How to stop deliveries from hell: online couriers cut out excessive corners – and spoil your gifts

Placed in the toilet: one Amazon package even ended up in a customer's toilet after the deliverer threw it through an open bathroom window

Ross Perkins thought it was a joke when he & # 39; upper window & # 39; saw scribbled on the delivery card that was posted through his door as the location of his package.

When the history teacher went upstairs, however, he found that an Amazon box had been thrown through a bedroom window ajar.

Fortunately, the headphones were fine and nothing in the room was damaged.

But Ross, 24, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, says: "It shows a lack of respect for the property of people and a recklessness for what was in the package and the contents of the house.

Placed in the toilet: one Amazon package even ended up in a customer's toilet after the deliverer threw it through an open bathroom window

Placed in the toilet: one Amazon package even ended up in a customer's toilet after the deliverer threw it through an open bathroom window

As far as the driver knew, something vulnerable could have been near the window, such as a computer or a lamp. & # 39;

It is a familiar story. Over the past few weeks, angry online shoppers have told Money Mail how deliverers have thrown their parcels over fences, left them at thresholds, and even forced them through cat flap.

Some customers have returned to nothing other than a card announcing their order, which was left in sight of the street before it was immediately stolen by opportunistic thieves.

Others claim that their signature was forged to indicate that they had received the package when they were not even home.

COMPLAINTS ARE ROCKETING

Statistics show that complaints about delivery drivers have more than doubled in 12 months.

Customers served 16,662 complaints about delivery companies at the Resolver complaints website in the year to October, an increase of 144 percent from the previous 12 months of 6,836.

Another 21,000 complaints were filed with online retailers about delivery problems, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.

And with a view to Christmas the complaint threatens to rise even further.

Many drivers complain that they are under enormous pressure to achieve goals and will lose revenue if they do not unload all their packages within a strict time frame.

Self-employed drivers can be paid as little as 45p per package.

This means that a driver would have to deliver more than 100 packages per day to earn the National Living Wage of £ 7.83 per hour (based on an 8-hour service with lunch break). Some drivers would then have to pay for petrol, car insurance and vehicle wear.

Through the cat flap: another Amazon customer shared a photo of her cat flap that was broken when a deliverer forced a too large package through it

Through the cat flap: another Amazon customer shared a photo of her cat flap that was broken when a deliverer forced a too large package through it

Through the cat flap: another Amazon customer shared a photo of her cat flap that was broken when a deliverer forced a too large package through it

Others say that they do not get paid for parcels that they have to return to the depot for re-delivery. This is why many packages leave in unsafe locations when no one is at home, instead of losing money.

With online giant Amazon that delivers the same day in many cities the same day, this is the intention to be popular with last-minute shoppers.

The retailer uses a range of delivery firms, including Hermes, Royal Mail and DPD, as well as small businesses through its Amazon Logistics department.

It also has Amazon Flex, where anyone with their own vehicle can sign up for delivery services and earn £ 12 to £ 15 per hour.

Who is to blame if everything goes wrong

When you order online, your contract is with the seller and not with the delivery company.

This means that it is the shopkeeper's responsibility to rectify things if there is a problem.

If items are damaged or stolen and the seller can not prove that they have arrived safely or stayed in a suitable place, they must give you a refund. It is up to them to prove that you have received the product, not the other way around, so always ask for proof of delivery.

Packages left outside your ownership do not count as delivered unless you say they can be left there. So if an item is stolen or damaged, you can request a refund.

But if you leave instructions for the delivery company to leave a package with the neighbors and later claim not to have received it, you may have trouble getting back the money if the courier can prove that they have left it there. Choose sensible delivery points.

It is a general misconception that unless you open the package and check the goods on delivery, you can not return them.

The Consumer Rights Act states that you have 30 days to return damaged or defective items to receive a full refund.

If your order does not arrive within a reasonable time, for example if the company has estimated three days and it lasted two weeks, you can cancel.

If the seller said that goods would arrive on time before Christmas and show them up late, they are in default and can request a refund.

In some cases, you may also receive compensation if you have not done any work for a package that has never arrived.

Packages dumped on thresholds

Ceri Williams, 23, a physiotherapy student from Uxbridge, West London, came home to find an Amazon package with a £ 15 porcelain piggy bank for a friend's birthday, on her driveway in full view of the street.

Ceri says: & # 39; It makes me nervous, because I do a lot of my Christmas shopping online and more valuables are delivered. & # 39; A mother came home and discovered that a package had been left in front of her door in full view of the road.

It contained a Christmas present for her eight-year-old son, a £ 80 & # 39; MorfBoard & # 39; – a scooter with a removable handlebar that means it can turn into a skateboard.

She says: & # 39; Left of my house is a small passage that can not be seen from the street. It just lacks common sense. & # 39;

And Chris Garner, 33, a financial manager of Peterborough, was stunned to find sunscreen packages and other holiday items bought at the sidewalk at Amazon with the doormat draped over it. He says: & # 39; To think that this seemed to be a safe place. Laying the doormat over the package was laughable. & # 39;

Over the fence: Rhianne Keen from Somerset, found parcels with craft material that were bought on Amazon across her lawn. She assumes the driver had thrown them over the fence

Over the fence: Rhianne Keen from Somerset, found parcels with craft material that were bought on Amazon across her lawn. She assumes the driver had thrown them over the fence

Over the fence: Rhianne Keen from Somerset, found parcels with craft material that were bought on Amazon across her lawn. She assumes the driver had thrown them over the fence

Receptionist Amy Edgar, 25, was home in Aberdeen when the back support that her friend Ross MacNab (29) ordered from Amazon arrived.

