People sending and receiving parcels in the UK should be treated more fairly by delivery companies, under new protections proposed by Ofcom today.

More than ten million parcels are delivered on an average day in the UK. Most deliveries are problem-free, and customers’ overall satisfaction is high. But when things go wrong, customers often encounter problems.

Ofcom has found that almost two thirds (64%) of customers have experienced problems with deliveries in the last three months.

Around a quarter of senders find it difficult to make a complaint, or to contact parcel operators, when their delivery goes wrong. Two in five say their complaints are only partially resolved, while almost one in ten are left with their complaint completely unresolved.

Ofcom also suggests an inconsistent level of service across the industry: customers’ satisfaction scores on complaints handling range from just 29% for one operator to 71% for another.

They are proposing new guidance requiring all parcel firms to tighten up their complaints handling and also plan to require better protections for disabled customers, who are almost 50% more likely to experience significant problems with parcel deliveries.

Under existing rules, all postal operators must have a simple and transparent complaints process in place.

Now Ofcom intend to set additional guidance, under which customers must be told who to contact, and what channels they can use to make a complaint, told what the complaint process will be, and how long it will take to resolve and be dealt with by staff who have received appropriate training.

They are also proposing a new requirement for parcel firms to establish, publish and comply with clear and effective policies and procedures for the fair treatment of disabled customers. This includes ensuring that disabled customers can communicate their delivery needs to the parcel operator, and setting out how couriers will meet those needs when delivering parcels.

“If we do not see substantial improvements in customer service and complaints handling, we will consider enforcement action or further regulation.” says the regulator


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