Delivery woes for online shoppers

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Published: Tuesday 21st October 2014 by The News Editor

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One in four online shoppers has experienced a problem with a delivery in the last year, new research reveals.

A survey of more than 10,000 people by Which? found 26% reported issues such as parcels being late (17%), not delivered (3%) or damaged (2%).

The research found more than a third (36%) of people cited not being able to choose a suitable delivery time as an irritant when shopping online.

Other gripes singled out by Which? members included a lack of information about the time of delivery (26%), delays receiving an item (15%) and being sent goods that are damaged (11%).

The consumer champion has launched Stamp Out Dodgy Deliveries, a campaign targeting shops to improve the delivery service they provide.

They are calling for retailers to :

:: Provide specific time-slots for deliveries on a named day;

:: Inform customers of the estimated delivery time on the day of delivery by phone, email or text;

:: Ask customers to specify at the time of purchase what to do if the delivery is unsuccessful.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: “One of the attractions of shopping online is the convenience of having your items delivered but we’ve found the experience can be anything but convenient.

“We want shops to do more to ensure that the service is first class, first time. Retailers need to respond to consumers’ demands and stamp out dodgy deliveries.”

The findings were part of the consumer champion’s list of the best and worst online shops, which was topped by specialist photography retailer Wex Photographic with a customer score of 91%.

The site was praised for its wide range of products, with one user saying it is “helpful and efficient, with good prices and a huge range”.

DIY.com, the website of homeware giant B&Q, came bottom for the second year in a row with a score of 47%

The site was criticised for being “difficult to use”, according to Which?. One respondent said: “‘It was difficult to find the items I wanted – the search options were poor and the results are confusing.’

HMV, PC World, Homebase and WHSmith all appeared in the bottom 10 of the list, which is based on customers’ satisfaction and the likelihood of them recommending the online stores to others.

Other websites of major firms named in the bottom half included Asos.com (joint 69th), Sainsburys.co.uk and Tesco.com (both joint 73rd) and Ikea.com (joint 84th).

Online shopping platform Amazon.co.uk came 15th with a score of 82%.

A Homebase spokeswoman said: ” We are disappointed to hear the results of the Which? Online Shops Report. Homebase serves 60 million people a year and providing excellent customer service to help our customers’ complete projects in the home and garden is our number one priority.”

A B&Q spokeswoman said: “B&Q strives to offer the best products, pricing and service online, in store and for deliveries as Britain’s most popular home improvement retailer.

“While we take any customer service issue seriously, no other retailer in home improvement comes close to matching our scale and complexity offering 38,000 diverse product lines, types and sizes with highly competitive pricing.

“The Which? annual survey’s very small number of DIY related responses from just 151 people is a tiny percentage of the 18 million households that enjoy the benefits of B&Q home improvement every year.

“B&Q customers can expect even more in the future, as we invest strongly in online services with £60 million for the UK’s busiest home improvement website, DIY.com, £32 million for a new state of the art distribution centre and £30 million in reducing and simplifying already very competitive prices for thousands of items.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills said measures to promote best practice in delivery services were introduced in July.

She added: ” We expect businesses to be transparent about delivery costs and will keep this issue under review to see the impact the guidance is having.”

Published: Tuesday 21st October 2014 by The News Editor

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