Thursday 5 December 2019 12:01 am

Competition watchdog urged to review parcel delivery sector

The UK competition watchdog has been urged to review the delivery sector after research found consumers have lost £85m due to parcel problems over the last year. 

According to new research, more than half – 59 per cent – of online shoppers faced issues with parcel deliveries including packages being left in insecure locations, delivery instructions being ignored, damaged contents and parcels arriving late or not at all. 

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The issues amounted to an average cost of £15.50 per person, which could cover making telephone calls, replacing lost or damaged items or travelling to return item in person. 

Research by Citizens Advice also found that one in three online shoppers were unable to find contact information to address their problem. 

The consumer advice charity has urged the Competition and Markets Authority to review the sector, saying the scale of the problem “is a sign of a broken market, rather than simply isolated bad practice”. 

It also told companies to improve their complaints procedure and make it easier for shoppers to access solutions to parcel problems. 

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “More of us now rely on parcel delivery services as we shop online for convenience and to access the best deals. Around 94 per cent of UK adults received an online order in the last year.

“Problems with parcels can be incredibly frustrating, and can be especially disruptive for people who rely on deliveries like people with disabilities. 

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“The scale of these problems doesn’t come down just to bad practice – it indicates a wider problem with the parcel market as a whole. Right now parcel companies don’t always act in the best interest of consumers. 

“That is why we’re asking the Competition and Markets Authority to review this to make sure it works for people using it.”

Main image credit: Getty