Courier nightmares: readers’ complaints and how to solve them

When I posted a blog on the PC Pro website in February, bemoaning the fact that a courier had decided the safest place to leave my new router was in the recycling bin, I pithily asked whether this was the “worst courier ever”.

Courier nightmares: readers' complaints and how to solve them

Judging by the flood of incredible courier nightmare stories that were subsequently posted on the comments section of the blog, the answer is “not even close”.

From tales of couriers hurling laptops over garden fences, to packages left to rot in the snow, to delivery drivers not even bothering to knock on the door before poking a “sorry we missed you card” through the letterbox, the PC Pro readership spewed forth with stories of disastrous deliveries.

Here, we share some of the worst examples of rank courier incompetence, and offer advice on your rights when couriers literally fail to deliver the goods.

Sorry you were in

Several readers reported incidents of couriers dropping the “sorry we missed you” card through their letterbox, even though they’d waited in especially for a delivery to turn up.

“Twice I’ve caught the Royal Mail guy writing a ‘sorry you were not in’ letter. Twice I’ve called the complaints department. Guess what? I caught him twice more, after which he admitted that it takes too long to deliver to flats so he just writes cards and leaves them at the entrance.” – Nik

“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 a ‘sorry we missed you’ note through the door, and ran back to his van. He must have pre-written the note, 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 through the window, assumed that nobody was home, and decided it wasn’t worth ringing the bell to make sure.” – SteveJ

“Twice on the same delivery Yodel’s website 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. It turned out to be a lay-by on a main road five miles away from our house.

“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 collect the parcel from the depot, which is an hour’s drive away in Cardiff. So, ‘next-day delivery’ took three days, a 120-mile round trip, three hours off work, and an awful lot of frustration and aggravation.” – Simon Jones

“I live in Pool, Cornwall, but my parcel was delivered to Poole in Dorset, where they couldn’t find my road. When I phoned up and chased where it was, I was advised I could collect it from the local depot in Poole. They didn’t believe that there could be a Pool in Cornwall. The item was eventually returned as un-deliverable and I managed (with some argument) to cancel the order and order from elsewhere.” – Michael

What to do

It’s possible to claim compensation – if you have to take extra time off work, for example – because a delivery didn’t show up on the stated date. The website MoneySavingExpert has a template letter to fill in, claiming compensation for failed deliveries.

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