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Watch out for Red Monday! The Black Friday delivery day sending couriers into meltdown

Customers to be left playing hide and seek once again after parcels are left in crazy places.

As another Black Friday descends upon us, online shoppers have revealed the weirdest and most perplexing places couriers have left their purchases.

From expensive purchases being left in wheelie bins (on bin day, naturally) to gifts being left under the wheels of a car, it seems everybody has a shocker of a tale to tell about their internet shopping experience.

And with this week’s Black Friday set to send Britain’s couriers into overdrive, Yorkshire-based security company CCTV.co.uk says it’s Red Monday that will prove problematic – the day that thousands of purchases arrive at people’s homes while they’re out at work.

“Like it or not, Black Friday’s made its way over from America, and everybody’s looking for a bargain,” says CCTV.co.uk spokesperson Jonathan Ratcliffe, “And most of the best offers are online, which leads to the problem of where to send your delivery.”

It’s inevitable, then, that millions of pounds worth of purchases will be left on people’s doorsteps on Monday. In many cases, it’s up to the ingenuity of the courier (or lack of it) to find a safe place for these goods.

And not every delivery ends well, as people surveyed by CCTV.co.uk told us:

  • Ed, London: “I’m not allowed to have personal items sent to work, so imagine my surprise when I got home in the evening to find the card on my doorstep saying my £300 prescription sunglasses were in the wheelie bin. It was bin day.”
  • Julia, Leeds: “They hid a brand new phone under the wheel of the car on our driveway. Of course my husband got in the car and drove over it…”
  • Simon, Norwich: “Bless him for trying, but coming home and finding our new wide-screen TV ‘hidden’ under the doormat was the funniest thing I have ever seen. But it worked – nobody stole it!”
  • Josie, Cardiff: “I got a bargain laptop in last year’s Black Friday. Come the Monday, I had a card through the door saying ‘Package over back gate’ – the only problem being our gate is about eight feet high with concrete on the other side. Go on – guess.”
  • Anwar, Birmingham: “I bought a load of DVD box sets last year, and was told the parcels had been left with the neighbours at no.38. Trouble is, 38 has been empty for like a year, so heaven knows who got them!”
  • John, Eastbourne: “I’ll never forget the time they left my Amazon book order (and I quote) ‘In the barrel round the side of your house’. I think you’ll find that’s the water butt! Nothing expensive, but completely ruined, and I got a full refund.”

CCTV.co.uk’s Jonathan Ratcliffe says that it’s important to specify a safe space for your goods to mitigate the chances of them going missing. Or better still, make arrangements with a friendly neighbour who you know will be able to look after your purchases when they arrive.

“However, that’s not always possible,” he says, “So you might want to take advantage of the numerous locker services and in-store pick-up points that are making people’s lives much less of a lottery when it comes to online shopping.”

But these cautionary tales shouldn’t put people off shopping online. We Brits spent £114 billion last year over the internet, and that’s expected to rise to £125 billion this year.

“The huge majority of deliveries get through,” says Ratcliffe. “So shop with confidence, but be wary of Red Monday!”

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