More than half of people who shopped online over last year’s Christmas period had a problem with delivery, according to research by consumer group Which?

Some complained their parcels had been left in the bin (7%), were thrown over a fence (4%) or vanished after being left with a neighbour (2%).

One shopper revealed their dog found their parcel, while another reported their item had been taken away by binmen after being left in the recycling bin.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: “Problems with our deliveries really can be a nightmare before Christmas, causing added stress at a busy time of year.

“If you face a delivery issue, remember that you have rights and should contact the retailer as soon as possible to have your problem solved.”

The survey of 2,095 UK adults found that 90% of people now buy at least one item online at Christmas, while just over half (51%) buy five or more.

Some 58% of those asked said they experienced a delivery problem over the Christmas period last year.

Almost a quarter (24%) said they faced failed deliveries, while around one in 10 (11%) reported that a parcel had been left outside their door without having given prior consent.

When asked about specific problems, one shopper said their dog found the parcel and was running around with it, adding: “Luckily he was spotted, and the item removed before he buried it.”

Another complained: “Delivery drivers often leave items in bins. I even had a laptop left in there once.”

Around three in 10 people (29%) said they received a delivery earlier than expected, which while could be seen as a positive, can potentially cause problems for those who have made arrangements to be at home at the time of the expected arrival.