What you can do if you’re not happy with courier deliveries from online shopping.
I like online shopping. It’s easier to find a deal and lower price. I don’t have to brace the zombie like crowds at Westfield, making it quicker and less stressful. All in, it’s just more convenient – in theory at least.
The problems generally occur at the delivery stage, or more accurately the non-delivery. And this can cause more hassle than if I’d just get popped to the shops in the first place.
I’m lucky that I now work from home a few days a week so I try to pick those days for deliveries, or failing that we’ve some elderly neighbours who are usually at home. But sometimes no one is in. Then two things can happen.
First is the dodgy delivery. Last week I came home to a blank Amazon Logistics card. Nothing on there at all – and no item delivered. Or so it seemed. The parcel had actually been hoofed over a tall gate. Unless Amazon couriers have a gadget that lets them gently lower a package from a height to the ground, this item was thrown or dropped. Fortunately the glass bottle inside (yup, glass!) wasn’t broken, but I’ve had similar deliveries chucked over that gate in the past that have shattered.
Other dodgy deliveries include left in a dustbin with no lid, allowing the box to soak up all the subsequent rainwater; put in a recycling box on the day a collection was due; and the classic just left on the doorstep.
Alternatively, the courier will try to deliver another time. But unless you’ve got the flexibility to be at home, this becomes a game of cat and mouse. Even collecting from Royal Mail has got more difficult since they closed our local sorting office.
Of course, sometimes you are in ALL DAY, you might even have taken time off work to be there, but still the delivery doesn’t happen. A handful of times I’ve even had those cards through the door instead of the courier even ringing the door bell to see if I was home.
Pressure on the drivers produces these mistakes
Annoying as bad or non-deliveries can be, I do have sympathy with the couriers. Conditions and pay are generally really poor. One of the many disadvantages of the “gig economy”. As this Guardian article shows, many drivers are only paid per delivery. If you’re not in to accept a delivery, they don’t get paid.
So rather than try again another day, they’ll just leave it wherever they can. I can understand that, and it’d be fine if the parcel was left somewhere safe and secure. But if it’s not, I’d you could end up with damaged, or even stolen, goods. And even though as consumers we demand faster delivery and lower rates, that shouldn’t mean we get shoddy service.
How to beat dodgy deliveries
So what you do to avoid dodgy deliveries? Here are the four things I do
Make it easier for the courier
It helps to specify which neighbours you would like the courier to try if you’re not at home. Or find a safe spot or box where the driver can put the package that hopefully keeps it hidden from view and protected from the elements. You can also leave a contact number on the order in case the driver wants to get clarification on where to deliver the item.
Pick up instead
I’ve written before about my tricks to save money on delivery, and one of those is to choose Click and Collect instead of delivery. Though you’ll then have to carry the goods home with your, it does mean you are in control of when you get them. Plus there’s no waiting around for orders that simply don’t arrive.
And the shop you buy from doesn’t even need to have a bricks and mortar building. EBay ship to Argos stores, Amazon have Amazon Lockers and you can also choose to collect from local corner shops as part of Collect Plus. There are also places like Doddle
Name and shame
If a delivery has been left is a way that’s not satisfactory I’ll take a snap and tweet it. Or you could post it to the brand’s Facebook page, or even just email the photo to the company. Hopefully standards will pick up as a result of bad publicity.
Of course, if the poor delivery has also damaged your goods, you need to immediately complain to the retailer and ask for a replacement or refund. I’d also ask for a goodwill gesture to make up for the inconvenience. Money Saving Expert has a great step-by-step guide to bigger compensation claims.
Trick to get six months free Amazon Prime delivery
As I mention in the video above, I order a lot through Amazon thanks to Amazon Prime. Now at £79 a year this is a little steep, but thanks to a little trick I got this free for six months, then Becky got it free for six months, and now we pay £39 a year. As well as free-next day delivery, we get access to the movies and music streaming, and other extra perks. Bargain!
The way to get this deal is to buy an NUS card. Yup, that’s a student card. And you can do this if you’re not a student through an online course. You can read more about how to get the card here.
Once you’ve got your card you simply follow the instructions on the Amazon Student page and email a photo of your NUS card. Voila, you’ve got six months free Amazon Prime!
If you don’t fancy this, you can also get a 30-day Amazon Prime trial every 12 months. We did this before we took on the above trick. So if there are two of you in the house you can time your free months for when you’re most likely to shop and need quick and cheap delivery. For us that was Christmas and in the run up to our wedding.