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Posted on February 28th, 2013 by Barry Collins

Your package is in the bin: worst courier ever?

Royal Mail delivery card

I arrived home last night to find this card on my doormat. For those of you unable to read the handwriting, it says “PTK in blue bin”. What PTK stands for, I have no idea, but it was the three words that followed that caused me to utter naughty words. “In blue bin” refers to the recycling wheelie bin that sits on my front drive.

Yes, that’s right. The Royal Mail decided the safest place to leave my expensive box of electronics was in the recycling bin.

Every single courier firm I’ve ever had the displeasure to deal with is chuffing useless

Even if we make the ridiculously generous assumption that the Royal Mail courier knew the binmen didn’t come until Tuesday –  giving me a whole six days to fish my router out of the Coke cans and discarded newspapers – our man in the van had absolutely no idea if I was away on holiday. Not only is there every chance my spanking new router would end up crushed into silicon sawdust, but I’d probably be fined by the council for placing inappropriate items in the recycling bin!

It is, of course, wrong to make sweeping generalisations, so I’ll say only this: every single courier firm I’ve ever had the displeasure to deal with is chuffing useless.

I’m sure you have equally galling stories of courier incompetence, so stick them on the comments below, and we’ll use this as a group therapy session. We might even curate the best stories and turn them into a book – I’ll pop a copy in each of the courier companies’ bins for safe-keeping.

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93 Responses to “ Your package is in the bin: worst courier ever? ”

  1. Andie Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Ordered from Amazon a spanking new 27″ Asus VE series LED monitor. The Courier HDNL/YODEL lost the monitor and what is more were totally ignorant. I actually had to yell at amazon to send me a new monitor. Buuut this time the same courier didnt lose it. F**ing idiots but at least i have an awesome postie !!

  2. Ryan Thomas Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Some personalised mugs and calendars I ordered for Christmas were left – opened – under the communal stairs of a block of flats half a mile from my house, but as it was ‘delivered’ by Yodel I guess I should count myself lucky.

  3. Simon Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Why order something to be delivered when you are not even going to have the decency to be at home to receive said item, most couriers get about 50p per item, and they pay for their own fuel, so coming back with an item because you couldn’t be bothered to be in, costs money. The moral to the story, if you order something make sure it’s delivered on a day when you are home.

  4. Matt Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Middle of winter, parcel from some relatives was left at my back door, in the snow.
    No note was left regarding this, and I found it two days later when I actually used the backdoor and stepped on the package.
    Which, unsurprisingly, was soaked through.

  5. Barijohn Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Ordered some dog food from our usual supplier, hadn’t turned up after a week so rang them. After a while we got told it had been delivered to a different house, 1/4 mile down the road and placed in their recycle bin! Luckily it was still there.

    Oh and Simon, that is fine if they TELL you when it is going to be delivered like DPD, who even text a n expected time on the day, but most don’t.

  6. Dave Faulkner Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I’ve had the Post Office leave both a Kindle (complete with big clue words such as ‘Amazon Kindle’ emblazoned on the box) and an iPod (also from Amazon) on the doorstep. We also had some DVDs left that way. Not that we found them on our doorstep, it was when a neighbour found the ripped-open package on a nearby field. Fortunately the little thugs who had stolen them didn’t share our taste in films.

    However, among the awful Yodels of this world I have to say I’ve had unremittingly excellent service in recent months from DPD as a courier, especially while Chillblast have been sorting out some problems on my desktop PC under warranty. I have no concerns if I know they are delivering.

  7. Ryan Thomas Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:26 am

    @Simon – I work from home so am always here during delivery hours, but that still doesn’t stop the occasional delivery driver turning up to my front door with nothing but a “Sorry you weren’t in” card. I collared one of them once and he admitted he didn’t even have the parcel in his van.

  8. Rowan Parker Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I’ve had something delivered to a blue bin before (was Yodal).

    If you work 9-5 Monday to Friday, what choice do you have?

  9. RichT Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:29 am

    About 12 years ago I ordered a top-end 19in Iiyama CRT monitor. Despite this being in a box the size and weight of your typical household oven, ParcelForce managed to:
    1) lose it for two weeks
    2) deliver it wet
    And by “deliver it wet” I mean the monitor itself was wet, not just the packaging! Needless to say I refused to take delivery. Fortunately Iiyama were equally willing to tear a strip off ParcelForce from their end too.

  10. Paul Ockenden Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Most of the delivery drivers round our way are brilliant! A small note near the bell says it’s OK to leave parcels with any neighbours if we’re not home, and that’s exactly what happens.

    One time a parcel day a “Don’t leave with neighbours” note on it from the sender, so the Yodel driver tried again in the evening, on their way home from the depot!

    So a big thumbs up for the Shoreham-by-Sea Royal Mail team, and also the vast majority of other courier drivers here too.

    So Barry, if you don’t want parcels left in your bin move down to the coast! ;)

  11. Robin White Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:38 am

    HDNL/Yodel are the worst I have ever dealt with. Says your package is out for delivery but it doesn’t arrive.

