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Complain for change: don’t put up with dodgy deliveries

Delivery being put in bin

Parcels left on doorsteps in the rain, dumped in recycle bins and even thrown over fences are among the delivery problems that people have told us about. Are you clued up on your delivery rights?

We asked more than 2,000 people about their experiences of online deliveries in the last year. More than 60% experienced problems.

Apart from parcels that were found soggy, smelling of rubbish and lying battered in front of fences, 40% of people just didn’t have their item delivered when specified. This is even more problematic when it comes to Christmas. Nearly one in ten said their gifts failed to arrive in time for the big day. This was despite nine in ten placing their orders on or before the Christmas delivery cut-off date. Our video shares more delivery woes:

Your rights for dodgy deliveries

So who’s responsible for bad delivery practices? The buck stops with the retailer. This may sound a little harsh, after all it’s the delivery courier who delivers the parcel. But when you buy something online, your contract is with the retailer, not the courier.

It’s the retailer who chooses the courier company – you don’t get a choice. Therefore, if the courier messes up, the retailer is the one who needs to sort it out.

And yet our survey found that people’s knowledge of their delivery rights is patchy. Seven in ten knew sellers must replace damaged goods even if they’ve been delivered and signed for. But only four in ten knew that if a parcel is left without your permission with a neighbour and the neighbour doesn’t have it, you can ask the retailer to resend it at no extra cost to you. So it’s definitely worth being clued up on your delivery rights.

Have you had any delivery nightmares? What unusual places have you found your parcel? And what kind of response have you had from a retailer when you’ve encountered a problem?

Lesley Saltmarsh says:
5 September 2017

We had a satnav delivered. It was thrown up on to a first floor balcony and it didn’t work. It had come from John Lewis but was not delivered by them. They replaced it straight away


That’s ridiculous. They are not intended for air travel.


At least it had reached its destination 🙂

E J Faraday says:
30 November 2017

Did you know DPD drivers photograph your home after you have agreed to take a parcel in for a neighbour then send it to your neighbour as proof of delivery?
Recently a DPD driver photographed a family member (who’s a minor) and myself on our doorstep without my consent after I had agreed to take a parcel in for a neighbour and then forwarded this to our neighbour as proof of delivery.
Absolutely unacceptable.


I cannot see anything wrong with this. It seems like a useful precaution against the person who took the parcel in denying it and keeping the goods. There is no law against taking photographs of property and people in a public place. The camera only makes a record of what we can see with our eyes. I am sure the hundreds of thousands of people who have dashcams do not object to still photographs being taken of street scenes.


I agree. It’s an easy way for DPD to show it’s been delivered and to show you – the customer – where it’s been left if you were out. I don’t see what’s the issue with someone taking pics of you and the ‘minor’, anyway; unless you’re a committed hermit, it’s happening all the time everywhere you go.


I would also think DPD are trying to stamp out thieving delivery drivers.

Whichever way you look at it, you are less likely to lose a parcel with DPD if there is photographic evidence of delivery.

Dan says:
18 March 2018

I had an item delivered by post office from pc world. Upon inspection it was clear some tape had been tampered with and on opening the item was missing. I called and explained this and was told an investigation would take place and I would receive a call back with results within week. However I have now received an email asking me to sign a denial of receipt, which has a list of declarations including I have checked that no one else has signed for the package, I agree to assist police and I am happy for information to be passed on to police etc etc. Now while I have no problem answering any questions police may wish to ask, I don’t wish to enter into any such agreement and sign this declaration. Again no signature was even required. Do I have to sign this declaration? it says that unless signed and returned within 7 days that they will withdraw my claim and not begin investigation. However I have verbally confirmed I have not got the item and was told it was to be investigated. Is this just a ploy to stop me claiming, again I don’t wish to enter any further agreement after they have failed to deliver what I paid for and to investigate as they said. However if I must sign it to get my refund then I will do so, just abit suspicious of this and if it affects my rights to refund for failed delivery of goods in package.