AS many as 32% of people in Scotland experienced problems with parcel deliveries last year, according to new research by YouGov for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

The most common complaints included lost parcels (21%), items being delayed (17%), items delivered to the wrong place (13%) or receiving cards to say the item could not be delivered when someone was at home at the time (12%).

CAS’s strong communities spokesperson Gillian Fyfe said: “This research shines a spotlight on an industry that is clearly not doing its job. Parcel delivery companies need to see this as a red letter day for them to get their act together.

“Perhaps these findings don’t come as a huge surprise. After all, everyone has their own personal stories of parcels arriving late or damaged, going missing or being left in a neighbour’s hedge. Sadly, a lot of people will have had their Christmas marred by such failures.

“But we are also concerned about the fact that people don’t trust parcel delivery companies to resolve their delivery issues. It’s a basic principle of consumerism that people should be able to complain about poor service. Complaints lead to redress and also drive improvements in the service, so when complaints are not happening, poor service can become the norm.”

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The survey also found that only 34% of people who had experienced a problem reported it or complained to the delivery company. Of those who did, 61% were dissatisfied with the response, with only 21% satisfied.

Ofcom is proposing new guidelines for how parcel operators should handle complaints after its own UK-wide research also demonstrated continuing issues with parcel deliveries.

Fyfe added: “Our research identifies some of the barriers that stop people complaining. These include a lack of confidence that the complaint will be taken seriously and a lack of clarity about how to complain.”