Amazon customer uproar over delivery service

Amazon distributionChris Radburn/PA Archive/Press Association Images

5,000 Amazon customers have joined the outcry about one of the retailer's delivery services. The number taking to the internet company's forums to complain about their experiences of delivery firm Yodel reached the milestone this week. Meanwhile 1,300 have signed an online petition to try to persuade Amazon to ditch Yodel.

So what's going on?


Delivery issues

Yodel is just one of the delivery services used by the internet retailing giant. The delivery company has attracted criticism for some months. We reported back in January that the storm was gathering. At that point, 1,000 customers had signed a petition calling on Amazon to ditch Yodel.

A report in the Guardian reveals that the number of disgruntled customers is growing - that 5,000 have now voiced their concerns on the forums - and 100 joined the online debate last week alone.


Recently Yodel has been feeling the heat from dissatisfied customers, as in the past few weeks, the newspaper reported that Mothercare and Matalan stopped using the delivery company - they joined John Lewis, which withdrew its custom at the end of last year.

The problems that customers have listed are wide-ranging. There are those parcels which arrive late, or never show up. Then there are those delivered in unexpected ways. On the Amazon forum one user said: "The last time Yodel 'delivered' to my home they didn't knock the door, and they chucked the package over the fence where it got stuck between our caravan and fence."

The forum features complaints from those who received damaged packages, where parcels were left in the street, or where they never showed up at all.

There are also a number which were marked as an attempted delivery when the homeowner was in all day and hadn't seen hide nor hair of the delivery driver. One user said: "I sat in the house waiting for them they didn't even knock on the door. No attempt at delivery, just sent them back to the depot. Shocking service."


These problems have sometimes been compounded by poor customer service, and the fact that when customers call to track down a parcel, they may have no record of where it is or when it can be delivered.

One user commented: "Yodel "apparently" tried to deliver to me yesterday even though I was in all day but because I had no calling card I couldn't re-arrange through the automated system. Managed to get them on the phone after trying every option and they said they ran out of time!! Waiting in AGAIN today!!"

One user sums up many, saying: "Amazon MUST stop using Yodel. I will not order from Amazon until I am assured that Yodel has been fired."


The delivery company highlights that even with these thousands of complaints, this still is a small proportion of the total of 170 million parcels it delivers every year.

Jonathan Smith, CEO of Yodel said: "The vast majority of our 170 million annual deliveries go smoothly, however we are aware that in a small percentage of cases we may encounter issues which can cause customers inconvenience."

"Good customer service is a priority for Yodel and we take these very seriously and endeavour to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. Whenever we receive a complaint we also carry out a full investigation and take any additional action necessary to prevent the issue recurring."

Smith adds: "We have listened to our clients and their customers and are making positive changes to meet the needs of today's shoppers. These include extended driver training and we are also implementing a new, user friendly online tracking service, so customers can see where their parcel is in the delivery process. For customers who have a query we have also removed all call charges to our contact centre and introduced a Twitter feed, providing them with an additional and free method of contacting us."

Amazon said in a statement: "We work with a variety of carriers to deliver the many millions of orders that we dispatch on a weekly basis. Amazon measures itself on its ability to deliver items by the estimated delivery date we provide customers and the delivery performance is very strong. We take all customer feedback on board, actively monitor the performance of our carriers and make improvements in order that we can provide an even better service in the future."
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