On 31 July last year the UK Statement of Principles on Parcel Deliveries, developed through collaboration between Citizens Advice and the British Retail Consortium, was published. The Principles set out best practice for businesses, such as parcel delivery firms, on how they can ensure fair delivery prices, consumers can obtain delivery cost information upfront and get clear directions to the terms and conditions. This will help consumers to be better informed about online retailers’ pricing policies in particular with regard to delivering to consumers in remote communities. The Statement of Principles is available on the Citizens Advice website: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/scotland/news/whats_new_sep14_statement_of_principles_for_parcel_deliveries_now_covers_the_uk.htm.
If a consumer has a problem with a parcel delivery firm they can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or through their website (https://www.adviceguide.org.uk) which offers a free service on how consumers can proceed with their complaints.
Citizens Advice provides guidance on what consumers can do if they suffer delivery problems. This advice can be found on their website: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e/consumer_common_problems_with_products_e/consumer_problems_with_delivery_e.htm.
In addition, the Consumer Rights Bill which is currently before Parliament, will clarify and enhance consumer rights and remedies when contracting with traders for the provision of services, such as parcel delivery firms. This will make it clear for the first time that if traders breach the rights set out in the Bill, the trader is required to re-perform the service to bring it up to scratch or failing that offers a reduction in price. We have been working closely with consumer groups, including Citizens Advice, to develop an effective publicity campaign, including the use of social media to raise consumers’ awareness of these new rights. The Citizens Advice website will be updated by 1 October 2015 when the Bill is anticipated to come into force.