Ordering gifts online seems like an easy way to shop – until you get to the delivery. With online ordering increasing to 9.1% of Holiday shopping, naturally shipping those orders has increased as well making those gifts very attractive to those package pirates.
More than half of Americans say they know someone who's had a package stolen from outside their home, and 30% say they've experienced it themselves, according to a new survey by Xfinity Home, Comcast’s home security service.
Of the nearly one-third of shoppers who'd had a package stolen, last week's Xfinity Home survey found city dwellers experienced 42% of thefts. That compared with 26% in the suburbs and 19% in rural areas the survey, conducted by market research firm Wakefield Research, found.
Worries about theft are holding some back. A survey by Shorr Packaging Corp. this year found that 41% of respondents don't buy certain things online because they’re afraid the packages will get stolen, with electronics being at the top of the list.
In Houston, police on several occasions have used surveillance footage to track serial package thieves.
Spokeswoman Jodi Silva said they’ve had instances of thieves “going from house to house to house. They may be following a UPS truck. They’ll just jump out, see if there was a delivery and grab it,” she said.
Preventing packages from being stolen involves a good deal of planning and scheduling, but it’s worth doing, especially if you’re craving a little peace of mind over the holidays. Here are some things you can do to safeguard your holiday bundles:
Send your packages to your office address
While it may not be the most convenient location and requires you to carry the package home, at least you know that gift will be safe.
Schedule delivery for a time or day when you know you’ll be home
Carriers such as UPS and FedEx require an additional fee to schedule such delivery windows (though UPS My Choice Premium members receive two free requests with their annual subscription). The United States Postal Service doesn't offer that service, but will allow you to schedule a redelivery time if you missed your delivery.
Request a signature
The AARP found in a 2015 survey that more than 40 percent of holiday shoppers didn’t know that package delivery companies are not responsible for stolen packages that are left at your front door without requiring a delivery signature. If you require a signature from major carriers, including UPS, FedEx and the USPS, you can at least be reasonably sure the delivery person won’t leave your package sitting on your doorstep unattended.
Redirect packages for delivery at the shipping company’s closest location
FedEx offers a similar service. You can also reroute your packages or customize delivery options using the FedEx Delivery Manager.
Enlist friends and families for help
If you have a trusted, stay-at-home neighbor this could be a great choice. With the easy of tracking packages in this electronic age, you can give your neighbor a heads up about the projected arrival time. Spread a little Holiday Cheer and a big thanks for their services.
Dean and Draper
We want to help you avoid the Grinch this holiday and hope that our tips will be helpful. When you have questions about your insurance, we welcome your call.
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