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Citizens Advice East Herts marks National Consumer Week with parcel advice

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Delivery problems have become part and parcel of lockdown life, according to Citizens Advice (CA) East Herts.

As a result, this National Consumer Week (November 16-22) the charity is seeking to inform residents about their rights.

CA has found that 45% of adults in the South East have had an issue with parcel delivery since the country first went into lockdown in March.

At the same time, over half (51%) feel more reliant on parcel deliveries as a result of the pandemic, with 97% of people in the region saying they had ordered a parcel since March.

Late arrival was the biggest problem faced by consumers in the South East, with 26% reporting this issue.

Laura Hyde, chief executive of Citizens Advice East Herts, said: "Parcel delivery has been a lockdown lifeline for so many of us in the South East this year. It's helped us turn our homes into makeshift offices, send gifts to those we love and miss, and get hold of essentials and the occasional luxury.

"With the current restrictions in place, parcels will continue to be vital. So it's not good enough that so many people are having issues. And it's especially worrying that the number of people who don't know their rights if something goes wrong is so high.

"With the festive season coming up, it's important to remember that it's the seller's responsibility – not yours or the courier's – to make sure the item gets to you.

"As we all turn to shopping online more, it's important people feel confident that they can shop safely and securely from home."

Citizens Advice East Herts' top tips to help people shop safely and securely from home

  • Check delivery policies – Before you place an order, find out what the delivery times, costs and returns policies are of the items you have ordered.
  • If you're out during delivery – Consider asking a neighbour or friend if it can be delivered to their address if you think it may be a time or date you are not home. But beware, if you do provide details of a safe space or nominated neighbour and something goes wrong, it’s not the seller's or courier’s responsibility.
  • Online trader or online marketplace? – Make sure you know if you're dealing with a trader or a private seller on an online marketplace as dispute processes may vary. If you have an issue with a trader, a dispute can be raised directly with them, but if it’s a private individual it may be easier to go through a marketplace’s dispute process.
  • Review traders – Check and review if the trader is genuine. It's always worth taking a look at reviews to gain an insight as to how reliable the company is and how well it deals with missing parcel complaints and refunds.
  • Who to deal with when a parcel goes missing – Your purchase contract is with the seller. If your parcel goes missing, you should speak to the trader to deal with the problem, not the courier company.

For more information see https://citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk/.

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