    If it’s a small item & I am not in and neither are my neighbours then a card through the door to say it’s in the bin is fine by me.

  12. jamesyld Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I once ordered an aluminium flightcase type thing to put all our dvds in. The courier threw it over the back gate into our garden! Luckily it’s quite solid so wasn’t damaged.

    @Simon Really? Not sure if that was a sarcastic comment or not.
    I’ve just ordered a new NAS and it says delivery 2 – 3 days. So I’ll just take 2 days holiday then… I’ve also ordered things online with a delivery of 4 – 5 days that have arrived in 2.

    I always take delivery dates as estimates.

    Does anyone remember You could pay a bit more for an evening delivery, it’s a shame more websites/couriers don’t do the same.

  13. RichT Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I’ve also had issues with CityLink who refused to even attempt delivery to my first flat for two years because “it wasn’t a valid address” (Royal Mail and other couriers seemed to have no such difficulty); and UKMail actually had the balls to complain to me that I was wasting their time when I kept organising redelivery attempts on days when I knew either myself or my flatmate would be in, when it turned out they were attempting to deliver to the wrong street. They finally got it right on the 5th delivery attempt…

  14. Ryan Thomas Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:55 am

    @Paul Ockenden – just don’t move as far along the coast as West Worthing!

  15. Chris Gomez Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I ordered a monitor once on a Thursday with next-day delivery. The truck broke down on the motorway overnight or something, so I didn’t get it on Friday. When I phoned to arrange re-delivery, I was told they wouldn’t deliver it on Saturday because they “don’t do upgrades”.

  16. Andrew Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Once ordered about £1,000 worth of components from ebuyer. The security camera outside caught ParcelForce “delivering” it over my neighbours 7ft fence and into their rock garden. Not sure why they didn’t just ring my doorbell.

  17. Paul Ockenden Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    By the way, PTK is obviously Patek.

    You’ve been ordering expensive watches, haven’t you Barry…

  18. J Gray Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I’m amazed that couriers stay in business losing all that money carting parcels back to their depot and redelivering when no-one is in. John Lewis (when they themselves are delivering – rather than using a courier) let you know which day they are delivering and give you a call to make sure you will be in. This must save them loads of money by not having to redeliver and waste all that fuel. Why other dedicated courier businesses can’t get their head around this, I don’t know!

  19. mr_chips Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Royal Mail couldn’t organise a knees up in a brewery at present. Last month I sent some share certificates special delivery guaranteed by 1pm next day on a Thursday. They got to the destination on Monday afternoon. When I claimed for compensation after following the explicit instructions on the website to wait 4 weeks before claiming, they turned round and said the claim should have been in within 14 days…

  20. james Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I know a crafter who sent an item via the royal mail. The post man lef the item in the bin and it was emptied before the customer got home. The customer wants the item or a refund but the royal mail won’t pay up beacuse it was both delivered leaving the crafter out of pocket.

  21. JohnAHind Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    All the couriers EXCEPT Royal Mail are great around here – so much so that I deliberately avoid online retailers that use RM. Like Ryan I work from home an am usually in, but every time the postman just leaves a card. Then I have to go to a depot two miles away to collect the item, often having to queue for up to half an hour. And you have to leave a whole 48 Hours for the item to get back to said depot (which is only open in the mornings!) There are two post offices within easy walking distance so why cannot they leave items there?

    As for Simon’s ridiculous comment, see the above, but also why cannot these companies be more precise about delivery time? With modern technology it should be possible to text you with the exact time of arrival getting increasingly precise as it gets closer so you can actually stand at the door to make sure they can’t claim you are out!

  22. james Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    “both delivered” should be both delivered and not a recorded item. Cut and pate error.

  23. Neil Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Given the sheer number of deliveries there are bound to be the odd problems but I have lots of deliveries and, so far, no cause to complain.
    Maybe I’ve just been lucky but I have nothing but praise for courier services. The vast majority of items are delivered with stunning efficiency.
    But then, I don’t think I’d be too chuffed if I had a package left in a bin…

  24. Kev Partner Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    My business is on the other side of the fence – having stuff delivered by couriers. Having tried just about all of them, the best of the bunch (for us) has been DPD/Interlink for large consignments.

    Believe it or not, the myHermes ParcelShop service (where you drop it off at your local OneStop or whatever) has been our best performing economy service with a loss/damage rate of only around 1-2%. And they have a compensation scheme which, once you’ve mastered it, means we get our money back each time. Quite how they manage it, I don’t know. They have a diabolical website and feel amateurish to deal with but the service works pretty well and we ship across the UK.

  25. Iain Spowart Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Waited in all day for a delivery of Adobe Creative Suite from Amazon. Was tracking its progress via courier’s website when I was surprised to see it appear back at the warehouse ‘undelivered’. Given that I never left the house I know they didn’t even attempt to delivery it.
    Contacted Amazon, cancelled the order (and my Prime membership) and paid more to download it direct from Adobe.
    Have never bought anything expensive from Amazon since.

