THOUSANDS of shoppers are worried that their Christmas may be ruined as gifts “go missing” whilst being delivered.
Customers across the country are awaiting deliveries from various retailers as strikes and weather cook up the perfect storm for delays.
Thousands of Royal Mail staff are on strike over a pay dispute, leaving services disrupted as people try to get their Christmas gifts in time.
Workers walked out on December 1, 9 and 30 with further dates planned later this week and over the festive period.
Further delays to deliveries are likely to be seen today due to the snow causing mass chaos on the roads.
Furious shoppers have complained on social media about courier service Evri, formerly Hermes, with some waiting just under three weeks for their orders.
One woman Tweeted: “My order from the 22nd November has finally been declared as lost by @EVRi_Delivery.”
Another wrote: “What the F*** is going on with Evri at the moment cos how am I still waiting for something I ordered on Monday, November 21 with NEXT DAY delivery.
“Please stop holding my parcels hostage.”
The delivery company told The Sun it is “sorry that some customers are experiencing short, localised delays”.
It added that it is experiencing high levels of demand due to Royal Mail strikes.
A spokesperson said: “We are currently delivering more than three million parcels a day, however like others in the sector, we are experiencing some delays to service due to extremely busy Christmas volumes, Royal Mail strikes and staff shortages.
“Our teams across the country are working extremely hard to address any delays and to make sure parcels are delivered before Christmas.
“We thank everyone for their patience and understanding.”
A number of major retailers appear to be experiencing delays with the delivery service, including ASOS, H&M and JD Sports.
One customer wrote: “Genuinely don’t understand why companies like H&M, ASOS use Evri.
“Two parcels currently lost and no updates for over a week.
“Add in Royal Mail strikes, online Christmas shopping is a nightmare.”
Another tagged ASOS and said: “So you choose to use second worst rated delivery company for two years running Evri then you offer and charge consumers for a premier delivery service which I pay, yet my order has been missing since November 26 after two investigations still no update.”
One woman replied saying she was in the same boat: “It’s been 2+ weeks!
“I’m still waiting for my refund as they never managed to send over a replacement.
“I’m absolutely heartbroken as every single of my Asos order was meant to be a Christmas present.”
A JD Sports shopper tweeted the retailer: “The mind boggles with @JDSports as I ordered two items and they separated them.
“Sent one via Yodel which came yesterday and the other with sh***y Evri!
“That’s one item I’m never seeing.”
While another said: “Evri have delivered the second part of my JDSports order but not the first part that was dispatched a day earlier and contains items of pretty high value and a matching item/main Xmas present to the order I have received.
“It’s with courier but no update since Wednesday.”
H&M declined to comment on the delays.
During busy periods, like after Black Friday, ASOS customers may see delays to their deliveries, even if they’ve paid for the premium service.
Details on the retailer’s delivery services can be found on its website.
JD Sports has been contacted for comment and we will update this story when we hear back.
It comes as Citizen’s Advice recently published a report stating that all of the UK’s major parcel firms are continuing to fail customers.
Evri came last with just 1.75 stars in the second annual parcel league table by the organisation.
What are my rights?
Millions of shoppers will be relying on delivery firms to ensure presents they have bought online arrive in time for Christmas.
We’ve outlined your rights if a package you ordered gets lost or arrives late.
Claim against the retailer
If your parcel does not arrive by the date agreed, you can make a claim against the retailer.
And if you didn’t select a particular delivery date or window at checkout, you are entitled to a refund if the item doesn’t show up within 30 days.
When buying online, if there isn’t an option to select a specific delivery date, try to add a note stating “time is of the essence” and that you need it before December 25.
Follow this up with an email asking the company to commit to this timeframe.
It will give you extra refund rights if something goes wrong.
Cancel and rebuy
With anything you buy online or over the phone – apart from items that have been personalised such as with your initials – you have the right to a refund within a 14-day window.
This cooling-off period applies even if there is nothing wrong with your purchase. The clock starts the day after you receive delivery. The only other exception is for electronic items where the seal on the box has been broken.
This can be a useful tool if you know that a delivery is running late and you want to go out and buy a replacement before Christmas Day.
But when refunding you for the item, companies only need to reimburse the cost of the cheapest delivery option. So if you paid for a premium “next day” or “named day” service, you may not get all of your money back.
If your purchase is damaged when it arrives, it is the retailer’s responsibility to then refund you.
Sometimes if you or the courier are in a rush, you might not have time to properly remove the item from its packaging and inspect it before signing.
Most of the time you are just signing to accept delivery rather than confirm the condition of your purchase – but to cover yourself, add “not examined” when you sign.
Pay by credit card
Using a credit card gives you an extra layer of protection, as you can seek a refund from the card company if items are faulty or not delivered as promised.
This is useful, as sometimes when buying online you might end up dealing with a scam company that has no interest in your refund rights.
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