What you get when you pay for a Yodel 24 hour delivery

By Chris Dawson October 3, 2013 - 10:48 pm

I had a couple of deliveries due today, so I dutifully waited in. I can imagine there’s nothing more frustrating for a courier then turning up at the doorstep to find they have to card you.

11am came and the first courier (Parcelforce delivered). They were followed by DHL and Royal Mail. By 4.30pm I was getting frustrated and about 5pm I rang Yodel to find out where my parcel was.

I’d checked the tracking in the morning and at 7.19am it was out for delivery so I knew it should be on it’s way. Yodel explained that they have couriers who deliver during the day and Home Delivery Network couriers who might not start work before 5pm and work in the evenings. In other words I could have safely gone out for the afternoon, but not to worry they’d get the depot to contact me with an approximate delivery time and anyway my parcel should arrive by 9pm. They didn’t call back and my parcel didn’t arrive.

At two minutes to nine I rang Yodel again. Their customer service department were very apologetic. Maybe the courier is running late and will be there soon or they might deliver tomorrow. I asked what was the latest time they would deliver in the evening and was told maybe 10pm, but that they told me that was a guess – they really didn’t know.

I checked the tracking on the Yodel website again which was updated and now told me “We can’t see a delivery scan. If your parcel has not arrived it should be out for delivery tomorrow. Please check your tracking for updates in the morning”.

Yodel Tracking Information

The delivery has just taken place. It’s 24 minutes to 11 at night. Most of my neighbours have the lights out and are safely tucked up in bed! Should deliveries really be taking place at this time of night?

The thing that really annoys me is that there’s no need for this situation to occur. DPD for example send a text in the morning giving an hourly slot that your parcel will be delivered in. Perhaps not all couriers have their investment and sophistication, but it should be easy enough for Yodel to tell me my parcel is with a driver who doesn’t even start work before 5pm.

Times are tough, let’s be realistic. Your customers don’t want to pay top dollar for delivery – they probably want it for free. Do you really want your company represented by a courier that delivers at gone 10.30 in the evening though? Will that delight your customers or is it a step to far in the cost cutting game? If it’s this bad in October what will it be like in December?

Personally, I can assure you of one thing, I won’t be buying from a retailer that tells me they use Yodel unless they have an alternative delivery option available and I really don’t care if it costs me a couple of quid more.

  • Mark
    4 years ago

    >Home Delivery Network couriers who might not start work before 5pm and work in the evenings

    So their couriers are doing the deliveries as a second job.

    A lot of customers would probably pay more for a later delivery as they will be home then.


    Early deliveries can be equally annoying. I have had to go into work early because a courier had a delivery window starting at 08:00 (if somebody was in the building then they never delivered early, if the first member of staff entered the building at 08:05 the missed delivery card would be there!).

    • 4 years ago

      You make a very good point. It’s not that the service is crap. It’s that Yodel’s communications are crap. They should exploit their evening deliveries, not make them a pain point!

      If Yodel had told me the delivery wouldn’t happen until late afternoon or during the evening I wouldn’t have stayed in all day.

      As it is I went out for half an hour to the corner shop at 9.30pm so the delivery driver was lucky I was back home. Pointless to have a failed delivery after I purposefully waited at home for 14 hours but it could so easily have happened!

  • peter stanley
    4 years ago

    I do Kleeneze for a living and I stop deliveries at 8.45 – 9pm unless I know the customer doesn’t mind me calling after that time.

  • Glenn
    4 years ago

    I have all my deliveries both business and private sent to our business address. By 8 pm everybody would have gone home, so a late delivery could not be accepted. I ship a lot of large boxes, at least 12 a week and having tried different delivery c ompanies I have found parcel force to be the best.

    • Jimbo
      4 years ago

      Is that the “parcel force”, which is owned by the state and which is due to be privatized? Watch service levels fall & prices rise in the future.

  • 4 years ago

    I have a much worse story regarding DHL back in 2006. I ordered a sample from China in late December (after Christmas) or early January. I paid for the fastest service which guaranteed 2 or 3 day delivery. The item arrived in the US the next day. It arrived in Houston the day after that. But it took almost an entire week for them to drive the item from their facility 2 miles from my home to me. It wasn’t even in customs. Every day it would go out for delivery and return back to them at night. They’d make up stuff like I wasn’t home when I was or that they were too busy.

  • 4 years ago

    We have many deliveries more or less every day.
    Royal Mail we never ever have a problem with.
    City Link can be fantastic one week and crap the next, it’s up and down.
    DHL, no comment other than it’s all guesswork for which day they will come
    Yodel, Awful service, given run around by customer services
    By far the best company we have deliveries off is DPD, they text you in the morning to say when they are coming, in a hour slot, the one yesterday said between 1.04 pm to 2.04pm…they came at 1.20pm you can even track them on a map to see where the driver is that very second and how long they will be so if you got to pop out for 10 you can and we have NEVER had a problem with them.
    Now, this is coming from me with my buyer hat on, as a seller it might be different, it all comes with the price and my guess is, I don’t know, is that DPD is dearer but my god it’s worth it !
    Now, as a seller all I use is Royal mail letters or small packet rate and I can honestly say that with over 60,000 items sold we have only had one go missing and that was last week !