  26. JohnAHind Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    And while we are bashing RM, Barry’s sample form is par for the course around here too – what the hell is the point of having a form like this if the postman does not bother to fill it in properly? Of course, leaving out his duty number and the time and date does make it more difficult to hold him to account!

  27. Harry Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    DPD are amazing – you get text messages advising the 1hr delivery window. And they have always arrived within that period. Wish others could do the same!

  28. tech3475 Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:54 pm


    Sometimes though they don’t give you a chance. One time I ordered a router and the deliverer (can’t recall) basically legged it before I got to the door, had to run out and shout and him in his van.

    Now you can’t expect everyone to be by the door all day.

  29. Chris Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Yodel are without a doubt the worst delivery company I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. They drove me to a point where I mounted a Webcam on to the side of my house, with free CCTV software to prove how incompetent their “delivery” driver was.

  30. AlSomething Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    DPD delivered a replacement monitor as the first one was faulty. He was suppose to take the faulty one away with him but couldn’t as it wasn’t on the system! 15 minutes later he returned to pick up the faulty monitor as he rang the depo to complain himself! Good driver, stupid system!

  31. Eddy Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Yep, I had the same thing back in 2011 from Yodel, who left a package in our black (main) bin. Luckily it happened to be empty and relatively clean, and as it wasn’t out for collection it was right next to the front door (which I’m guessing is why they chose it). So it actually happened to be quite handy, but I wouldn’t have fancied fishing it out of there if it had been later in the week :/

    Here’s a photo, if it works:

    DPD do definitely seem to be the best, it’s just a shame Amazon don’t use them more often :/

  32. Eddy Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Sorry, just noticed that was actually Hermes, not Yodel. I think Yodel have just been so terrible with every delivery I’ve (not) had from them, that I automatically assumed that this was them too. LOL

  33. N99123 Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve had a similar experience except rather than leaving it in the bin they’d left it under my car..

  34. Henry Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Never had a problem with couriers. Used DHL and DPD both great at service and delivery.

  35. Ben Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    When I ordered from Scan last year they used DPD. The delivery was supposed to be on a certain morning so I waited in for it but nothing turned up so I went online and tracked the order and it said it was in Germany. I assumed this was something wrong with their computer system but when I rang them up it really was in Germany. It had gone from Lancashire to Somerset via the DPD depot in Dusseldorf! At least they flew it back and I didn’t have to drive out and pick it up. They probably close at 6pm.

  36. Dave Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    City Link attempted to pull the “Recipient was out trick” when the website tracking update changed from “Out for delivery” to “Unable to deliver” without a single knock on the door… A phone call to HP (the sender) pushed it back to “Out for delivery”, but an hour later it was undeliverable again…
    A 2nd irate call got us through to the mobile phone of the courier who asked us for directions to our house, admitting that he got lost on the way – yes we do live on a large street with 100 houses…

  37. Yiannis Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    - Brand new mobile phone sent by T-Mob via RMail.
    - RMail left a “you were out card” in communal area of block of flats. – Neighbour got the card, went to RMail sorting office and got the parcel(!) although name on parcel and on proof ID nowhere near the same.
    - I had to threaten neighbours with police and legal action until someone left it in front of my flat-door.
    So, why did they give it to the neighbour although the name was not the same?

  38. Neil Harper Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Had an Amazon Prime delivery ‘delivered’ by DPD last week. Had a confirmation text the night before and selected Deliver to Neighbour as I knew I would be out and someone would likely be around.

    Returned home the following evening to find a fairly large Amazon box stood on the doorstep (no attempt to hide or obscure it at all). Checked the online tracking and found it had been signed for by ‘A. Driver’!!

  39. russell g Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Fedex….Grrr! I was waiting for some important documents from overseas that were sent via Fedex. They couldn’t even be bothered to attempt to deliver them to my house. I managed to get hold of them from the depot before they sent them back to the sender. They also lost some flowers I had sent to ‘er indoors, driver apparently left them under “a piece of wood to the left of the garage”, it turned out (when he came back in person) that he meant “by the gate to the right of the garage”. They weren’t there anyway. I also Citylink leave an expensive router in my front garden (they didn’t post a card through the door so I only realised when I caught a glimpse of it a few days later). Fortunately it hadn’t rained and the light fingered ruffians on my street hadn’t clocked it.

  40. Test Man Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Never had any major problems round my way. Royal Mail always attempt delivery and leave an appropriate note so I can pick it up after work.

    One of the other delivery companies seem to like to throw the gear over our fence at the back of the driveway. It’s whoever delivers for Next – not massively happy but at least they tried.

    There was one strange incident where I posted something to Ireland. For some reason it took two weeks to deliver and apparently had gone via Scandinavia. The second time something similar happened, except via Germany!

