The five worst courier delivery fails

Missed Delivery

How many times have you found yourself stuck in the house waiting for a delivery that never arrives?

It happens to the best of us, with TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp taking to Twitter yesterday to complain that a £900 Amazon package had failed to turn up - despite the fact that Amazon, DHL and Yodel all claimed that it had been delivered.

But what can you do if this happens to you?

The first thing to know is the fact that, under the Consumer Rights Act, it's the company that you ordered from that's responsible for the package.

This means that, even when it's clearly the delivery company's fault, it's the retailer that needs to put things right. While it doesn't do any harm to contact the delivery firm too, it's the seller that holds legal responsibility.

You can call their customer service number - or, like Kirstie, use social media, which will often get you a much quicker response.

Delivery driver appears to have been caught faking delivery of iPhone

As for how long you should be prepared to wait for a delivery, this depends on the original estimate - anything up to 30 days is legal. If you pay for express delivery and don't get it, you should be entitled to get the extra cost back.

And if the item arrives damaged, you're entitled to a replacement.

Unfortunately, dodgy deliveries are on the increase - indeed, over the last couple of years we've seen some corkers. Here's a round up of our top five delivery fails.

Courier delivery leaves customer climbing the walls

Left on the roof
Back in 2014, Benjamin Ward, of Hove, East Sussex, arrived home from work to discover a card telling him that he'd missed a delivery. But instead of explaining that the parcel was with a neighbour or back at the depot, the card read: "Stuck on roof - sorry!" The package was wedged in a gutter some 20 feet up. Eventually, the company apologised - and sent the courier back to the house with a ladder.

Left in a bin
Just a few months later, Phil Norris, from Cheltenham, found a note explaining that his parcel had been left in the bin. Luckily, he was able to retrieve it - though the same wasn't the case for one woman, whose helpful neighbour put the bins out while she was away.

Throwing packages
Earlier this year, a Hermes courier was caught on CCTV hurling a £50 package over a fence in Chester-le-Street - without even ringing the doorbell first. Luckily the glass bottles inside didn't smash. And just a few months ago another Hermes courier was spotted throwing a parcel over a gate without even trying to open the gate first.

Courier caught on camera throwing parcel over fence

Failing to leave a parcel
Paul Kerswill, of Hull, got home to find a note saying that the X-box he'd ordered had been left in the bin. It hadn't. And when Paul checked CCTV, he saw the driver drop off the note, and then vanish - there was no X-box in sight.

Taking a parcel
In 2015, one courier went even further. CCTV shows him arriving at a flat in Stirling carrying two parcels - so far, so good. But when he sees a third package on the doorstep, he decides not to leave his own - but instead walks off with all three.

10 consumer rights you should know
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10 consumer rights you should know

The law states that any goods you buy from a UK retailer should be of satisfactory quality, as described, fit for purpose and last a reasonable amount of time.

This applies even if you buy items in a sale or with a discount voucher. You may have to insist on these rights being respected, though.

Useful phrases to use when you want to show you mean business include, "according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979" and, if it's a service, "according to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982".

Some shops will allow you to exchange goods without a receipt, but they can refuse to should they wish.

If the goods are faulty, however, another proof of purchase such as a bank statement should work just as well.

If you attempt to return goods within four weeks of the purchase, your chances of getting a full refund are much higher as you can argue that you have not "accepted" them.

After this point, you can only really expect an exchange, repair or part-refund.

The updated Consumer Credit Act states that card companies are jointly and severally liable for credit card purchases of between £100 and £60,260 (whether or not you paid just a deposit or the whole amount on your card).

Anyone spending between these amounts on their credit card is therefore protected if the retailer or service provider goes bust, their online shopping never arrives or the items in question are faulty or not as described.

Start by writing to the agency asking it to either remove or change the entry that you think is wrong. It will investigate the matter and find out whether you have been the victim of ID theft or a bank's mistake.

Within 28 days from receipt of your letter the agency should tell you how the bank has responded. If the bank agrees to change the entry, they will authorise the agency to update their records. They should also send updates to any other credit reference agencies they use.

You can also contact your lender directly to query a mistake. If the lender agrees to the discrepancy, ask them to confirm this in writing on their letterhead and send a copy to the agency, asking them to update your file.

The FOS settles disputes between financial companies such as banks and consumers.

If a financial organisation rejects a complaint you make about its services, you can therefore escalate that complaint to the FOS - as long as you have given the company in question at least eight weeks to respond.

The FOS will then investigate the case, and could force the company to offer you compensation should it see fit.

Bailiffs are allowed to take some of your belongings to sell on to cover certain debts, including unpaid Council Tax and parking fines.

They can, for example, take so-called luxury items such as TVs or games consoles. However, they cannot take essentials such as fridges or clothes.

What's more, they can only generally enter your home to take your stuff if you leave a door or window open or invite them in.

You are therefore within your rights to refuse them access and to ask for related documents such as proof of their identity. If they try to force their way in, you can also call the police to stop them.

Private sector debt collectors do not have the same powers as bailiffs, whatever they tell you.

They cannot, for example, enter your home and take your possessions in lieu of payment.

In fact, they can only write, phone, or visit your home to talk to you about paying back the debt. As with bailiffs, you can also call the police if you feel physically threatened.

Thanks to the Distance Selling Regulations, you actually have more rights buying online or by phone than on the High Street.

You can, for example, send most goods back within a week, for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault.

You will usually need to pay for the return delivery, though. The seller must then refund you within 30 days.

We enter into contracts all the time, whether it be to join a gym, switch energy supplier or take out a loan.

In most cases, once you've signed a contract, you are legally bound by it. In some situations, however, you have the right to cancel it within a certain timeframe.

Credit agreements, for example, can be cancelled within 14 days. And online retailers must tell you about your cancellation rights for any contract made up to stand up legally.


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