Thursday, 7 Dec 2023

Evri and Yodel named as Britain's 'worst' couriers in new survey

Britain’s ‘worst’ online couriers named and shamed: Full list of parcel firms including Evri and Yodel providing a ‘miserable’ service

  • New league table of delivery services shows none are achieving top marks
  • Have YOU had a delivery nightmare? Email: [email protected] 

Britain’s ‘worst’ parcel firms have been named and shamed in a new league table – though the charity behind the survey says even the country’s ‘best’ couriers are providing a ‘miserable’ service.

Citizens Advice has published its annual league table of delivery companies’ performance based on the views of thousands of Brits, which has seen Evri – formerly known as Hermes – and Yodel take the bottom spots.

They each scored two out of a possible five stars, while even the two best performing firms – Royal Mail and Amazon – could only score 2.75, suggesting the UK’s courier companies aren’t delivering on customer satisfaction.

Citizens Advice believes that 13.3 million people, 34 per cent of consumers, have experienced delivery problems in the last month ranging from parcels being left in insecure locations to packages arriving late.

And of those who experienced an issue, nearly half (43 per cent) had a further issue when they tried to resolve the problem, and more than half found it difficult to do so. This was more likely to be the case where customers had a disability.

Amazon and Royal Mail came top of the table, scoring 2.75 out of a possible five stars, while Yodel and Evri could only score two stars each

Evri – which rebranded from Hermes in March 2022 – was named as one of the UK’s ‘worst’ performing parcel delivery firms

Evri finished joint bottom alongside delivery firm Yodel. Both firms scored two out of a possible five stars in the Citizens Advice league table

Amazon came joint first in the league table alongside Royal Mail. It runs a huge network of ‘fulfilment centres’ across the country (pictured: an Amazon warehouse in Peterborough)

Royal Mail tied for the top spot in the Citizens Advice survey – but scored badly on delivery problems and helping customers with disabilities

Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, says shoppers are being ‘let down’ by ‘substandard’ services for the third year running

And the charity says it has seen no improvements in performance since its last survey, with problems remaining ‘far too high across the board’. 

Its webpage for advice on missing parcels has been visited 220,000 times in the last year, a 78 per cent rise on 2019. It wants regulator Ofcom – which regulates postal services – to introduce the threat of enforcement, such as fines.

Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: ‘For the third year running our league table reveals online shoppers are being let down by a substandard delivery service. 

READ MORE: Do you live in one of the UK’s ‘porch pirate’ hotspots? Interactive map shows where thieves hit the most to steal deliveries left on doorsteps 

‘This is an issue we feel has been neglected for far too long. We continue to hear from consumers that are chasing up lost, late or damaged parcel deliveries.

‘It’s become an unfair and at times, costly burden to bear. With a seasonal surge of deliveries on the horizon, parcel companies must take action to protect shoppers and get to the root cause of these persistent failings.’

The league table compiled by the charity scores each firm on the price it charges as well as how often people report issues, and whether the firms accommodate special requests from parcel recipients with disabilities.

Firms were also ranked on their customer service, how much they are trusted by consumers, and how much CO2 is emitted on average per parcel dropped off, based on self-declared emissions figures published by all firms except Amazon.

Amazon and Royal Mail, meanwhile, scored highly on customer service and trust, but scored little better than DPD, Yodel and Evri on delivery issues. 

Four in 10 Yodel customers reported issues, with more than a third of DPD and Evri customers also experiencing problems.

Earlier this month, the Post Office announced that it was linking up with Evri and DPD to offer their parcel services as a direct alternative to the Royal Mail.

Customers who walk up to Post Office counters with their packages will be able to choose from the French and German-owned firms rather than Britain’s postal service, which began the process of privatisation a decade ago.

The delivery firms have also fired back on the Citizens Advice survey, claiming to be more reliable and better at handling disputes than has been claimed. 

Evri said it has undertaken ‘significant investment’ and to have listened to customer feedback to improve services.

Chief customer officer Chris Ashworth said: ‘We have invested more than £130 million to improve our UK operations in the last two years with 99% of the 730 million parcels we handle annually delivered on time.

‘We are the only parcel delivery company to mandate proof of delivery photos for every parcel and our AI-enabled Parcel Vision provides direct feedback to couriers on the quality of images or if a parcel appears to be in an unsafe location.’

An Amazon spokesman said: ‘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.’

The league table, as published by Citizens Advice, rated firms on their customer service, pricing, trust, consideration for disabilities and even their carbon emissions

Royal Mail says its recent woes have been exacerbated by strike action (pictured: cages of parcels stacking up at a Bristol sorting office during December 2022’s strike action)

Britain’s postal network is more diverse than ever – the Post Office now allows customers to choose whether to send parcels via the Royal Mail, DPD and Evri (pictured left to right: Neveed, Mark and Amos, employees of DPD, the Post Office and Evri, launching the service)

Citizens Advice estimates that 13 million people have experienced problems with parcels being left in insecure locations in the last month (stock image)

A Royal Mail spokesman said: ‘We are pleased to come joint first of Citizens Advice’s parcels league table. 

‘We are working hard to further improve our quality of service and continuing to introduce more convenient options for customers to access our services, including automatic redelivery and safe place delivery preferences.

‘We understand the importance of meeting the needs of disabled customers and since this survey was carried out. We have introduced an option for households to register their accessibility needs for parcel deliveries or collections via Parcel Collect.’

READ MORE: Royal Mail fined £5.6m by Ofcom for delivery target failures 

Yodel said: ‘We welcome feedback and invest heavily to continuously improve our service. However, this report is not reflective of our own parcel data, which indicates that 98.7% of the 200 million parcels we handled over the last 12 months were delivered correctly on the first attempt.’

The league table comes hot on the trail of a £5.6million fine for Royal Mail from Ofcom after it failed to meet delivery targets for first and second class post last year.

Posties only managed to deliver 73.7 per cent of first class mail on time – against a 93 per cent target. Ofcom, while levying the fine, has suggested the publicly traded delivery firm is still recovering from the pandemic.

Royal Mail also said that 18 days of strike action had affected its performance. Its owner, FTSE-listed International Distribution Services, reported a £319m half-year loss this morning. 

The news of poor parcel service comes after MailOnline revealed some of the country’s hotspots for so-called ‘porch piracy’ – where opportunistic thieves nab packages left on doorsteps for themselves, often in broad daylight.

Data obtained from police forces via freedom of information requests showed that some police force regions received three reports of parcel theft a day on average in the year to August 2023.

The problem is at its worst in the run up to Christmas, and experts believe it is worsening as people return to the office, missing deliveries – prompting calls for couriers to offer collection services as an alternative to doorstep drop-offs.

Earlier this year a man and a woman were caught on camera in Holland Park stretching through a locked gate to drag a Victoria’s Secret package across the ground before wrenching it over the fence. 

In September, Amazon customer Ben Palmer watched via his doorbell camera as a man brazenly ran to his doorstep, picked up packages and ran away.

Mr Palmer said at the time: ‘I thought it was brave that someone in broad daylight would do that. That they would jump out of a van and steal a parcel like that.’

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