  41. Joe Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Bought a printer some years back, from a certain Mr Winder, that was sent via Parcelforce and arrived smashed to bits having been dropped or thrown about. He put in a claim for damages and Parcelforce said they would have to send someone round to examine the parcel before they could pay out. I was surprised to get an email from Dave a few days later asking why I hadn’t kept the printer, as Parcelforce had told him they had come to my address to inspect the damange and been told that I didn’t have it anymore. The reason I was surprised was that no-one from Parcelforce ever knocked at my door, they had blatently lied to try to get out of paying compensation.

  42. SteveJ Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Back in the days when a 21″ CRT monitor was quite an expensive piece of technology, I caught a courier intentionally dropping my shiny new Sony Trinitron. He carried it from the van to my door, but rather than putting it down carefully, he dropped from chest height onto my doorstep before ringing the bell. I was working in the garden and had seen him coming, but I think I’d have heard the sound of the monitor stand breaking from inside the house.

    More recently (a few days ago in fact) I was waiting for a courier to attempt re-delivery of a parcel. I’d somehow missed him the previous day, despite waiting in. The courier walked down the drive, shoved another “sorry we missed you” note through the door, and immediately ran back to his van. He must have pre-written the note beforehand and didn’t even bother to carry my package with him.

    Fortunately I managed to run after the van and banged on his window before he could get away. His excuse was that he didn’t see anyone though the window when he drove up, assumed that nobody was home, and decided it wasn’t worth ringing the bell to make sure.

    At least in that case the item was still intact…

  43. James Hawke Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Not had issues with RM. Have now got a sticker stating to return items to local depot if no one home.

    DPD are awesome. Can rearrange delivery via text. Perfect for me.

    Yodel – only one experience and it was good – driver rang me to ask where I was! He only lived around the corner so he delivered it later that evening.

    Parcelforce – intent on delivering to the post office if no one home. Post Office is open 9-5. I leave home at 0730 and arrive around 1930. At least with the RM depot, I could collect on the way to work.

    CityLink – again, never had issues and I tend to collect from depot, which is close by.

    UPS – once delivered imported package to neighbour; delivered UK goods to different neighbour. Complete PITA. Plus their depot is miles away.

    HDNL are unreliable.

    “Simon” is an idiot. 99% of the time I have no idea when the parcel is going to arrive.

    I’ve since switched to getting things delivered at work and life has been a lot easier.

  44. TiredGeek Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Wifey doesn’t get stuff from QVC, well, she orders it and the monkey leaves it on our doorstep and then the local scum just walk off with it having seen the delivery van and where he leaves the packages. Happens almost every time, no matter how often we complain to his company, shitty link.
    RM don’t seem to carry anything other than the “we tried to deliver” cards on their vans, we’ve got ‘em on security camera just putting them through the letter box without ringing the bell…
    I wonder why this country has gone down the pan when people can’t be bothered to do their jobs :(

  45. Nick Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Yodel again.

    The day before yesterday I got a card from Yodel telling me they had tried to deliver a package in the middle of the day. It’s not something I’ve ordered so I’ve no idea what it is or who is trying to send me something.

    Yesterday, in the middle of the day, they try again, another card.

    This morning I call them to try and make alternative delivery arrangements. I was informed that it would not be possible because the package was out yet again for another abortive attempt to deliver IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!

    You think they would have figure out by now that I’m not in IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! To add insult to injury I was also told that no further delivery attempts would be made because they will only try three times.

    Definition of stupidity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    I was told that the only alternative would be for ME to collect the mysterious package from their depot, which turns out to be 15 miles away. Their depot is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and Saturday mornings until 1pm. Guess what? that happens to coincide exactly with my working hours. Check Mate.

    It’s about time that these courier companies got this 9-5 mentality out of their heads when it comes to residential addresses. In this day and age some flexibility should be expected. With the slow death of traditional mail and the ever-increasing rise of parcel mail as a result of the Amazon/eBay phenomenon it’s about time they rose to the challenge to meet the needs of customers. Those that figure this out will win big-time. The others’ inability to react to a changing landscape will be the death of them. It’s a bit like the music industry failing to react positively to cassettes/cds/downloads etc. Eventually someone like Apple comes along with a different paradigm and leaves them all standing, but don’t get me started on that one ;-)

  46. Claire Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I’ve had several royal mail parcels left in the blue recycling bin. The worst was a “signed for” parcel which the postman had signed for himself! Also parcels left in the green compost bin – full of decomposing plants when we actually had some sunshine.
    No problems so far with the couriers though…

  47. GR138Legend Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I’ve had 2 phones disappear on-route from an o2 store to their repair and distribution centre: Yodel again. Outbound and inbound. The 1st was dead but the second was a replacement that I eventually got another replacement delivered 110 miles away!

    The really surprising thing is…
    that I was actually able to answer the door…

    I have had both good and bad experiences with DPD. But the bad is more a case of supplier fault than courier fault.

  48. Iain Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I had the *exact* same thing happen to my free subscription game (Dungeon Keeper I think it was) when I signed up to PC Zone back in the day.

    Got home to a little card saying the package was in the bin. Only we didn’t actually *have* a bin as ours had been stolen some time ago and we used a neighbour’s. It was that kind of neighbourhood (I was a student, we lived in a skanky area, what can I say?).

