Which ‘Stamp out dodgy deliveries’ report

By Chris Dawson October 21, 2014 - 10:36 am

Which have published findings from a survey claiming that 25% of people say they’ve had a bodged delivery in the past year and are calling for retailers to ‘Stamp out dodgy deliveries‘.

They’re probably right, but that figure does include those for whom a bodged delivery was a missed delivery as well as parcels being late (17%), not delivered (3%) and damaged (2%).

According to the findings, a third of people said not being able to choose a suitable delivery time was an irritant when shopping online. A quarter are also peeved when they’re not told the time goods will be delivered.

Which correctly say that it’s up to the retailer to put things right when they go wrong, but appear to have missed the fact that many delivery companies including Royal Mail don’t have the technology to give delivery time slots in advance, although many now can at least give notification of the delivery date.

Which say “We’re calling on retailers to step up. We want them to give specific time-slots for deliveries, to confirm the time with you on the day of delivery and to ask you upfront what to do if your delivery’s unsuccessful“.

Which executive director Richard Lloyd added the comment: “We want shops to do more to ensure that the service is first class, first time. Retailers need to respond to consumers’ demands and stamp out dodgy deliveries“.

Where does that leave you and me? Well if you’re shipping a low cost item the chances are it’s going to be shipped untracked with Royal Mail. Sure we could pay a fiver for a DPD tracked, timed slot and text/email notification, but the customer is hardly likely to pay that price for something like a £2 mobile phone screen protector.

Yes you’re responsible, but customers also need to be realistic about the fact that if the post is late, they don’t know what time the post will arrive or if you offer a choice of delivery options and they select the economy service, that ultimately they’ll get what they pay for.

Which have a Stamp out Dodgy Deliveries petition on their website (which at the time of writing a few (94) of the UK’s 60m population have signed.

The alternative of course would be for Which to lobby all delivery companies to up their level of service to the likes of DPD, who without a doubt stole a march on their competitors with their delivery experience. That again costs money though and will ultimately take away consumer choice and drive prices up.

  • Stuart
    3 years ago

    You raised the point exactly, if you sell low value items and customers/markeplaces demand free delivery where the hell do you offer these kind of services?

    Our customers can pay for an upgrade with Interlink Express and they are text,emailed etc with delivery slots and works 99.9999% of the time.

    Standard Royal Mail parcels track at about 94% happy with our standard delivery.

    You just can not have it cheap, have top delivery, free returns etc etc there is no money in it for a retailer!

  • Lee Pearce
    3 years ago

    I can just see the next ebay release:

    To keep TRS a seller must offer Fast and Free shipping with a 1 hour delivery time slot that can be changed by the buyer within 1 hour of the agreed time slot just in case they need to pop out.


    • DBL
      3 years ago

      Or … they can use click & collect at Argos 😉

  • Richard
    3 years ago

    What people “want” and what they’re prepared to pay for are two different things. Services have to be paid for by some one some how, there are no miracles.

  • Mark
    3 years ago

    Items that fit through the letterbox (and don’t need to be signed for) usually have less problems than larger items which require somebody to be in for delivery.

    Before Amazon introduced the £10 limit for free shipping I deliberately ordered books individually to increase the chance they would fit through the letterbox.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      strange that a failed delivery to China may take months but its always returned,
      though a failed delivery from RM within the UK is rarely seen again unless its a special delivery package

    • Stuart
      3 years ago

      So the £10 limit is all your fault then!

  • steve
    3 years ago

    Awwww, precious buyers “not being able to choose a suitable delivery time was an irritant when shopping online” how sad for them! Are you serious? Pay £15 and we can give an AM or PM slot, even Saturday delivery. Problem is buyers don’t want to pay for shipping (ohh, £3 item but free shipping – do the maths) but then whinge about crap like this.

    Screw the lot, IMO they can shop in their local store. This type of “expectation” really pisses me off, they want their cake and want to eat it but when not happy they then do a return at the sellers expense.

    Online shopping has given many buyers stupid expectations like next day delivery, armchair buy but if not happy then return at sellers expense, etc.

    The system is becoming screwed. Let them go to Argos (if they can leave their armchair). Sod the lot. I don’t need them, and I don’t want them. I block everyone like this. 🙂

    • Martin
      3 years ago

      Hey, don’t blame the customer. Did the Which survey even ask “Would you be prepared to pay?” or “How much would you be prepared to pay?” for this service? Did ebay ask “How much extra are you prepared to pay for tracked mail or free delivery?” I suspect not, hence the reason the surveys give the results they do.

      If I was asked what I would prefer then I too would say a timed delivery slot. Sure I would like every delivery problem free.

      But the question needs a lot more validation. If you don’t structure your research properly you will get misleading results, and poor decisions based on this.

      As we all know, ebay tell us customers want tracked mail domestically and internationally, yet when it is offered at a cost the take up is minimal. So exactly which question did ebay ask?

    • 3 years ago

      I think you’re right Martin and pretty much all surveys are flawed just because they asked the question.

      For instance every question from “Would you like tracked delivery?”, “Would you prefer a timed delivery slot?”, “Would you like flexible working hours?”, “Are you happy with your bank charges?” to “Do you think Scotland should be an independent country?” not only begs a “Yes/No” answer but raises a question you and I probably hadn’t even considered or thought about until the question was asked.

      By asking the question you’re already influencing my answer. Survey by Which is particularly reprehensible as it begs you to leave “My dodgy delivery story (optional)…” and options are “My parcel was “Late”, “Damaged”, “Never arrived”, “Left somewhere inappropriate” or “Other”. Where’s the question “How many deliveries have you had that were fantastic in comparison to the single time something went wrong?”

  • Martin
    3 years ago

    These surveys are often covering up a lot more than the obvious interpretation. Yes, deliveries do go wrong, but if you believed the customer, then no delivery company ever leaves a card to say they tried to deliver something and the buyer was out, so please arrange redelivery. This defies belief. Yes, I can accept that a harassed postie or van driver occasionally forgets or has been so overtasked he doesn’t do it, but certainly not with the regularity that the customer claims. Yet the customer will say this is a fault.

    With Royal Mail’s system the customer can collect, arrange redelivery online or have the parcel redelivered to a local post office, so there are plenty of options to meet the customers needs, even if it isn’t a timed delivery slot.

    Yesterday I had returned to me an item bought offline by credit card that cost nearly £240. The customer knew which day the item would be received. Tracking shows delivery was attempted twice by City Link and a card left both times. The customer hasn’t chased me for where their £240 item is, now 14 days after paying, nor did they contact City Link immediately or within a week to arrange redelivery. I find this amazing. Yet in a survey the customer would probably say there had been a problem with delivery

  • 3 years ago

    I think we need to stamp out dodgy drivers too. Recently a UPS driver used threatening behavior towards a woman who tried to refuse a smashed up delivery at my clients warehouse. She was in tears and signed for the parcel.

    He tried to speak to the driver and get an apology, but he was just dismissive.

    Shame…they were thinking of taking on UPS as a carrier….

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