Parcel firms have been slammed by customers with Hermes and Yodel performing the worst in a new league table released by Citizens Advice.
The table, which compares top parcel firms against criteria such as customer service, problems and accessibility, found that no delivery company received more than three out of five stars overall.
It also revealed that DPD scored lowest when consumers were asked if they’d had a problem with their last delivery with two in five customers reporting one.
As a result, Citizens Advice is warning urgent action is needed across the parcel delivery industry.
Parcel firms have been slammed by customers with Hermes and Yodel performing the worst
Online sales have increased 56 per cent from pre-pandemic levels and the charity warns parcel problems have exploded during that time.
Citizens Advice’s online advice guide: ‘if something you ordered hasn’t arrived’ has been viewed almost 160,000 times so far this year, a 69 per cent increase on the same period before the pandemic in 2019.
The top five delivery companies by parcel volume were measured against four criteria including quality of service, accessibility, customer service and trust.
It found that Hermes and Yodel performed the worst, scoring 1.5 and 1.75 stars respectively. Amazon Logistics scored highest, but with just 2.75 stars overall.
Meanwhile, DPD scored lowest when consumers were asked if they’d had a problem with their last delivery.
Some 41 per cent of polled customers polled by Citizens Advice reported a problem with their last delivery, whereas at the top end 32 per cent of Amazon Logistics customers reported an issue.
When trying to resolve issues, 48 per cent of people polled weren’t able to get the help they wanted. This rose to 56 per cent for Yodel and 43 per cent for Amazon Logistics.
Hermes was voted the worst parcel delivery firm by customers, according to Citizens Advice
It also used data from Citizens Advice Consumer Service, consumer polling and social media complaints.
A number of people have contacted the charity to complain about service from parcel firms including one man who received confirmation a pair of headphones he ordered had been delivered to Australia, despite him living in and ordering them to his address in Hertfordshire.
Another man says he was forced to repeat his problem to almost 30 different customer service agents when his parcel worth £150 was stolen.
A woman also contacted the charity after one driver claimed her son’s £350 birthday present had been delivered, even though her CCTV showed them clearly leaving with it.
Now Citizens Advice is calling for stricter rules for parcel companies, better complaints processes, and fines from the regulator, Ofcom, if company negligence leads to parcels getting lost or stolen.
Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: ‘Parcel deliveries became a lockdown lifeline for us all, but the scale of the problems experienced by many of us shows huge cracks in the sector.
‘Even though Amazon Logistics and Royal Mail top the table there’s still significant room for improvement. And Hermes and Yodel need to improve in leaps and bounds to make sure they’re providing a solid service to their customers.
‘While this should be a wake up call for firms to strive to deliver a five-star service for consumers, we have serious reservations about how far companies will improve if left to their own devices.
‘Our findings show it’s time for Ofcom to come forward and introduce tougher rules across the board for delivery companies.’
DPD scored lowest when consumers were asked if they’d had a problem with their last delivery
This is Money has contacted every delivery company mentioned for comment.
An Amazon Logistics spokesperson said: ‘Every day at Amazon, incredible employees and independent delivery partners come together to provide fast, reliable and safe delivery for our customers.
‘The vast majority of deliveries make it to customers without issue. In the rare case something occurs, we work with customers directly to make it right.’
A DPD spokesperson added: ‘We don’t recognise the findings from this survey at all and have raised significant concerns about the methodology directly with Citizens Advice.
‘Our own data shows that over 99.5 per cent of all DPD parcels are delivered right first time.’
Mike Hancox, CEO at Yodel said: ‘We are always striving to better all aspects of our services and welcome consumer feedback.
‘Although these results suggest there are still areas for us to work on, other independent review platforms – such as Trustpilot – show how much our service levels have improved.’
Meanwhile, a Royal Mail spokesperson said: ‘Royal Mail is proud to deliver to over 31million addresses across the UK. With unparalleled reach across the country, our customers continue to put their trust in the knowledge, expertise and reassurance of the Royal Mail brand.
‘We are committed to continuously improving our services as we re-invent the way we deliver to and from our customers.
‘This includes recent improvements such as starting to collect parcels from customers’ homes as well as delivering them, delivering on Sundays, and constantly refining our estimated delivery windows to increase convenience for our customers.’
To create the league table it compared the largest 5 parcel delivery companies (by estimated parcel volumes) in the UK across data from a number of sources.
Hermes is one of the firms that was called out for not helping customers with parcel issues
Top tip to fight parcel delivery issues
Citizens Advice Consumer Expert Jane Parsons gives her top tips to help combat parcel delivery issues:
1. Check delivery information: Before you place an order find out the delivery times, costs and returns policies for the items you want
2. If you’re out of the house during delivery: Consider asking a neighbour or friend if it can be delivered to their address if you think it may be a time or date you’re not home.
But beware, if you do provide details of a safe space or nominated neighbour and something goes wrong it’s not the seller or courier’s responsibility.
3. Online trader or online marketplace? Make sure you know if you are dealing with a trader or a private seller on an online marketplace as dispute processes may vary.
If you have an issue with a trader, a dispute can be raised directly with them, but if it’s a private individual it may be easier to go through a marketplace’s dispute process,
4. Check reviews: It’s always worth taking a careful look at reviews to gain an insight as to how reliable the company is and how well they deal with missing parcel complaints and refunds,
5. Who to deal with when a parcel goes missing: Your purchase and contract is with the seller. If your parcel goes missing you should speak to them to deal with the problem, not the courier company.
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