  49. Nik Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Twice I have caught the Royal Mail guy writing a Sorry you were not in letter. Twice called the complains department. Guess what, I caught him 2 more times which he then admitted it that it takes too long to deliver to flats so he just writes cards and leaves them at the entrance. Wtf? (If we are name and shaming this is the Fishponds sorting office in Bristol)

  50. Michael McAiney Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 10:48 am

    This happens with us and we are more than happy with it. Saves us a trip to the sorting office and the content of the blue bin is never anything which is going to damage the package.

    Seems quite a reasonable thing to do to me and I hope out postie continues to do it.

  51. Mark Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 11:00 am

    We have had no end of problems from Yodel. A large John Lewis delivery (£500 worth) with most of our Christmas shopping arrived eventually, after chasing up Yodel on several occasions to ask why delivery hadn’t been made. The box and its contents were badly damaged. The Sunday Times Wine Club use them too, and there is now a note on our account to say that Yodel mustn’t be used, due to non-delivery or delayed deliveries. I don’t know how they stay in business!

  52. Darien Graham-Smith Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Back in 2008, on the day the iPhone 3G was launched, I spent a quiet Friday sitting at home waiting for the courier to deliver my shiny new handset. For the whole day the courier’s website showed my package as “OUT FOR DELIVERY”, but at no point did the doorbell ring. Periodically, just in case, I refreshed the website and checked the letterbox, but neither phone nor card arrived.

    Then at 6.01pm, the website status switched to “DELIVERY REFUSED”.

  53. Chris Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I know where you’re coming from with Yodel, my situation was exactly the same, although my nearest depot is 70 (yep, that’s not a typo) miles away. Yodel are the very definition of brain dead.

  54. Michael Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I have had two interesting things with deliveries.

    The first one was the item, and IBM server, was dropped off the back of the lorry, the tail lift then hit it on the way down and the driver was not happy and we had a big argument when I would not accept it.

    The second one was a delivery (I live in Pool, Cornwall) that was delivered to Poole in Dorset, where they could not find my road, but when I phones up and chased where it was, was advised I could collect it from the local depot in Poole. They had assumed, and did not believe that there could be a Pool in Cornwall it must be in Dorset. The item was eventually returned as un-deliverable and I managed (with some argument) to cancel the order and order from elsewhere

  55. Nick Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Citylink asked to pick an amplifier up, but never showed. The tracking said “parcel picked up”. I complained and re-arranged. In the meantime, the person who was waiting for the parcel emailed to say he’d just received some children’s books/clothes delivered by Citylink! Turns out Citylink had turned up, seen a parcel that had just been dropped off by a different courier and grabbed it! In fairness to them, they brought the children’s books/clothes back in time for Xmas.

    Another vote for DPD – very good.

  56. wittgenfrog Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Is anyone surprised?
    Next time you get a delivery, ask the driver (if he’s got time) about his pay-rate and working conditions. You’ll most likely be surprised at the low pay, and stressful conditions.

    As someone who lives in the sticks, I probably get 70% of my non-perishable stuff via Couriers\GPO. They are, on the whole, excellent and the drivers make an effort to be helpful.

    Where problems do arise its generally down to management \ systemic problems, not the staff.

  57. wittgenfrog Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Oddly a whole middle paragraph ‘vanished’ from that post.

    I said that very low margins, relying too much on staff goodwill (not decent systems), and over-promising are at the heart of most customers’ dissatisfaction with couriers

  58. Dicky Branson Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I just have my butler sign for my packages. If he is not available then my building concierge will keep hold of it and deliver it on my return – Why does no-one else simply do this?

  59. Kane Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I have to say that with a few exceptions I regard all the courier companies including UPS (AKA Useless Parcel Service) as beneath contempt.

    Cost cutting, paying low wages and putting drivers under undue pressure and systems that are designed for their own convenience and not the punters.

    For all the occasional glitches I find RM to be the best by a long way. But then although we live in a city we have a regular postie on our round.

  60. Alperian Says:
    March 2nd, 2013 at 10:38 am

    These companies are PAID to DELIVER these consignments. That (to me at any rate) means handing it over in person to the consignee. We have gone soft allowing our parcel services to faux deliver – many being so hurried that they go straight to the ‘pick-up later card’ rather than even ring the doorbell.

    I don’t pay to have to present my passport and get inevitable back chat to some git in the depot, before he graciously decides that I am eligible for MY delivery.

    We need to make a stand!!

