/ Shopping

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?

Comments
Profile photo of william
Member

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.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

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%. 🙂

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

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.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

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.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

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.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

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?”

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

“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 ?

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

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.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

I was taught that “got” was a redundant word in many usages and better not used. For example in the intro “and you’ve got quite the perfect storm”

Profile photo of Ian
Member

Indeed, but many writers still use it for effect. It’s a bit like the weather presenters who insist on saying things such as ‘the temperatures will be dropping down…’ I wait patiently in the hope of seeing something that drops up.

Profile photo of VynorHill
Member

“The only begotten son.” “And Noah begat Shem, Ham and Japheth”.
I beget. You beget. He/she begets. They have begotten.
Then they began to beget and there was no end to their begetting. It was a case of the begetter and the begot.

Profile photo of VynorHill
Member

To actually remain on topic On two occasions I received goods that the supplier knew were faulty and sent them anyway. Sending them back was a nuisance, but a local convenience store served as a collection depot. Having to be in for a delivery is also a nuisance when ordering on line. On one occasion a parcel was left round the back without notification. As it was undamaged I didn’t complain. It is the weak link in the on line chain, but one can specify a collection point in some cases and collect parcels when it suits. Actual delivery times are usually quicker than promised and packaging is usually very good.

Profile photo of alfa
Member

Tesco is the only grocery delivery I have had a problem with.

I had a delivery booked between 8pm and 9pm. Around 9pm the driver called to say he was running late, no problem I told him.

Midnight, I was calling Tesco to find out where the delivery was. Most of the numbers don’t answer that time of night but I found one that answered on Saynoto0870 of all places. Apparently drivers are only insured to deliver until a certain time (I think it is 11pm), so my delivery had gone back to the depot. The driver did not bother to let me know, and I could not go to bed thinking it was still going to turn up.

To add insult to injury, Tesco had already taken payment and the following day issued a refund with “Please be advised this will take 3-5 working days to reach your account”.

Member
Rachael says:
10 July 2017

Yodel tried delivering a parcel from an online retailer and left a card with a mobile number to phone. I phoned it and told them to deliver next day in the afternoon as I’d be out in the morning. Well, of course they tried to deliver in the morning as they didn’t do time slots, I was told. (What, not even a.m./p.m.? ) They then tried delivery following day, again at time I told them I’d be out! I went online as required by their card they left only to find that as it is a green card (not another colour) I can’t do online. Left message on delivery lady’s phone in hopes she’ll re-deliver this Wednesday. I’ll have to stay in which I don’t want to do. The alternative is to travel about 10miles to collect it from depot!! Fingers crossed it arrives. So no, I’m not happy at all. PS I hate ‘gotten’ and don’t get me on ‘leverage’ when mis-pronounced………..!

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Rachael the position with Yodel + that well known (complained about ) company Hermes is that they employ -self-contracted local delivery drivers , they even advertise such posts . They are contracted to carry out “X” amount of deliveries/day plus they get paid approx- 50p /parcel and are required to deliver up to 60/day but you need business car insurance and must attempt 3 deliveries to get that which means 4 minutes/delivery and the extra petrol usage delivering it . I have spoken to Hermes/Yodel delivery drivers and have complained about Hermes as well as that I am looking at a single dad who applied to Yodel for a job and thats what was quoted to him . This to me is the state of Britain in 2017 running as a service economy not an industrialised one and, to me , it stinks !

Profile photo of Ian
Member

There’s a big Yodel depot around 17 miles from us and they do have Yodel Vans. although I don’t know if their drivers are self-employed. But you’re right: it is without doubt the worst of the delivery services out there in my experience.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

The delivery drivers’ terms and conditions do not prevent the companies from offering a.m. and p.m. delivery slots. The root of the problem is with the consignors – the companies people buy from – who look for the lowest delivery price and therefore employ the cheapest carriers. The cheapest carriers are bound to sweat their workers but I read today that a review into employment conditions in the so-called gig economy might propose that some of the present exploitative practices are outlawed. Ideally, customers should be offered a choice of delivery company or only buy from outlets that offer bespoke time slots [at a surcharge]. It is a fact that delivery quality and service standards are in the price and the consumer does have a wide choice.

