Belfast Telegraph

Parcel delivery woes 'lead to 11.8 million hours of frustration'

Online shoppers who suffer a delivery problem this Christmas will spend an average of two-and-a-half hours sorting it out, Citizens Advice has warned.

Consumers experienced 4.8 million delivery problems last Christmas and 11.8 million hours trying to resolve them, according to a report from the advice service.

Those who were not compensated were left £148 million out of pocket - £30 a parcel - because of damaged or lost goods, hours wasted and time away from work.

Analysis of the more than 2,000 calls to Citizens Advice about deliveries in the past 12 months showed difficulty getting through to the delivery company was the most common problem, confusion about responsibility and compensation and unexpected handling fees on parcels from outside the EU.

The charity is advising shoppers that it is retailers' responsibility to sort out delivery problems.

Citizens Advice said it was preparing for an increase in shoppers seeking help for delivery problems after seeing a 32% increase last year.

As many as 390 million parcels will be handled by delivery companies and Royal Mail in November and December this year.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "Shopping online should make people's lives easier - but not if their items turn up damaged or don't arrive at all.

"We're expecting more people to seek our help over the festive season as consumers try to track down gifts or look to get compensation for items that are broken or never arrive.

"It's really important people know that if an item they've ordered doesn't turn up - or if there is a problem with it - it is for the retailer to sort out.

"Businesses also need to make sure they are upholding people's rights by looking into delivery problems themselves instead of passing customers on to the parcel companies."