  61. Frazer Says:
    March 3rd, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I agree with most that DPD are the best as they offer the 1 hour slot, and for me have never been late for this. The driver is always happy and friendly and it makes it a bit more personal when you are told the drivers name in the delivery slot email/sms.
    I personally have never had any issues with ParcelForce and like the fact that they will leave at the local post office if you are out, which is only a mile away for me.
    I actively try to avoid companies like HDNL/Yodel as I once had a parcel delivered by them at 7.30 in the evening. Not unreasonable I know but a pain when you have waited in all day! Recently an online retailer I used actually gave the option of Yodel, or ParcelForce for an extra 50p, so I happily paid the extra for peace of mind.
    Never had problems with Royal Mail either, even had a driver the other day come back again and say to my fiancée that he came back as he knew she wouldn’t be in the 1st time (during the school run).
    In summary I think more couriers need to be go down the same route as DPD offering timed slots as this would surely save them time and money to redeliver. If that’s not possible then create more local (shared if necessary) collection depots for customers to pick up outside of normal operating hours. Retailers could also give the customer a choice, I would love all my parcels to come with DPD and would pay a couple of extra £s for the hassle it would save.

  62. JayPeg Says:
    March 3rd, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I agree with all the comments on Yodel – useless is too good a word.

    However I do not agree with the sentiment in the article. If you are not home to accept something you ordered then you have only yourself to blame when delivery is sub-optimal.

  63. peter thomas Says:
    March 4th, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Meanwhile, why are you all using companies that “offshore” their taxes so that you have to pay more overall AND spend your free time moaning about the underpaid serfs that have to realise exaggerated profits for those companies? Just asking…

  64. Journo Says:
    March 4th, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I’m now ‘delighted’ to have found that other people have had caught the Royal Mail with no parcel but ‘Sorry You Were Out’ cards. I thought it was just me! Last time it happened my parcel was delivered by a manager about half an hour after I spoke to the Royal Mail press office about a story I was about to write…

  65. wittgenfrog Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    @peter Thomas
    And your point is?
    I probably sympathise with the underlying sentiment of your post. Unfortunately the Baby-boomer generation has sold its (and our) soul(s) to Mammon.

    If you don’t like it, change it.

  66. halsteadk Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    This is partly a side effect of prolific “free” delivery. Of course nothing’s free so the cost is included in the price you (or another customer) pays somewhere, and minimised by squeezing courier firms to the point of unprofitability.

    I do wonder if services such as Amazon’s Lockers and Collect+ are a better alternative for those of us who can’t plan to be in whenever the courier happens to turn up (commenter no 3 take note).

    It would also be good to be able to get over the message of “if I’m out, take it to your depot – I am happy to pick it up rather than have it left in a ’safe’ place or squeeze your margins further by redelivering it.”

  67. AlllyF Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    So great to live in the country, our Postie puts parcels in the kitchen if no answer, or leaves it around the back under cover if the door is locked.
    As for couriers, we get the same guys delivering and they will leave parcels with neighbours if a sig is required, or at the back door if not. I only use the PO for sending parcels now, as the last 3 times each different courier service has lost them, the PO has always delivered [sic].

  68. Simon Jones Says:
    March 6th, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Yodel are definitely the worst round here. Twice on the same delivery their web site said they’d left a “sorry you were out” card but we’d been in all day and not received either card.

    I phoned to complain and the person at the depot gave us the GPS co-ordinates where the “delivery attempt” had been logged. Quickly typing those into a mapping web site showed what was happening. It turned out to be a layby on a main road 5 miles away from our house. The driver hadn’t even bothered to come to the house. When I pointed this out the depot person didn’t appologise or even sound surprised.

    If we asked for the parcel to be put out for delivery again it was likely that we’d get the same result so the only option was to go and collect the parcel from the depot which is an hour’s drive away in Cardiff. I arranged to collect the parcel the next day.

    When I got to the depot the man on the counter said it had gone out for delivery again. I checked their web site from my phone while standing there and it said it was “awaiting collection”. He then went away to look for it and came back twice to say he couldn’t find it. I had to insist that I wasn’t going away until he found the parcel and finally found it on the third attempt an hour after I had arrived.

    So, “Next day delivery” took three days, a 120 mile round trip, three hours off work and an awful lot of frustration and agravation.

  69. Finola Says:
    March 7th, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I was so enraged I could have killed the Royal Mail person who delivered an insulated package containing chilled stallion semen ( requiring my signature ) to my neighbour, who, unaware of the temperature limitations, set it on the shelf in his hallway which was above a radiator. That cost me a £300 final attempt to get a fantastic palomino sport-horse foal. I have never been as livid in my life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. jbm1997 Says:
    March 7th, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Seems to be the latest cost cutting measure that courier firms have come up with.

