/ Shopping

Is online shopping delivering the goods?

Handle with care

Online shopping is so convenient. Shopping 24 hours a day from the comfort of your own home? Wonderful. But there’s a flaw: dodgy deliveries can cause more trouble than you bargained for.

The postman stands on your doorstep clutching a parcel. He rings the doorbell – but you’re not in.

Does he take your package back to the depot? Leave it with a neighbour? Hide it in the wheelie bin? Or stuff it behind the garden gnomes?

It’s something that almost all of us have experienced after ordering products online. But different companies have very different policies when it comes to deliveries.

Your parcel has bin delivered

Some retailers offer you a chance to let the postie know where would be best to leave your parcel. Others say they will leave your precious package in a ‘safe or secure’ place if you’re not around.

But what exactly does this mean? It’s hard to find any decent definition on any of the major retailers’ websites.

We’ve heard from online shopping customers who have had parcels thrown over their fence, left in a gas meter box, dumped on a rainy doorstep or left languishing in their recycling bin. That certainly doesn’t sound safe or secure to me.

Unwrapping the problem

If you’ve popped to the shops in your lunch hour, you wouldn’t leave your new purchase on a park bench or by the side of the road until you’re ready to go home.

And nor should any decent delivery driver leave your parcels where they could be damaged or stolen unless clearly agreed in advance.

Of course, it’s just as annoying to be forced to trek to a far-flung depot to pick up a parcel that could easily have been hidden out of sight in a nice dry shed or left with a friendly neighbour. It seems to come down to common sense.

The online shopping revolution has brought with it many benefits, but it risks being undermined by bad delivery firms. Have you had parcels thrown into your garden, stolen from your doorstep or left in a wheelie bin? Which retailers are getting it right, and which ones are failing to deliver?

Sag111 says:
29 July 2013

Wheelie bin. More than once 🙁

I have had no trouble at all with parcels delivered by the Post Office – they’ll usually try to deliver to a neighbour and if that doesn’t work they’ll leave a card. What I’ve had huge problems with, though, is deliveries from couriers and private companies. A box of wine left behind a bin, no card to let me know it was there, and it was then smashed when the bin collectors came. I’ve had cards left in my letterbox when I’ve actually been in, where the delivery person has clearly made no attempt to even ring the doorbell – grr.

I don’t mind picking things up from the post office as it’s really close to my house and convenient for me to so, but the private companies always seem to have depots that require a drive somewhere, and I don’t have a car.

The retailers obviously want us all to use their ‘named day’ delivery facility for an extra fiver. That is not always reliable.

I can understand why ‘delivery tomorrow’ attracts a premium, but I don’t see why, if a ‘three to five working days’ timescale is available as the normal “free” service, I cannot specify the fifth – or even the sixth or later – day’ for a “free” delivery. Not everything is urgent. The cost of delivery is in the price and when I think of the huge savings made by retailers from running an on-line operation, and the massive expansion of their territorial reach generating higher turnover, I believe we are getting a poor-value service.

Amazon annoys me by consistently getting their estimated delivery time wrong. Goods generally arrive before the earliest date shown. Perhaps this is done to impress us with their prompt service but I regard it as incompetence, especially if I have to make a trip to the local Royal Mail depot to pick up a parcel.

richard says:
30 July 2013

I have no problem with Internet deliveries – They are usually delivered within a hour of time stated – I couldn’t guarantee the same delivery if I went to the shop myself – It is mainly FREE delivery for anything but a single item – I never buy in shops nowadays – It is faster cheaper lighter more convenient than going to the shops. The internet shops often phone me or e-mail if they have difficulties.. So far since I started EXCLUSIVELY Internet shopping a few YEARS ago – I have had NO problems – I think it is great – I’ve spent several fruitless DAYS trying to find a stockist of a single elusive items locally – NOW I just search ONLINE fantastic – I don’t have to carry anything – delivered to my door safely – and – on time/ The Internet is the way to go!!!

Ordered yesterday afternoon (Monday), being sent 2nd class post, expected to arrive Thursday or Friday.

Not in today when postie tried to deliver.

