With the last Christmas-delivery dates looming, one in ten men admit to leaving their Christmas shopping until the week before Christmas.
In a survey of online shoppers, Which? has found that 70% of women said they began their Christmas shopping before December, with one in seven having started in the summer and a few even starting as early as the end-of-year sales the year before.
Meanwhile, a third of men said they would start their Christmas shopping in December, with one in ten only planning to hit the shops in the week before Christmas and on Christmas Eve.
Leaving things to the last minute comes with a risk: a third of the online shoppers we surveyed told us that they experienced a problem with their online deliveries.
If you’re sweating on a last-minute Christmas delivery, our guides to your delivery rights can help.
Last postal dates and your delivery rights
Alex Neill, managing director of Home and Legal at Which?, said: ‘If you’re planning to shop online this Christmas to avoid the high street rush, do your research on last postal dates and brush up on your delivery rights in case something goes wrong.
‘Knowing who to speak to and what you’re entitled to will save you time and, hopefully, prevent you from being left empty-handed this Christmas.’
Seven key delivery rights
Whether you’re yet to start your Christmas shopping or just have a few last-minute online purchases left, make sure you’re aware of your online delivery rights so that you’re in the know should something go wrong. Which? Consumer Rights sums up seven of your key delivery rights:
1. If your package is late: the Consumer Rights Act says your package should be delivered within 30 days, unless a different time period is formally agreed, such as next-day or express delivery. Nearly half of the people we surveyed didn’t know that they should contact the retailer for a full refund if they agreed a delivery time and their package didn’t arrive.
2. If your package is damaged: if your order gets damaged in transit, any damage or breakage en route is the responsibility of the shop you bought the item from – so go there first, rather than the delivery company. A third of those we surveyed didn’t know that they should contact the retailer in these circumstances.
3. If your package is left outside and stolen: if your package is left on the doorstep, without instructions to do so, and is stolen, you can argue that the company is in breach of contract and should redeliver your item.
4. If your package was left with a neighbour who claims that they don’t have it: if your package is left with a neighbour without you having given instructions to do so, you can argue that the company is in breach of contract and that you are due a replacement. Three in five people we surveyed didn’t know this.
5. If you change your mind: if you’ve made an online purchase, you have 14 days from the date of delivery of the item to get a full refund, including postage.
6. Signing for your package: you’ll usually be asked to sign to accept your delivery. We say it’s always a good idea to write ‘Goods received but not inspected’ on the card or electronic device, in case you do find problems with your item when you open it.
7. If you post a package but it turns up late: if you’ve sent a package that turns up late, then you’re due compensation, but this will vary according to the length of the delay, the courier and the type of delivery you paid for. Check the compensation entitlements before you choose a delivery option.
- Do you know your Christmas shopping rights?
- Do you know your shopping rights? – take the test
- Use our faulty-goods complaint tool to get a refund, repair or replacement