6 Principles for parcel deliveries

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Six best practice principles for parcel deliveries have been laid out by Citizens Advice in partnership with The Consumer Council and government. The aim is to address delivery problems experienced by some consumers and build on the minimum requirements of retailers’ legal obligations.

Principle 1

Online retailers should ensure that their delivery pricing policies do not discriminate against consumers on the basis of their location. Geographic surcharges should be applied only when these costs are justified by objective criteria, such as actual and unavoidable costs incurred because of the distance. The level of any necessary geographic surcharges applied should reflect the true additional cost of delivery.

Principle 2

Online retailers should ensure that their delivery coverage policies do not discriminate against consumers on the basis of their location. Online retailers should use their best endeavours to provide the widest possible delivery coverage, refusing delivery only when this can be justified by objective criteria. Possible objective criteria may be that the dimension and/or weight of the item fall outside the scope of the universal service obligation.

Principle 3

At the earliest possible stage in the online buying process, online retailers should ensure that consumers can easily access clear, timely and transparent delivery policy information, including information on any possible necessary geographic surcharges or delivery restrictions that could apply, and the reasons for such variations. Online retailers should provide consumers with transparent information about delivery options before they complete their order.

Principle 4

Online retailers, working with their carriers, should consider how delivery options and services could be used to increase the success of first-time delivery, and should endeavour to offer delivery options that are innovative and responsive to the changing market and needs of their consumers.

Principle 5

Online retailers should seek to provide consumers with other relevant delivery information that they hold at the time the order is completed and/or dispatched.

Principle 6

Online retailers should include options for consumers to provide feedback about their delivery experience.

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