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Postal Complaints: Improving the complaints experience for consumers

This policy report summarises findings and recommendations from our research into the complaints process for post and parcel companies. 

CAS commissioned interviews with a number of delivery companies, and found that many are falling behind the Universal Service Provider Royal Mail when it comes to consumer complaints procedures.

We found that 77% of consumers in Scotland look for a company’s complaints policy on its website, but the majority of the companies surveyed do not meet this requirement, with only 2 out of the 9 having polices on their website.

The report also reveals that 90% of Scottish adults think it’s important for the operator to be contactable by email, and 83% want to have the option of a dedicated phoneline to ensure they are not kept on hold when making a complaint.

Despite this some companies either don’t offer a dedicated service or intentionally make it difficult for consumers to contact them via telephone.

The report also found that young people in Scotland are most likely to think complaining can be complicated, at (62 per cent compared to 44 per cent of consumers as a whole) and that it could take a long time (68% compared to 45% of all consumers).

In our report we are asking post and parcel operators to review their complaints procedures, looking specifically at how they can make their complaints processes more visible, transparent and easy to use. We are keen to work with them in partnership with other consumer groups to encourage best practice.

CAS has worked with Citizens Advice (England and Wales) and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland to develop Best Practice uidance, which we are sending to operators. This is also available to download below.

We are also calling for Ofcom to review and strengthen consumer protection conditions to bring operators in line with Royal Mail, to ensure consistency across the sector.

Publication date
December 2019
Publication type