Monday, 3 September 2012


I can’t believe I’ve never actually written about Yodel before. But I note, mainly via Twitter, that this rotten delivery company is still causing misery to it’s customers up and down the country, so here I am, putting my experiences in writing, so you all know what to expect when you order from a company that uses Yodel as a courier.

I should, first of all, lay out my expectations of a delivery company. First, they should deliver the parcel Bit obvious, but the clue is in the name, DELIVERY company. If I am not in, they can either leave it with a neighbour, leave it in a secure place – there is a coal bunker at the rear of my house that I am happy fits the bill, as I live in a rural location – or leave a card, with instructions of how I can claim my parcel. This is what every other delivery company does. UPS, Citylink, Parcelforce, DPD, whatever. No problems with any of these companies. Well, asides from an issue with DPD, but it was resolved relatively quickly and easily, and again, if you do this I am not unhappy. I’m not a difficult person to please. I want the basics, done well. Anything extra is a bonus. All four of the following examples failed to make this basic level.

I can start off with an experience that can only be described as a bit slack first, to whet your appetite. I ordered a book from Amazon. You need to know, by the way, that I generally use the back door for entering and leaving my house, never the front. It’s how my house is laid out, it’s easier that way. Anyway, I had a knock on the door one evening. It was my neighbour, asking if I knew about the parcel laying up against the front door. No, I didn’t. No card. Luckily, as I have already mentioned, we live in a rural spot and no-one had bothered pinching it. Yodelfail = not a secure area.

It gets better.

My very first experience with Yodel was last December. I ordered a mobile phone. I had a choice of courier, wasn’t really bothered so went with the default option. DHL. Or, Yodel, as this particular branch of DHL was now part of the countries crappest delivery service. How was I to know? Anyway, I’m sure you can guess that the phone didn’t arrive when expected. The online tracking, however, seemed to indicate that it had been signed for. Had someone at Yodel stolen my phone?

Well no, actually. I rang Yodel, who were useless (although I appear to have been lucky to get through to them) so rang the mobile phone company, who investigated and discovered that Yodel had delivered the phone straight back to the return address. Brilliant. I’ve got a new contract (which had been set up – I had the details from Orange) and no phone. Mobiles4U had to cancel the old contract, and order me a new phone. Which I asked to be delivered by Royal Mail. It arrived the next day. Easy. Unless you are Yodel.

I once made the mistake of ordering an incinerator bin on eBay, without checking the vendors choice of courier. I got home from work one day, and found a message on my answer phone. “Hi, this is <yodel driver>, I’ve only got one parcel so wanting to check if it’s OK to leave it at the petrol station. thanks.” This was followed by another message. “Hi, this is <yodel driver>, I’ve left your parcel at the petrol station.” The petrol station in question is 8 miles away. I pass it on the way home from work. Indeed he had left it there, as I discovered when I went to collect it the next day. I’ve since discovered that Yodel drivers get about a quid for every parcel, so if they’ve only one it’s hardly worth driving the 16 mile round trip. Which would explain the shite service, and exonerates the driver somewhat. Yodel clearly have a flawed business model.

My wife is not immune from these jokers. She ordered some books from Amazon. She was off work, unusually, so paid extra for next day delivery to ensure she’d be in for the delivery. By the end of the day, the books were still in Yodel’s depot. They clearly couldn’t be bothered to deliver that day, obviously it was a bit out of their way, and they don’t understand the concept of next-day delivery. I reckon that means ‘deliver the day after it was ordered’, in case anyone from Yodel is wondering. So she rang Amazon, cancelled the order, and now refuses to buy anything else from them, other than Kindle downloads. They have offered a different courier, but it’s too late. Yodel have guaranteed that Amazon have lost a customer – and we used to buy a lot of stuff from Amazon.

And that, my dear reader, is the way to deal with No-del. Don’t use them. Admittedly, that’s tricky. It means you have to first check with your online company who their courier is. If it’s Yodel, go elsewhere. The more people do this, the more Yodel will lose contracts. It’s the only way. It’ll either bankrupt them, or force them to change their business model. Again, from memory, my wife went to an Argos shop to buy her Kindle, and my Wii-Fit came from Game, who were the only people I could find who didn’t use Yodel. That’s £250 of business straight away, that has been chosen based on courier.  Yodel lost someone business, and other firms gained it by using someone decent. I got my items, and frankly can’t guarantee this with Yodel.

If you complain about them on Twitter, they will monitor your tweet and the customer help-person will get in touch to try and sort out your problem. I gather these people are quite good. Certainly better than their useless call centres. However, it shouldn’t come to this.

I recommend you watch this Watchdog episode. It also contains a response from the company. But they’re still unreliable. And I also recommend you do a search on twitter with #YODEL. You’ll find stories of no delivery, damaged parcels, items thrown over fences, cards left indicating no-one at home when they clearly were, item left in porches that don’t exist. The list is endless.

You know what to do. Say no to Yodel!

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