Delivery market 'isn't delivering', says Citizens Advice

Charitable organisation Citizens Advice says delivery problems affect 59% of shoppers every year, costing consumers £85m. The body produced a report titled “The Market Which Isn’t Delivering”, which calls for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to review the parcels market.

The report is worthwhile reading, as it provides useful data that backs up what many shoppers anecdotally report. 1 in 5 received a ‘sorry you were out’ slip, even though they were at home and available to receive the delivery. 1 in 3 people who wanted to know their consumer rights couldn’t find this information from retailers. There are a bunch of other recognisable concerns reported, from missing deliveries to parcels left in insecure places or unfamiliar neighbours, and its good to see hard data on how widespread these issues are.

Not all customers are affected though, with most of the concerns only being reported by 10-15% of shoppers. But given the impact on consumers when things go wrong - with problems taking an average of over 2 hours to rectify - they are definitely damaging to retail and carrier brands alike. Interestingly, while three quarters of respondents directed complaints to the retailer, one in four turned to the delivery company to complain, and one in five spoke to both.

It’s not just deliveries either – the report highlights returns as a pain point for consumers. 14% had to go out of their way to drop their return somewhere inconvenient. 12% had to stay home just to have their parcel collected. 42% were put off altogether from returning by the lack of convenient times and places to drop their parcel.

The report makes the point that PUDO locations make the process significantly easier, with 54% of users saying they choose PUDO locations because they are local and convenient. Yet over 40% of top online retailers in the UK are not offering this capability in their returns process, according to the CAB.