Citizens Advice have released a report suggesting that 7 out of 10 online shoppers have had a delivery problem in the past year. Whilst 94% of us are happy saying we get a satisfactory or high quality of service, a significant number have the odd inconvenient delivery.
Some of the excuses are fairly valid, such as the 38% who claim that a parcel arrived late (that’s one parcel in a year… not every parcel!), but others such as the 25% whinging that they “had to stay at home when inconvenient to receive the parcel” are less so, especially when combined with complaints of parcels left with neighbours or “insecure locations but not stolen”.
The 21% who complain a parcel hasn’t arrived (one parcel in a year) seems relatively high as does the 11% who received a damaged parcel each year.
I can’t help thinking that the report has gone out of their way to ensure that everyone questioned had at least one excuse to claim they had a parcel delivery problem in the last year. What after all is a problem for you might not be for me. For instance I frequently have parcels left in insecure locations and they’re not stolen and I don’t see that as an issue. It’s much preferable to going to a far flung industrial estate to hunt down a courier depot.
Of course as retailers we are responsible for getting the parcel to the consumer (or leaving it with their nominated neighbour or safe (or unsafe) place if requested). But are consumers who buy online and then expect parcels to be personally delivered into their hands, even when they’ve gone to the beach for the day, expecting too much?
Of course anything is possible, redelivery at the time slot of your choosing is already available but services that offer this have to budget for it which means paying more and doubtless a redelivery enables Citizens Advice to claim a late delivery so the retailer still can’t win!
Obviously giving the consumer choice helps to alleviate delivery complaints but should we be that worried? Rather tellingly towards the report it details the impact of parcel delivery problems on the consumer – 25% stated that the so called delivery problem did not have any impact. If there was no impact was it a problem in the first place?
How far should we go to pander to the whims of the consumer and, if they’re not willing to pay more, should consumers stop complaining about things that don’t really matter and accept that if they want to shop online their parcel will either be left somewhere or they will have to wait in until it arrives?