Yodel employee speaks out against employer

I had a comment from a Yodel employee on one of the many HDNL/Yodel posts, explaining some of the difficulties the company is experiencing with its workload, and how it is laying off many of the drivers in favour. I thought this comment was so good that it should be added as a guest post. He makes some great points, and confirms what many Yodel customers have suspected…

Author : Yodel employee

I work for this company and can really sympathise with a lot of disgruntled people who have experienced issues.

However, I have to mention that there are people that work for this company that actually care. Just like in other companies, we are just let down by people who take short cuts and don’t give a damn about the consequences on customers. For the position I work in, it is so difficult to repair situations and at times you feel helpless at the chaos that occurs around you.

Yodel came about when HDNL acquired DHL Domestic (formerly Securicor Omega), so I knew things we not going to end well.

I normally monitor the emails and am appalled at the amount of complaints, missing parcels and delay queries I have to answer. There is no concept of adhering to standards or addressing poor service/performance. Yodel have made huge staff cut backs, drafted in a host of self employed couriers (without doing background checks) but persist with them as they are cheaper than employing drivers and are continually restructuring the organisation as well as the systems we use.

As a result, we have had IT issues, problems tracking parcels and the customer has suffered. We have lost so many customers in the past year, many of whom had been with Securicor Omega. I am someone that takes pride at what I do and really try my best so seeing this damage unfolding is depressing.

Each employee is pushed to work harder and for less which kills any lingering bits of motivation anyone has. Working for this company for the last year has been demoralising and very frustrating.

Like Lee Stevens, I will also very likely lose my job as the company looks to close sites and claw back money. With that decision they will lose a lot of employees with years of experience and many who actually care about what they do.

For me though, it may be a blessing.

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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12 thoughts on “Yodel employee speaks out against employer”

  1. Let me tell you, I found this website through my problems with Yodel. I’d ordered a new custom built computer (which wasn’t cheap at £775) and paid an extra 20 quid for a Saturday delivery.

    So on Friday I get an email saying it has been dispatched via Yodel next day delivery, and I could track it here, blah blah blah. Saturday morning rolls around and I wake up extra-early because I’m just that excited about my new machine coming and a nice weekend chock-full of gaming. Five hours later, it’s ten to noon and nothing has shown up yet.

    I check the parcel tracking and lo and behold… ‘No One To Receive Card Left’. I’d been sat in my chair positioned next to the large window which is at a 90 degree angle to the front door – I can see everybody coming to it, and they can see me.

    “Okay”, I say to myself, “Perhaps I became temporarily deaf-blind at some point, or perhaps the driver is some sort of ghost.” I plot over to my letterbox to pick up this card, and no card is there. Nothing at all. Apparently, the delivery driver decided that I live too far out of the way and he would rather clock off instead of doing his job or something, and updated my entry to say that he tried and failed to deliver. I’m not sure why s/he thought I would just let it slide, but then again their workers aren’t especially bright if what I read on this site is any indication of their ability.

    I am of course slightly miffed at the fact that I’ve been gipped off by a bunch of useless lying idiots, so I look up the dispatch email that the computer company sent me and notice that they gave me a number for Yodel. I give them a call and after navigating my way through their confusing automated system, I begin to talk to a customer care helper who mumbled and sounded extremely bored.

    “Oh, you need to call the Ashton depot, we can’t do anything here. They can ring the driver and have him bring it back”

    My hopes perked up. Maybe there would be just an hour delay. So, at 11:55 I ring the Ashton depot. Yet more confusing automated systems go through and then I am placed on hold for a rather long time, constantly being told my a robot girl that I will be put onto a person very soon.

    But then something strange happens. The muzak switches off. Silence.

    “H-hello?” I say into the phone, slightly confused.

    “BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP”, the phone answers in reply. The robot girl had lied – I’d been hung up on! I re-rang the depot immediately, only to be greeted by another robot telling me that the depot is now closed and I really ought to ring during working hours. I glanced at the clock. 12:00:34. They just pulled out the plug on everybody waiting in the calling queue and shuttered up within seconds.

    This kind of behaviour I would have barely tolerated in a 1970s Sheffield steel mill, perhaps. I wouldn’t expect a delivery company in 2011 to do the same thing. You think they’d at least work through the existing queue before closing up, but apparently they think that it’s best to hang up on them.

    So, with no other option, I rang up the first number again. I explained what had happened, and was told not to worry, “it can be redelivered on Tuesday.”

    “Tuesday?” I said.

    “Yep.” He said.

    “As in 4 days from now Tuesday?” I said.

    “Yep.” He said again.

    “That’s not good enough. I want it delivered today, like you were supposed to do in the first place.”