    • Jimbo
      4 years ago

      In my experience DPD is miles ahead of all the others in terms of reliability. Royal Mail/Parcel Force would be second.

    • Peter
      4 years ago

      DPD – I agree. They only seem to do very large / heavy itgems and large contracts.

      Yodel – My current Yodel guy comes at a sensible time and is very personable & helpful but I have had very late deliveries from them. One Argos order came by 2 yodel couriers on the same day !!

      City Link have got orders to remote locations (Scotland and elsewhere) in the promised 24 hours.

      My Hermes – have now lost two of my parcels (sending) – never again.

      Fedex is now becoming very competitive inland as well as overseas. They were the cheapest to remote Suffolk, Alberta Canada and Israel recently. All arrived within schedule and to the clients satisfaction.

  • 4 years ago

    Another very underestimate courier is APC UK, they are fast growing, and pride themselves on being a very carefull handler, which after sending 3000+ parcels with i believe.

    They are also different to other couriers, as the company is owned by each and every depot, meaning service is everything.

    I also completely agree that Yodel, MyHermes and DHL are an absolute joke. Id bet now 2 out of 3 of those companies either wont be around in 2 years time, or will have changed name in another attempt to be a useless courier.

  • Nigel Peacock
    4 years ago

    The same courier, Yodel, attempted a delivery to my business premises yesterday – at 7:58pm. The address was clearly a business address. I know this because I received an email (well, four actually) telling me about the failed delivery. Their online system allows me to reschedule the delivery to another day, but does NOT have a data field where I can say “betwwn 9am and 5.30pm only”. That is daft. I won’t be using the large major retailer next week when we were going to order the next £900 worth of items if they insist on using this courier again.

  • Richard Holmes
    4 years ago

    I have had several really bad experiences with Yodel

    They are the pits and what’s worse actually don’t seem to care

    I am surprised they are still in business

  • 4 years ago

    Another vote for APC from us. Excellent service, problems are flagged up to us so we can be proactive with customers and good pricing to boot. They don’t have timed delivery slots but they too are in the pipeline. John

  • 4 years ago

    I agree that Yodel are a big letdown. Not only is the service poor but some of home delivery drivers turn up in tracksuits looking rough and thats not the impression you want to be giving customers. We use Interlink / DPD. All drivers are in uniform and seem to enjoy their job. And the Predict service is superb.

    • 4 years ago

      In my case the driver was absolutely lovely, very apologetic and was wearing Yodel Uniform. Really nice bloke. It’s Yodel’s fault for not 1) notifying me that the parcel wouldn’t be delivered during the day and 2) giving the guy so much work he hasn’t finished his rounds by 9pm.

    • 4 years ago

      Agreed yes. The same cannot be said about all of the delivery drivers but I have had a couple of bad experiences. But as bad as yodel are they are like saints compared to TNT.

  • James
    4 years ago

    We attempted to get Yodel to collect two parcels from our warehouse. They did not show, the problem was that they could arrive any time up to 8pm and the driver in my area worked evenings. No good when you shut up shop and head home at 4:30.

    Had a couple of Home Deliveries no problem from them though. Have not had too much of an issue on the delivery side.

    CityLink have to be the worst out there and appear to have gone further downhill. We used to get 5/6 deliveries to the warehouse each week a couple of years back. No one seems to use them anymore.

  • Ross
    4 years ago

    My experience with Yodel isn’t good. As a sender I gave up on them. I’d say they had a 95-98% success rate for me. When they went wrong they did it in spectacular style and had no ability to sort it out. A lost November parcel was compensated for in March.

    As a receiver I’ve had a stolen Tab (torn interior parcel and company sent another) and a parcel that I’d given up on that arrived 30 days late.

    DPD are a pleasure to receive from as are FedEx and UPS.

    Yodel are the bottom feeders, their drivers get paid peanuts per parcel. I could well understand why a driver wouldn’t want to go another ten mile round trip to deliver an out of town parcel to earn a pound.

  • 4 years ago

    I forgot to mention that yesterday at 11.08 I had a text message from Yodel to tell me my parcel was “out for delivery today”.

    I’ve just had another at 9.43 this morning confirming my parcel has been delivered and saying “How did we do today? Rate your delivery experience” on the Yodel website!!!

  • 4 years ago

    I groan inside when I see someone is sending something to me via Yodel.

    One of my suppliers recently switched to using Yodel and they are truly awful. A while back I was waiting for a parcel, when it got to 5pm I chased it up and they said it was still coming. I tried again about an hour later and they told me they’d carded me for no access, which was not true as I was sat looking out of the window waiting for them. It arrived next day instead.

    Previously to that, an order was split in two but I wasn’t informed. Box 1 turned up via some guy in jeans who left his car in the middle of the road with loud music blasting out. I asked where box 2 was and he just shrugged and said ‘it must have got lost mate’.

    Box 2 finally turned up hours later via a proper Yodel courier in uniform.

    DPD are fantastic IME too.

