Who should you call about problems with parcel deliveries?

Complaints about parcel deliveries rose after Christmas. Pic: Shutterstock.
Complaints about parcel deliveries rose after Christmas. Pic: Shutterstock.
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Sometimes the problems I help people out with are pretty surreal. After Christmas, I noticed we were getting loads of complaints about parcel deliveries.

Most of them were what you would expect. Poor service, failing to turn up, damaged goods etc.

However, one case was from a woman who found that her parcel had been chucked on to the roof of her garage.

The firm were insistent it had been delivered. She had to lean out of a window with a broom to knock it to freedom.

Needless to say, it was ruined. We also saw a flood of cases from people whose parcels had been left in bins. Which were then collected.

To say this went down badly is something of an understatement. While these examples are extreme, they’re not rare.

So what are your rights when a delivery goes wrong? Who do you call?

When you enter in to an agreement with a retailer, your contract is with them, not with the delivery company.

So if items you order are not delivered, are damaged or faulty, are left in an unauthorised place or another delivery-related problem occurs, it is generally the responsibility of the retailer to sort out the problem.

Retailers are usually able to track deliveries through their contracted delivery service. So if there’s a dispute over delivery they should be able to pin down where the driver was around the time of the delivery, who signed for the item, or where it was left.

Remember, they have to prove that you received the item, not the other way around. You’re entitled to ask for proof of delivery if you’re being charged for an item you haven’t received.

The rules say you are entitled to expect your goods to be delivered on the agreed date that you were given when your order was placed.

If no date was given or agreed, the trader must get your purchases to you within 30 days of the order being placed. If this does not happen, you are entitled to a full refund.

These rules just cover the basic rights, not a range of scenarios that might occur. So though there isn’t a specific rule that covers goods left with a neighbour without permission, the rules do cover the ‘delivery’.

So if you’ve not received the goods directly or given instructions for them to be delivered elsewhere, you can pursue a complaint.

Remember, you have exactly the same rights if your goods are delivered to your home as you would if you had taken them away with you from a shop.

There’s something of a debate about what happens when you’ve signed for the goods, but don’t worry about that if you need to make a complaint.

Inspect the goods and, if the product is faulty, is not the item you ordered, or if part of it is missing, you should contact the trader immediately and ask them to resolve the issue.

Virtually everyone I speak to has a story to tell about a rubbish delivery service - and delivery disasters are one of the leading sources of complaint to us at Resolver.

It’s clear that the delivery services industry has a huge amount of work to do to win round frustrated consumers fed up with missing, damaged or disappearing orders.

That’s why it’s vitally important for retailers keep a close eye on the businesses they contract delivery services to.

And if you are struggling to get started, we’ll help you make a complaint at Resolver. www.resolver.co.uk

*Tell us about your delivery disasters, get your complaint sorted or share some tips with the Resolvers at www.resolver.co.uk or check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/resolvercouk and Twitter @WalkerResolver and @resolvercouk.