So should I be pleased it has turned up in record time or displeased as I will have to collect it from the sorting office?

Usually leave a note out to be delivered next door but didn’t expect it to turn up so quickly !!!!

SW4 Mark says:
30 July 2013

I also find online shopping deliveries to be ok – esp if I can nominate a neighbour to receive the goods on my behalf. which I always do if I can.
My biggest gripe is trying to collect from my local Royal Mail office. Their hours are incredibly restricted and usually I have to go along on a Saturday morning and join a massive queue – sometimes more than 30 people waiting to collect.
But the worst experience comes with private couriers who, if you fail to take delivery after a couple of attempts, take the item back to their nearest depot and then ask you to come there to get it.

Matt says:
1 August 2013

ordered package through ebay last week found out Collect+ was to be used monday, tracking was fine until it stated it had been delivered.. person ordered the package to be sent to was at home all day in his garden and said nothing turned up!!! this is the second company in 2 weeks that ld never heard of until the package was sent which never showed up!!!

lm now £100 out of pocket and still have a broken xbox which l ordered the part to be repaired.. but since tracking states delivered ebay will rule in the sellers favour and l’ll be out of pocket.

wev says:
3 August 2013

Have they given it to your neighbour?

richard says:
4 August 2013

I have a R M notice stating NOT to leave items with the neighbours – I don’t trust them at all.

David says:
2 August 2013

My monthly contact lenses delivery has on many occassions been left, in the open, at the side of my porch, where anyone could have picked up the soggy packet.
No note pushed through the letter box to tell me it’s there either.

malc says:
3 August 2013

books ordered from a well-known book retailer left on front doorstep in full view of passers-by. Complained to retailer but all they said was they would pass the complaint on to their contracted delivery firm. I won’t use the retailer again

richard says:
3 August 2013

Tried a new Internet experience – I needed a wireless door chime – The post and packing was cheaper than car parking – the company posting charge is the same low charge for much larger number of items – somehow I expected the charge to be too high It looks as though it is no longer necessary to go shopping at all – except possibly for made to measure clothing or furniture – though all the standard fit clothing I buy fits me satisfactory – Internet forever!!

richard says:
8 August 2013

Thought I’d add – the delivery was perfect as I’d hoped – but sadly the item was not – but i would not have noticed in a shop as the item was far too well sealed to see inside without destroying the package – but will use the same system again but different store. Some have much better descriptrion

richard says:
4 August 2013

My GPO post man found the bell didn’t work – noticed my car was parked outside and knocked on the door until I opened it – There are some good postman

Phillip T. says:
4 August 2013

For the first time ever I have had a failed delivery (or maybe two – I am not sure whether the items were sent together or separately) from Amazon. They sent it via Yodel where it (they) got as far as the local warehouse where they were first held up and then listed as “undeliverable due to damage”. I have ordered both products several times before and had previously encountered no problems whatsoever.

I placed an order on the 11th July 2013 for three, small Black & Decker parts expecting delivery within 7 days. No delivery by 22nd so I phoned & left a message to cancel the order. Email sent on 23rd, phoned on 24th & again on 31st & received no replies at all. Finally I contacted my credit card company & completed their form regarding non-receipt of goods. Low & behold my items arrived on the 24th August, six weeks late!
I’ve had no communication at all from this outfit…they are rubbish in my opinion!

BD190E says:
19 September 2013

Ordered spares for my Black & Decker there as well. The order were placed at 28 July, and I still haven’t got them delivered. The website is down now, and they are not answering any of my e-mails.. Think I was ripped this time. 🙁

As I said in my comment I filled out the form from my credit card company, (Capital One), & they actioned a temporary refund to my account. I did later advise them that I did receive the goods, albeit very late. Perhaps Capital One’s intervention helped. So thumbs up to Capital One & thumbs down.

BD190E says:
9 October 2013

How does one get to know if it has gone bankrupt? I cant get i touch with them and their website is down. Please help. 🙁 Still haven’t got my ordered spares, but they took my money.