    I’ve lost count of the number of things I’ve had left in “the blue bin” only marginally better than the items left “behind the bins” (where of course it doesn’t rain). Fortunately none of these have come to grief thus far.
    Given the Royal Mail’s latest “leave it with a neighbour2 trials I hope they are primed to deal with things like my experience of a couple of years back when a courier left a parcel for me with a neighbour. The courier left the parcel despite me being at home and expecting the delivery, The neighbour was a recently arrived tenant that we didn’t really know and the courier left nothing to let me know that the parcel had had been delivered elsewhere. Checking the parcel tracking I was surprised to see it logged as delivered so I immediately contacted the supplier (A well known Computer business) to let them know. They chased it up with the courier (a name previously mentioned in this thread) but the name of the person signing for the goods was not known to me and not the name of the neighbours. I got my money refunded by the supplier while they pursued the issue with the delivery company. Some 3 weeks after the delivery my neighbour turned up at the door asking if the parcel he had was for me. It most certainly was and clearly addressed as such. He then said his wife had taken it in thinking it was for him so she put it on the table in the room he was using as an office. It had lain there ever since as he thought it was his wife’s and had only thought to look further prior to bringing it across. ????
    The parcel was securely packaged and nothing seemed to have been disturbed indeed the contents were assembled and the resulting PC has been running fine ever since (touch wood). I was able to contact the supplier clear up the mystery and pay for the items for a second time.

  71. Sander Says:
    March 7th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    They are all equally useless. Royal Mail probably least so, followed by Parcelfarce.

    But Yodel? HDNL? DPD? F*cking useless. I have NEVER had an issues free delivery from ANY of them.

    The fact they only deliver during working hours, when, guess what, I’m working (!!!), and don’t offer evening or weekend delivery (unless at a ridiculously inflated price).

  72. DaveH Says:
    March 8th, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I have had a few problems with Parcel Farce and S*itty Link over the years, but the best screw-up was HDNL. They delivered a package to work on a Saturday and just dumped it at the (locked) Post Room. Monday morning comes and our Post Room supervisor phones me to tell me what had happened. He had complained to the courier, only to be told that the delivery had been signed for – by me!

  73. Derek Clarke Says:
    March 15th, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Yesterday Royal Mail delivered a card. I heard the van but still couldn’t get to the door in time, and they made no attempt to ring the doorbell or knock. Dpt also left a parcel outside my front door without even bothering with a card. Yodel have put parcels in a bin before, and that was scary as it was collection day…

  74. Crane Says:
    March 20th, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I was due to have a delivery from DPD on the 18th of March.
    They didn’t show up. When I contacted them, they said the driver had marked it down as ‘insufficient time’, whatever that means.
    I rescheduled it for the following day.
    It didn’t arrive.
    I called them again, bringing the total phone costs up to about £15, and was eventually told that there had been ‘no scans on the parcel’, and I would need to contact the sender and have them ask DPD to carry out an investigation so that they could perform a ‘parcel search’.
    When I queried about this, they said that my parcel was definitely not lost! But they still needed to search for it.
    So, I call the sender and have them ask DPD to look for my parcel.
    DPD spend a whole day searching, then inform the sender that they have lost it.
    In four calls to their customer service, three times they were unable to contact their own delivery depot, and on the fourth time, when they finally did, they then lied to me about losing my parcel.

    They are not a courier, they are a farce.

  75. Alex Says:
    April 2nd, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Yodel are bad, but ROyal Mail are definitely the worst company I have ever dealt with. Prices are extremely high, service is absolutely terrible, claim process is beuracratic and time-consuming. Avoid Royal Mail!

  76. stuart Says:
    June 5th, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    They are not all bad!! The reason the ones mentioned are bad is because they are cheap. A good carrier will cost you between £8-£9 for UK next day delivery..

  77. stuart Says:
    June 5th, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    DPD are generally good, providing people are in. Or you can send through Overland Express,who use UPS.

  78. Jack Says:
    June 29th, 2013 at 9:19 am

    A few years ago I ordered a new Laptop from the cheapest place I could find it online.
    The delivery was sent out with CityLink. Rather than requiring me to sign for my £800 package the courier knocked the door, left it on the porch in plain sight of the road and drove off.
    Had I not been in to collect it from there I am certain it wouldn’t have lasted long.
    I phoned up to complain about this and was told this couldn’t have happened and that there was a signature for the item on their system, no doubt the courier had scribbled something into his little computer in too much of a rush to do his job properly.
    Lesson, I will never order from anyone who uses CityLink again.

  79. dom Says:
    October 9th, 2013 at 5:30 am

    First world problems people, we cant call every last person to see if they will be home, we sometimes take out more than 100 parcels a day, you try calling 100 pissed off people and telling they have to stay home… not fun

  80. Gratt Says:
    December 10th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    The business models are fundamentally flawed at the end of the day. I like Collect+, which I think is the future, but what about if you order from Apple who insist on using UPS? No real idea when the package will be delivered, work Mon-Fri 9-5 (as do most people!) and don’t drive, so the depot is not within reach. There is literally NO WAY to get my package, save pulling a sickie. Ludicrous.

  81. LJ Says:
    February 5th, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I am not surprised at this. I used to use companies like that for my business courier, but no longer. Now I use these guys as whenever I have used them, I haven’t had one customer complaint (which happened a lot more when I used other companies!)