I agree with Ian. Yodel and Hermes are the worst carriers in my experience but unfortunately we are not their customers; the on-line traders need to raise their game. They know that if they told us who would be delivering our orders many of us would cancel them and look elsewhere.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

John , thats the First thing I ask –who is delivering your merchandise -go DPD ! And yes the drivers are self=employed.

Profile photo of Lady Janey
Member

I regularly use Sainsburys for home deliveries and rarely have any issues with their service although my sister does use Tesco and says they can be a bit more hit and miss. Sainsburys, however, deliver within the specified time slot, drivers are really friendly and if there are any problems with the time frame then they contact me beforehand to advise. Their customer service support centre is extremely quick and efficient if I do have to ring to grumble about anything but this is very rare. My annual delivery pass also allows me to pay in advance for deliveries so I save a fortune. By my own admission, I’m fairly high maintenance and not easy to please but Sainsburys do a very good job.

Member
Estelle Buscombe says:
17 August 2017

I wasn’t sure where to put this – never used Which Conversation before – but wondered if Which might be interested in my recent problems with Asda Home Delivery?

Had an Asda (food) delivery due on 19/7 – £51- but it didn’t come. Nobody contacted me so had to ring and rearrange. This happened 5 times and nobody came or rang me on any occasion!

I kept having to ring the store to ask them to come (and book a new slot) – but 5 times they let me down – no delivery or phone call.

Eventually they came but left half my order behind. Only that driver was any help and sent a colleague with more items that evening. But things still missing which I had to get refunded.

I was messed around SO much! Wrote to head office but only got a few emails back offering me £5 off my next order then £10. They have raised it to £20 but that means I still have to pay out to reach their min order value. And will it arrive if I order? Totally disgusted.

Wondered if you were interested? I have the letter I wrote them (with plenty of humour!) and their emails. It has been the bane of my life for a month now! But they don’t seem to care or value customers.

Profile photo of alfa
Member

Welcome to the convos Estelle,

That is pretty awful customer service.

I think Asda fulfil orders from their stores meaning they might not have the items you ordered. My last order was missing 28 items which is not a lot of use if you have an occasion planned.

Did you have a late delivery? I posted above about a Tesco delivery that didn’t turn up because the driver was too late.

If you log in to post, you will be able to find future replies easily.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Welcome Estelle

I had a similar problem with a bulky item collection by the local council. When it failed the first time, I asked what had happened but was not given an answer and despite my request to contact me about a suitable date, one was arranged. That failed and I had to speak to various people before I learned that there was a computer error and although I had received text reminders of the collections, no-one had been told to come to my house. I must have made 20 calls and filled a page with the names of people I had spoken to, the dates and times.

Whether it’s a company, council or other organisation, they should investigate complaints carefully and make sure that action is taken to avoid problems in the future.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

You’re not alone, Estelle. A similar thing happened to us some time ago. That time they blamed it on the customer service team. Does the £20 voucher have an expiry date?

Profile photo of martini97
Member

I wrote to the store manager of Asda , Harpurhey when my son who had moved to Central Manchester decided to do his large moving in shop there . At 8pm no manned tills were open and we had to put a £132 shop through self scan plus my large shop too . Frustrated we use delivery service . A bottle of spirits had a near impossible to open security tag on it and some of the replacement items were laughable . I actually hand wrote the letter to the manager so he didn’t think it was a wind up . We still await reply a year on .

Profile photo of alfa
Member

We have just had a good result from Royal Mail. 🙂

We had to return a purchase that did not reach its destination. The amount was under £10, but with receipt of postage, they have given us a full refund with a cheque.

After some of the stories here, I was expecting a few stamps for part of the value at best.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

I needed a large number of postage stamps so ordered them from the Post Office. They were delivered by UPS.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I expect that was a cheaper option. You could have had them post-haste but that would cost more.

I wonder if Frank at the Post Office would run them through his machine.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

Annoyingly, all postage stamps available by the sheet nowadays are peel-off adhesive ones which I find take much longer to affix to a large number of envelopes. With the lick-&-stick type you could get up quite a rhythm with a perforated strip and a fan of envelopes [sounds like a nightclub act!].