If you used a credit card when you placed your order contact them, I’m sure you’ll be protected. See my earlier comment. However not the same protection if you used a debit card, but contact your card issuer anyway.
Hope this helps BD190E

Chris M says:
6 October 2013

We’ve got two large plant pots on our doorstep. We’ve nicknamed them ‘the Amazon pots’. No prizes for guessing why…

I have had to wait nearly three weeks for each of my last three Amazon orders and feel let down by them. In contrast I wait under a week to receive orders from eBay Stores. There is little point in Amazon offering free 3 – 5 day delivery if the items are not dispatched shortly after the order is received, is there?

Although may not apply to your order but some items on Amazon have very long delivery times stated but easily missed !
I recently ordered a monitor knowing that the delivery time was 6 weeks as the price was very good. It arrived exactly as predicted.

comet14 says:
2 December 2013

On Thursday night I finally got round to reading my Nov copy of” Which “, including the section about online deliveries . I read the problems and mentally noted the name yodel.
I have just rung Tesco regarding wine that should have been delivered on Saturday 30th . I was told that the delivery men FROM YODEL had taken the wine back to depot stating they could not access the property . I immediately jumped in to say I hadn’t been out all day ( indeed I had taken in a delivery for my neighbour ) It eventually became clear that they were saying that they could not” access the property at all ” …. meaning they could not even put a card through the door . This is bare faced lies .
1) I was in all day 2) our detached house is on an estate that is without garden walls or gates across driveways 3) there is full and open access to my front door .
The man from Tesco said he would contact Yodel and ring me back ..I asked him to inform Yodel of points 1 to 3 above .He said he would but did not expect Yodel to offer him any explanation.I informed him of the previous complaints in “Which” and suggested that it was Tesco’s responsibility to ensure contracts are made with reliable companies .
I am now waiting to see when the wine will be delivered but as I pointed out to him I want to be sure I am in as I now do not trust Yodel to deliver whilst I am out ie to the fallback delivery site instructions.
If I had been told that Yodel had been really busy and not had time to deliver I would have accepted it , but such bare faced lies need action . I will be writing to both Tesco and Yodel . I will not order any wine from Tesco unless I can be certain it will not be delivered by Yodel

comet14 says:
2 December 2013

further to my earlier post …. I still do not know when my wine will be delivered but I have just gone on google and chose yodel reviews …. http://www.trustpilot.co.uk/review/yodel.co.uk . The reviews are terrible ( interspersed with the odd good one ?!!? ) and lots of them are complaining about lies .There are email replies from customer services ?( for what they are worth!! ) which in themselves speak volumes about the company We should all refuse to order goods from anyone who uses this company . I cannot believe that reputable companies like Tesco etc use Yodel .

Ian Gilbert says:
30 October 2014

Whilst I have never, in the past year or so, had any articles that have failed to be delivered, I do resent having to wait in for sometimes the whole morning or afternoon for the delivery. However, one of my main gripes is with delivery charges and the sometimes high charges for p&p. The latest is quite staggering. I had occasion recently to buy a new bed and went to a firm called Bensons for Beds. While I was able to buy one in the sale at half price I was astounded by the delivery charge. They wanted a massive £44.50 to deliver it. To me this is exorbitant! You either have to go elsewhere and maybe hope to get it delivered cheaper, or accept their charges. They really have you by the ‘proverbials’ for it is impossible to take it with you unless you are lucky to own a van. Can anyone else beat this? Perhaps Which? could do a survey on costs of delivery to find the cheapest and worst companies.

The only problem I have is parcel force and the worst one myhermes.
I have had over 4 parcels gone missing or damaged in the last 9months and there customer service is absolutely poor as anything. I refuse to have anything delivered by them now. Have wasted a lot of time and lot of money from them.
Only recently I have problems with parcel force, I have had a big issue today. Which where I have wasted over 1hour and 30mins sorting out a problem with there service, and its had to be solved by me driving 15miles waste in my feul and more money on there mistakes.
Will think twice when using them with delivers across seas.
Royal mail, are excellent I have no issues from them and always had my items delivered on time and mainly in one piece. There are slightly more expensive butt you do get what you pay for with royal mail.