  • Highlander 555
    4 years ago

    Have used DHL for Int parcels(from China) No probs!!!.Give you a tracking number and usually it arrives from Sat to Thur.Though I have noticed that it stops on a Tuesaday at Germany then a great burst on Wed to the Highlands for Thur del.

    In the Highlands DHL,are delivered by AJG who will do there darndest to get the parcel delivered to you.Some drivers will even deliver these outwith their hours!.

    Had used UPS,again from China,not only quicker they were also the cheapest.The only drawback was that they wanted the tax money there and then.I didn’t have it at the time but they did accept a cheque(uncrossed) and without a card.

    If you are posting to the Highlands,stick with RM as My Hermes has a chequered past up here.Mainly delivery companies going burst with parcels left in lock ups.

    I don’t know of anyone using Collect-plus.The only 2 shops in the Highlands are in Inverness which if you live in the surrounding districts can be a couple of hours.

  • 4 years ago

    The lovely Laura from Yodel has been in touch. She’s going to investigate.

    I really hope they give my delivery driver a pay rise. Lovely guy and obviously busting his balls to ensure that parcels are delivered on the day. He’s an excellent ambassador for the company and you couldn’t ask anything more from him (other than please don’t work so hard and let us take some of your work load off you so that you can do your job within the time frame).

    • Ross
      4 years ago

      I don’t think they can give a pay rise, all the drivers are self employed.
      When I used them for sending the collection driver we had was really great. He was the only reason I gave them another 6 months business.
      Unfortunately their drivers aren’t all like that.
      Having seen an ad for drivers, I’d say they need a look at their pay structure. How much effort would you put in to delivering a parcel that you were getting paid 50p for?

  • Tony C
    4 years ago

    You may have seen this before, but this cartoon from Viz is *definitely* worth a look if you are interested in the Home Delivery experience.

    Warning: Contains bad language right from the start 😉

  • 4 years ago

    Yodel do seem to be the most random of all carriers. We’ve found items left amongst a pile of pallets when we weren’t there. Ok we got it but it was £100 of gear just left outside so we could have denied receiving it. We used Parcelforce for several year and much of the network seems to work ok. But our collection driver insisted on throwing parcels onto the van and eventually the damages cost us too much. He didn’t like it when i posted the videos on facebook. We currently use citylink which have been ok ish. some missed deliveries and getting through to customer service and arranging a redelivery can be a problem. And this month we have had a lot of damages. Anyone know how Uk Parcels performs?

    • 4 years ago

      You cannot go wrong with Interlink / DPD (same company) You get your own account manager who will always answer the phone to you and they in general are absolutely superb and the only company that have heavily invested in technology to improve service.

  • paddy
    4 years ago

    As a consumer I’m not the biggest fan of Yodel. I placed an urgent order with a well known company several weeks ago and paid for expedited delivery. This was ordered on the Monday and by the Friday I was still waiting for the goods. Contrast this to placing a similar order on Amazon and it arrived the next day without any fuss.
    As a seller I don’t sell many smaller items but I when I do the package is sent via Fedex. They may not be the cheapest but I have found there service to be very good.

  • Cambridge_Blue
    4 years ago

    We recommend and use Interlink Express/DPD and have found them to be excellent for several years now.
    Royal Mail are still good round here and ParcelForce were also fine but we have moved completely across to IE/DPD now.
    Both APC and UPS also seem to be reliable but after these companies it becomes a complete lottery.
    DHL remain something of a mystery to say the least – very up and down.

  • Roger
    4 years ago

    My local DHL night shift driver, you would ask is it safe to open the door that time at night.

  • 4 years ago

    We used Yodel for 2 years, they were a total nightmare, lost parcels, late deliveries, the worst possible advert for our company, we now use Interlink Express and cannot reccomend highly enough, Brilliant customer service, they actually tell us where our parcel is, and if it was not delivered why not, they check before returning something to us, Our buyers get a text or email with a one hour delivery slot, customers love that and we get no grief, Yodel Customer Services were a total joke, I feel sorry for the drivers, most of the ones we met were ok blokes, just let down by a nightmare company

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    on a different note we are still waiting for our first ebay managed return via Collect+ tracking in ebay shows the item sent a week ago
    normally we just ask the buyer to use royal mail and its back the next day after posting,

    we are girding our loins for the hassle lol

  • John Pemberton
    4 years ago

    Yodel have improved alot – I see them when they deliver collect+ parcels for customer returns.

    I think the big issue here is the market has moved quicker than the progress Yodel have made. We use Interlink and DPD, and they have recently introduced a facility where you can actually follow the delivery driver has he makes deliveries. I asked my dad to wait at my house for a parcel, and he monitored the delivery (we were number 78 on the delivery schedule). When the site showed #77 he waited at the end of my driveway, and a few minutes later the Interlink van drove past…amazing. This is the standard all couriers should be working to. Yodel need to up their game…customers deserver a better communication channel…gone are the days when you can give an open ended delivery time of 8am-9pm…

    I urge any sellers to look at the services of Interlink…they are shit hot…

  • Steve Huggett
    4 years ago

    I had to do some software integration work between their system and my clients a couple of years back. One word “Shocking”

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