Delivery drivers are using missed delivery notes to avoid dropping off packages over the busy festive period, a new survey has found.

A quick scour of Twitter is likely to reveal a torrent of complaints from angry online shoppers who have received “sorry we missed you” notes, despite the fact they were at home waiting for their parcel. 

Now, a study by consumer group Which? has confirmed that nine per cent of people were in fact given missed delivery notes last Christmas, when no attempt was made by the driver in the first place. 


In fact, of the 2,095 people surveyed during last year’s festive period, more than half – 58 per cent – had experienced some sort of issue with online deliveries. 

Even when the packages did get delivered, many were often found in strange places.

The research found that seven per cent of people reported finding their parcels in an outside bin, four per cent said it had been chucked over a hedge or fence, and 13 per cent reported that it had been left with a neighbour without their consent.

One customer said that their delivery was “dumped in my recycling bin and in my neighbour’s shed.”

Another described how their delivery “had been left with a neighbour that I don’t get on with so was awkward when I had to collect it”, while one shopper revealed that after a parcel was thrown over the fence, their “dog found it and was running around with it. Luckily he was spotted and the item removed before he buried it!”.

Despite these complications, online shopping during the Christmas period remains a popular option with nine in ten people opting to buy at least one item online and 51 per cent buying five items or more.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: “Problems with our deliveries really can be a nightmare before Christmas, causing added stress at a busy time of year.

”If you face a delivery issue, remember that you have rights and should contact the retailer as soon as possible to have your problem solved.“

The consumer group has also issued a reminder to those ordering online that they are protected under consumer guidance law.

If a parcel fails to turn up, you should complain to the retailer first.

Then, if the retailer fails to put the situation right and get your order delivered within a reasonable time, you are entitled to a full refund.

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