But she says the driver has not knocked and instead left the package outside.

When she ventured into the rain, she found it in a parking garage next to the house, where it had been blown by strong winds.

She says: & # 39; The box fell apart. It is just pure laziness. It is not the first time this has happened. & # 39;

Meanwhile, student Tom Parry (29 years old) from Eastrington, East Riding of Yorkshire ordered £ 55 protein shakes and nutritious snacks – just to let them get lost in the rain by a Yodel driver.

He says: & # 39; By the time I got home, the inside content was damp.

About fences – and by cat flaps

Video images from security cameras have even captured the delivery drivers. Chrissa Wadlow, 37, or Derby, examined recordings of her camera after she came home to find packages with fragile Christmas balls and clothes on her driveway.

She was upset when the video showed that a Hermes driver slid her packages over a high gate.

A clip from CCTV, made by Neil Adams from Hertfordshire, shows a Yodel deliverer who throws 50ft into his garden – despite the fact that his wife was at home at the time and the gate was open.

Rhianne Keen, 25, an author from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, found packages with artisan material that were bought on Amazon scattered over her lawn. She assumes the driver had thrown them over the fence.

Many drivers complain that they are under enormous pressure to achieve targets and will lose revenue if they do not unload all their packages within strict time frame.

Many drivers complain that they are under enormous pressure to achieve targets and will lose revenue if they do not unload all their packages within strict time frame.

Many drivers complain that they are under enormous pressure to achieve targets and will lose revenue if they do not unload all their packages within strict time frame.

Another Amazon shopper who did not want to give a name, shared a photo of her cat flap that had been broken when a deliverer forced a too large package through.

And an Amazon package even ended up in a toilet after the deliverer threw it through an open bathroom window.

Jade Elliott, 26, returned to her home in Matlock, Derbyshire, to find a delivery note from Hermes who said her £ 50 thermometer had been delivered.

The mother of two eventually found it out of the toilet. Hermes apologized later.

Martyn James, of Resolver, says: "At Christmas on the horizon, online stores will send unrivaled numbers of packages. But they have the responsibility to handle the goods of customers carefully – not just leave them at thresholds. By leaving them in sight, you can show criminals that your house is empty. & # 39;

Theft and false signatures

When Nick Eustace, 41, from Oxford ordered treats for his cat from Amazon, he asked to leave the package behind a side gate out of sight.

Instead, it was left in front of his door and stolen before he came home. Amazon has paid him back, but Nick, himself a deliverer, says: & # 39; It is frustrating and it has happened before. & # 39;

Sarah Atherton, 34, public affairs officer from Dunbar, East Lothian, had a message from Hermes to say that the smell of Chanel she ordered online was left in her porch when she was working.

She says: & # 39; I was worried because I do not have a porch. When I sent Hermes an e-mail, they told me it was signed in my name. It must be forged. & # 39;

Hermes could not trace her package, but Sarah received a replacement at The Fragrance Shop.

Amazon offers the same day delivery in many cities until Christmas Eve, this is the intention to be popular with last-minute shoppers

Amazon offers the same day delivery in many cities until Christmas Eve, this is the intention to be popular with last-minute shoppers

Amazon offers the same day delivery in many cities until Christmas Eve, this is the intention to be popular with last-minute shoppers

Master student Benjamin Gulliford, 23, from Nottingham, was also out when Hermes claimed that he had signed for his eBay package.

When he checked his online Hermes account, he saw that someone had forged his signature.

When he got home, he thought the package with a Power Rangers figure had been left at the front door for his cousin's birthday.

And Kerry Millhouse, 36, from Redhill, Surrey, claims that a Hermes driver also made up her signature, and left a £ 50 package of clothes from Debenhams at her door.

A spokesman for Hermes says: & apologies for any inconvenience. Our Fair Pay policy is aimed at ensuring that couriers can earn at least £ 9.10 per hour (after all legitimate expenses) in the course of the year, which is higher than the National Living Wage.

• If couriers believe that their package rates do not allow them to earn this, they can request a rate revision at any time. & # 39; Hermes now has a system where drivers take a picture of the package to prove that they have left it in a safe place.

An Amazon spokesperson says: & # 39; We take every case seriously if a customer does not receive the service he expects.

We do everything we can to ensure that the people who are contracted by our independent delivery service providers are fairly compensated, treated with respect, follow all applicable laws and driving instructions and drive safely. & # 39;

A Yodel spokesman says: & # 39; We are very sorry that in these cases our drivers have not followed our safe place guidelines and we would like to apologize to all our customers whose packages may have been left in a wrong place. & # 39;

He adds that Yodel uses both self-employed and salaried drivers and our rates are often higher than many of our competitors.

moneymail@dailymail.co.uk

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