Half of British consumers have faced issues with parcel deliveries ahead of the Black Friday and Christmas period as more turn people to online shopping, research reveals.
A survey by Citizens Advice found that 47% of adults have had problems with parcel delivery since the country first went into lockdown in March, with 51% saying they feel more reliant on having goods delivered.
It also emerged 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.
The Citizens Advice consumer service has received three times as many calls about delivery issues since March compared to the same period last year.
The charity’s online advice on parcel issues was viewed almost 208,000 times between March and October, compared to 94,000 in the same period in 2019.
Three in 10 people also said they have had a parcel arrive late, while 24% said their experience of a delivery issue has affected their confidence when ordering goods.
A total of 2,026 UK adults were surveyed online between October 23 and 25.
Alistair Cromwell, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “It’s not right that the number of people having issues with parcels is so high. And it’s especially worrying that so many people don’t know what their rights are if something goes wrong.
“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.
“As online shopping becomes an essential, we want people to feel confident that they can shop safely and securely from home.”
Meanwhile, the National Trading Standards (NTS) said it has suspended 323 domains due to issues surrounding non-deliveries, counterfeit products and fake clone websites imitating genuine business sites.
Mike Andrews, national co-ordinator of the NTS eCrime team, said: “As more people shop online in the coming weeks, it’s important that consumers do so safely and know their rights.”
He urged consumers to check product reviews, returns policies and the URL of a website before making a purchase.