1. ITV Report

Secrets of Your Online Shop - Tonight

Secrets of Your Online Shop will be on ITV at 7:30pm on Thursday 26th April Photo: ITV/Tonight

ITV Tonight can reveal exclusive secret filming that shows how your precious online purchase might be badly handled.

At a Hermes depot in the South East of England, parcels, large or small, can been seen to be thrown at distance, onto what appears to be a hard concrete floor.

A whistleblower, whose identity we are protecting, report Ranvir Singh:

“People will have suspicions their parcels are mistreated and this will confirm it...It’s all about volume, not how your parcels are treated, and they’re your parcels. You know full well they are damaged and open and they’ll just say, ‘oh well just deliver it’.”

– 'John', Whistleblower

In February, around the same time this footage was recorded, a poster put up outside the delivery station.

It read, ‘due to yet more parcels going missing yesterday stepping up at depot’.

The ex-courier told ITV Tonight: “You get to learn what the expensive and the least valuable items are.”

The programme looks at what your consumer rights are if your parcel is neither sign, sealed or delivered.

Hermes UK who deliver over 200 million parcels a year for big-names like Next, JD Williams and Debenhams has apologised.

“Following a regular audit at the start of the year we became aware of a number issues at a small sub depot where this footage was filmed.
As a result we immediately brought in new management and undertook onsite daily compliance reviews. We are pleased to say that the depot is now operating to a high standard.”

– Hermes
Online shopping is a multi-billion pound industry that’s only getting bigger Credit: ITV/Tonight

Online shopping is a multi billion pound business in the UK, with drivers delivering three billion parcels a year, a figure set to double in the next five years.

But complaints are also on the up.

In 2017/18 the consumer website Resolver received 12,069 complaints following poor parcel deliveries.

This was up by a third from 4,407 the previous year 2016/17.

The most common problems were, parcel not arrived, at home but no delivery and late arrival of goods.

Consumer champion Kate Hardcastle spends increasing amounts of time advising people on their rights.

“There’s so much confusion out there...Understand your contract sits with the retailer, and that’s who you need to refer back to. I would make sure that I screenshot any conversations that I’ve had, keep copies of any emails, make sure that I’m aware of my rights, and, if possible, you know, try and deal with reputable companies.”

– Kate Hardcastle, consumer expert
Reporter Ranvir Singh gets Kate Hardcastle's top tips Credit: ITV/Tonight

Tonight asked the body that represents retailers, The British Retail Consortium, what they thought about the current delivery industry and they said they “don’t comment on their members’ commercial relationships with their suppliers”.

Thousands of parcels are delivered in the UK every day with no issues.

“The UK’s logistics industry is probably recognised as being the best in the world. There’s two point eight billion parcels a year being delivered, so, the actual number of deliveries where something does go wrong is actually really small.”

– Mark Cartwright is Head of Van, The Freight Transport Association
  • Secrets of Your Online Shop will be on ITV at 7:30pm on Thursday 26th April

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