  82. G K Says:
    February 8th, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    As a courier(self employed) people don’t realise that most of us leave home at 5am and don’t get home till after 6pm if you as a customer know that you ordered a item for delivery then you can instruct the company that the purchase is from whether you want it left with neighbour/put in a particular place safe or you will collect from depot. 99%of us guys and gals try to be as helpfull as we can but we are after all only human don’t get paid a lot work long hours and do get abuse from customers even though its not our fault so if you have a complaint take it to customer services if they cant or wont do anything for you take it to the next level in the chain.

  83. Shariz Says:
    February 14th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I always use DPD or request DPD delivery when buying/selling, its the only courier to do everything right. Never late, their delivery window is an hour, not a day. You get notified about exactly when your parcel will arrive by text and it never fails. Always use DPD.

  84. kieran Says:
    March 19th, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Being an Operations Manager of a courier company I have to say that the likes of Yodel and a couple of others give the good ones a bad rep. Their inability to use common sense is astounding. Obviously not all of their drivers are like this and don’t want to tar them with the same brush. Unfortunately I do feel that you get what you pay for in levels of service.

  85. Ryan Says:
    April 9th, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    My new mouse arrived yesterday, yay! Too bad that it was left in the recycling bin which was emptied this morning. The postman wrote a note on one of our letters, which I didn’t even notice. I was in all day waiting for the delivery, so the knocks must have been very quiet (or non-existent afaik). I was checking for some kind of missed delivery notice too, not really considering that they would expect me to examine the front of every letter to check for clues as to the fate of my parcel.

    If only I had considered the possibility that, instead of leaving the parcel in the our secured, locked entry (with a gate) by our house, or with neighbors, or even just at the depot with a clear notice given, they would just put in in the bin and assume i’d find it…

    Oh well, that’s life. I’m not happy but… Yeah, oh well. Royal Mail aren’t going to reimburse me that’s for sure.

  86. Irex Says:
    May 25th, 2014 at 1:03 am

    That is certainly the most outrages courier related incident of i have been informed, the postman should of also marked the “special delivery” option.

  87. courier-network Says:
    July 6th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    All couriers have a duty of care to all packages, parcels. It seems like the big boys need to take more care. cant believe that they put your mouse in the recycling bin Ryan.

  88. Simon Wright Says:
    July 11th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Royal Mail probably now offers a much improved parcel delivery service, especially when you consider their recent price hike.

  89. Lara Says:
    August 5th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Stupid Parcelforce courier left my expensive parcel (containing) 2 items in an old car on my drive that was due to be collected and crushed that very day – yes. The idiot actually opened my car door and put it inside!!! It then went off to be crushed and now no-one knows what became of it. What a complete boundary-less idiot!!!

  90. martha Says:
    August 17th, 2014 at 12:20 am

    my postman has been putting my letters in my blue recycling bin. loosing packages is very frustrating I know. But the NHS is now saying that I haven’t turned up for two very important hospital appointments I have been desperately waiting for because I didn’t receive the letters. I’m disabled so it’s not me who puts the bins on the street for collection sometimes its my son other times my neighbough. Neither who funnily enough are going to think. “Oh better check for the post.” before putting it out for the bin men!!! Now it’s a serious issue not just annoying as my health is involved.

  91. Reena Says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Yodel are really bad at leaving parcels at the wrong address.I think the main problems with Yodel and Hermes is that retailers try to do deliveries as cheap as possible. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys!

  92. Joe Says:
    September 28th, 2014 at 2:07 am

    As a courier myself, I find most of these comments utterly ridiculous.

    Firstly, most of us are self employed and get paid per-parcel. So, if somebody isn’t in, we have to go back the next day. It doesn’t matter if we have to try once or five times to deliver that parcel, we will only get paid the same regardless. Considering we have to buy our own fuel, it can work out pretty expensive when we have to deal with inconsiderate [people].

    Secondly, why order something to be delivered on a certain date when you aren’t going to be at home? The company I work for sends an email when the order is placed advising of the delivery date, then another email the day before. Yet 73% of people still fail to be at home to take their delivery. Yes, that’s 73%. I can only conclude that 73% of the population have no common sense or manners.

    So, in answer to several people’s questions, your parcels get left in obscure places because you don’t have the decency to be at home when the parcel is due to be delivered. The courier actually LOSES MONEY when you aren’t home.

    If you don’t want it left outside, have some common sense and be at home when the parcel is due to be delivered, if you can’t be at home, don’t order anything. It really isn’t difficult.

    P.S. – Your recycling bin is one of the best places for your parcel to be left, if your bin isn’t out on the street it isn’t going to be emptied, it won’t get rained on and it’s not going to get dirty amongst cardboard. I get the impression that you’re one of these people who likes to complain about everything.

  93. Nick Says:
    October 16th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Joe, it may surprise you, but a lot of the time buyers have no idea which courier a seller is using, or when the package is due to be delivered. There have been times when I had no idea a package was going by courier – as opposed to Royal Mail – until I inevitably get carded. Going to the local RM delivery office isn’t a problem, buy a lot of couriers depots are far from convient. Although I live in Inner London, some courier depots are inaccessible within their restricted opening hours unless I take a half-day off work to go to them.


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