Complaints to Citizens Advice about parcel deliveries have trebled since the start of the pandemic as online shopping continues to boom.
The network, which is made up of 316 independent charities across the UK, said it has been bombarded with complaints regarding late or missing deliveries, as well as a lack of refunds.
Its consumer service department had received three times as many calls about delivery problems since March compared to the same time a year ago. Its webpage on parcel delivery rights also got twice as many hits this year compared with 2019.
Further research showed that a total of 47% of adults had problems with parcel delivery since in March, with 51% admitting that they feel more reliant on having goods delivered. It surveyed a total of 2,026 UK adults online between October 23 and 25.
Citizens Advice reminded consumers that it is the seller’s responsibility to deliver items to their doors and that they are entitled to a refund if its service fails.
Alistair Cromwell, acting chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “It’s not right that the number of people having issues with parcels is so high. With Christmas and Black Friday on the horizon, it’s important to remember that it’s the seller’s responsibility – not yours or the courier’s – to make sure the item gets to you.”
He added: “As online shopping becomes an essential, we want people to feel confident that they can shop safely and securely from home.”
More than 300 online domains have been suspended this year for issues related to the non-delivery of goods, counterfeit products and fake clone websites.
Online shopping has surged in recent months as people across the UK stay indoors to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
During the country’s first lockdown, 71% of UK consumers received between one and three online shopping orders delivered to their homes each week, while 12% had as many as four to six parcels delivered every week.
Some 5% had as many as seven to 15 packages delivered weekly during lockdown.
Watch: 2020 online shopping sales are expected to total $189bn