deliveries come from. In summary, my points were recognised, I felt that excuses rather than reasons were given [but that is a commercial culture], managerial action had occurred, there was an expression of apology and a promise of better service in future, and a £5 discount voucher has been tendered [the order totalled £86.44 so that was under 6%]. Some of the responses were ‘templated’ across two communications but overall we are generally satisfied with Waitrose’s response and are taking no further action.


I notice that archaic word “gotten” creeping into some Which? Conversations. It died out in England three hundred years ago but was continued in America for no particular reason. It is a British English word but its use today is an Americanism. The word “got” will do in most cases [except “ill-gotten gains” which is traditional]. If people don’t like the bluntness of “got” the sentence can be rephrased as in “Has your experience with online orders become better or worse recently?”


“Something “gotten ” hold of my (your) heart John ? Gene Pitney- Cilla Black-Marc Almond. For the record co-written by-ENGLISH singer/songwriter Roger Cook , born in Bristol and English songwriter/producer Roger Greenaway -born in Bristol . Maybe it was the sea air drifting over from America to the Bristol channel ?


Yes, it turns up in country music and romantic ballads because it has a sentimental old-time ring about it. Sometimes it is used to fit the metre. I prefer up-to-date language.