Will your Christmas deliveries arrive on time?

Emma Woollacott
herndon  va  usa   july 17 ...
herndon va usa july 17 ...

It's all very well ordering all your Christmas presents online - but not of the courier company then fails to come up with the goods.

While most deliveries go without a hitch, some go very badly wrong: the courier who appeared to fake an iPhone delivery, for example, or the postman who folded a vinyl LP in half.

But some delivery firms seem to have a lot more problems than others, and this Christmas it's worth knowing who to look out for - although there may not be much you can do.

Delivery driver appears to have been caught faking delivery of iPhone

Earlier this year, a survey from Which? revealed that Interlink was the most complained-about firm, with a satisfaction score of just 67%. TNT wasn't much better, scoring 69%.

At the other end of the scale, smaller, local and independent couriers get the highest scores, while UPS also did well.

According to Citizens Advice, delivery problems take an average of two and a half hours to sort out. The most common problems are difficulty getting through to the parcel company to find out what's happening, and not knowing who's responsible.

Postman folds vinyl LP in half

"It's really important people know that if an item they've ordered doesn't turn up - or if there is a problem with it - it is for the retailer to sort out," says Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.

"Businesses also need to make sure they are upholding people's rights by looking into delivery problems themselves instead of passing customers onto the parcel companies."

So how should you deal with a problem delivery?

If an item fails to turn up, get in touch with the retailer - it's up to them to chase the parcel firm. The same applies if it arrives damaged.

If it's left outside and stolen, things are less clear-cut, but unless it was left in a place that you suggested, you should still be able to get a refund or replacement.

Astonishing message written on Hermes delivery note

"We're expecting more people to seek our help over the festive season as consumers try to track down gifts or look to get compensation for items that are broken or never arrive," says Guy.

"There are plenty of things families need and want to do at this time of year - but chasing deliveries shouldn't be one of them."

Courier firms' customer scores (Which?)

1. Private/local/independent couriers: 82%
2. UPS: 81%
3. DPD: 80%
4. Amazon Logistics: 79%
5=. Hermes/MyHermes: 78%
5=. Royal Mail: 78%
7. Parcelforce: 77%
8=. Yodel: 74%
8=. Fedex: 74%
10. TNT: 69%
11. Interlink: 67%