Why I'm Boycotting Yodel

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The British courier firm Yodel are one of the most disreputable delivery companies in the country. Owned by the same tax exiles who run The Telegraph newspaper, the company is frequently complained about and has an unenvious reputation for poor service.

The rot seems to start firmly at the top, with CEO Dick Stead.

A few months ago, a company arranged to send me some delicate electronics for urgent testing. They selected Yodel for a "guaranteed" next day delivery.

By noon on the day of delivery, this is what Yodel's tracking site was showing.
Yodel Crap
I found it curious that it was marked as "Delivered", especially given that it takes more than 30 minutes to drive from Reading to my house. Oh, and that I don't live in a bloody service centre!

I spent the afternoon trying to talk to Yodel's customer services team - online, on Twitter, and on the phone. None of them were able to help, they wouldn't contact the depot, refused to phone the driver, and generally made it clear that they really would rather I just went away. At one point they said that I couldn't raise a complaint because I wasn't the sender. They had no idea where the parcel was or when I was likely to get it.

I won't bore you with the saga of every deception Yodel subjected me to. The next day I decided to cut through their bullshit and emailed the CEO - an hour later and I'd received an email back from Dick saying he had contacted the local office and they were looking into it.

Within 30 minutes and I'd received a call from a local manager saying that the parcel had been found and that it would be with me later that day. Result!

Then I received this from the CEO:

Dear Mr Eden   I have just been informed that the parcel has been placed on a van in the service centre. A manager will contact you to agree delivery time and then deliver it to you. The driver was interviewed and has clearly broken a number of our delivery rules. His contract has been terminated.  Our recruitment processes are generally very good and we provide good training to new starts but I am afraid this driver must have slipped through the net. I am very sorry about the delay.   Best regards   Dick   Dick Stead  Executive Chairman  Yodel, Hatfield Business Park, Frobisher Way, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9TR T: 0203 738 3003 | M: 07803 681837 | E: dick.stead@yodel.co.uk

What kind of man thinks that firing someone for making a mistake is acceptable? Who then sends those details to a customer? Is it meant to make me feel big and powerful - that I got someone terminated? It doesn't. It makes me feel sick that a highly paid CEO would just casually sack someone and then brag about it to a member of the public.

Now - maybe I'm being needlessly touchy. Perhaps the driver was on his last of 15 warnings and had spent 6 weeks on an intensive training programme to help him get better - but given Yodel's reputation for staff abuse, I highly doubt it.

Or am I'm just mortified that my (entirely legitimate) complaint has lead to someone losing their job?

Either way - a disgruntled delivery driver knows I was responsible for his firing and also knows where I live. That's not a nice feeling.

Well, the solution's simple - from now on I don't accept deliveries from Yodel.

  • If I buy something and I receive a Yodel tracking ID, I'm cancelling the order.
  • If a Yodel driver turns up, I'll refuse to accept delivery.
  • If a client wants to send me something, I'll gladly lower my fee if it means they don't use a company lead by such a git.

In short, I am firing them - and I suggest you do the same.

A little history

It turns out I've never had a good experience with Yodel.

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2 thoughts on “Why I'm Boycotting Yodel

  1. Paul Kelly says:

    I agree with your sentiments. In my experience Yodel is the company that dumps the package, often mistreated in transit, on the door step and never even bothers to ring the bell or knock on the door, let alone wait for an answer.

    Do you know of a straightforward way to determine in advance which delivery company an online retailer uses?

  2. charlie says:

    Have experienced exactly the same shoddy treatment from yodel when buying from an online company. Tracking said parcel delivered when it had not been. Given the run-a-round by CS on email/twitter/telephone. Parcel delivered 7 days late and to a house 5 doors down the street where it was left thrown over the fence. Luckily I know the home owner who passes the parcel to me.
    I also will now cancel purchaces that will be delivered by Yodel.


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