Ordering Christmas presents online can be a cheap and time-saving way to get organised. However, getting items delivered is not always smooth sailing and some shoppers have revealed their worst delivery experiences.
Britons who know they won’t be in when their parcel arrives can opt to have it put in a safe place or given to a neighbour.
Those who miss a parcel can also arrange for it to be redelivered.
While there are lots of options available when getting a delivery, the process is not always simple.
More than two thirds of Christmas shoppers had problems with online deliveries last year, according to new research by Which?.
Nearly one quarter of the 2,000 shoppers surveyed said some deliveries did not arrive at all last year and nearly one in five explained their deliveries arrived late.
Among the biggest shopping disasters were parcels being left outside and being found damaged.
One shopper said their parcel was damaged after being thrown over a fence, with another stating a clothes delivery was found in the food waste bin.
A third explained their order was left in the rain and they found it chewed by foxes.
When waiting for a parcel that required a signature, one respondent claimed the signature had been forged by the courier and simply left outside – despite them being in the home.
Online shopping has always been popular, especially when customers have a lot to buy.
The coronavirus pandemic has also made this more necessary with retail stores being closed in the UK for many months of the year.
In a separate survey, Which? asked 13,000 members about their delivery experiences between March and August this year.
Respondents rated their experiences based on how long the delivery took, the slots offered, communication from the company, social distancing by couriers and where the parcel was left.
Who is the best courier?
Amazon and DPD tied as the best services for communication with customers.
Amazon also came out on top for fast deliveries and Royal Mail had customers most satisfied with where items were left.
Delivery service UPS was voted the worst courier for keeping customers satisfied with one shopper claiming they received a smashed laptop which was left upside down.
“At UPS, we deliver an average of 20 million parcels per day around the world and pride ourselves on our service quality and reliability,” A UPS statement said.
“As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on third party research.”
Which? consumer rights expert Adam French said: “Christmas is when we really want parcels to arrive on time.
“But unfortunately it’s also peak time for late, damaged or missing deliveries and we have heard stories of shockingly bad service from the big courier firms.
“With more people than ever expected to shop online this Christmas, it is worth getting your orders in as soon as possible.
“It’s also important to remember retailers are responsible for ensuring orders arrive in a reasonable time frame, so don’t be afraid to make a complaint if you are having problems.”