    “We can’t really do that. It’s scanned back in the depot now, and they won’t receive any order until Monday, which means that Tuesday is the earliest we can deliver it.”

    I spontaneously aged 300 years as I realised that I’d essentially paid money to end up waiting the same amount of time as I would have done had I not paid that money at all. With no other option, I agreed for a Tuesday delivery. Maybe my elderly grandmother could sign it for me, since I actually have a real job that doesn’t involve just making up stories about how nobody was at home to deliver the package.

    I fired off an extremely angry email about minutes later at 12:15 to their customer complaints address (Side note – it’s currently 9.5 hours later and I still have had no reply) and was left with nothing at all to do with the only real spare time I will have for at least another month now. At 14:00, I updated the parcel tracking again for no real reason.

    “Parcel returned to depot, 12:55”. At any point in my time speaking to them, they could have just rang up the driver and asked him to try actually delivering the package. At any point, someone with initiative could have fixed it for me.

    Instead of being a grinning kid with his new toy, I’m now a miserable bastard, imagining horrific scenarios in which the machine which cost me three quarters of a grand is tossed over my fence and left in a puddle, or shows up with a hole in it and a cockroach infestation, or some other horrible mishap caused by the incompetent cretins at Yodel playing catch with it or something.

    I thought that things worked differently. I thought that people with functions fulfilled those functions. I thought that plumbers fixed pipes, that carpenters made things out of wood and that next-day-delivery companies delivered things the next day.

    How wrong I was.

  2. Since Yodel are producing such a shoddy service (and my sympathies do go out to those employees trying to do a decent job), and the months and months of complaints have had no effect, it is up to people to complain to the companies using Yodel – hopefully in very large numbers. Companies such as Argos and Amazon do have contact systems and they need to know what a dreadful service their customers are receiving. I have had one example of the ‘throw the parcel over the gate’ delivery and one example of the ‘leave it out in the rain’ variety – so frustrating. It has got to stop.

  3. Wow. Just found this when checking to find out who Yodel were. I was almost convinced you were talking about Parcel Force, who famously left a parcel on my doorstep in the pouring when I was at home…after I had lodged a complaint and arranged a replacement for damage to their previous delivery attempt which the abandoned in pouring rain when I was at work.

    Personally not had problems with Yodel (or HDNL), I wonder if it’s a regional difference and they just happen to hire better contractors where I live. However, thanks for this info; very interesting!

  4. Yodel are an absolute nightmare. Ordered an item for a relatives special occasion, paying next day delivery to ensure a safe margin of a couple of days. Now been stuck in the house for FIVE days running, still no delivery, and repeated claims from Yodel that their drivers cannot local my address. I live at the top of a short country lane, and there are only 4 other houses on the lane. All satnav systems locates my postcode a hundred yards down the road. It is surely not rocket science to work out that the intended address is one of these houses? I have made daily calls to the service centre, sent emails, and today had an arguement with a customer services rep. who more or less accused me of inventing my own address!!!
    This is arguably the worst courier system in Britain. I feel sorry for any employers/sub contractors who do try to do the job properly, but if drivers can’t use common sense and get out of the van and knock on a door the whole lot of them deserve to go down the pan.

  5. Wish I had read these comments before arranging shipping of a PC I sold on ebay. Arranged through parcels2go for next day collection and next day delivery waited all day for collection no show by 7pm rebooked for following day but had not heard by 1pm that day spent an hour on the 0844 number to be told by a really helpful lady that the tracking number I have is only operational once the unit had been picked up. Was told yodel know nothing and to take it up with parcel2go contacted p2g was told that I was definitely in for today. Guess what no show once more. More worrying was the yodel tracking number seemed to be generic and had fifty entries going back two years. Today (third day) contacted p2g who said yodel had network IT issues. They rearranged delivery on TNT next day and now I wait till monday to drop the parcel at their depot. If they can’t even manage a pickup I surely don’t have much hope of yodel actually being able to deliver. more worrying is the reuse of tracking numbers as the parcel already shows as delivered! !! Anybody thinking of using yodel should avoid like the plague. The only reason I went with them was that they sell themselves as formerly DHL which gave me a sense of a reliable company who would be easy to deal with. Customer service is non existant and level of service is abysmal.

  6. Same shocking service from Yodel…

    I ordered a new iPhone from the Carphone Warehouse last Thursday, which promised next day delivery. However, because I knew I wouldn’t be at home on Friday, I asked for a Monday delivery. This would be fine, I was assured.

    At around noon on Monday, I checked my Yodel tracking information. I was somewhat surprised to see that they had apparently attempted delivery on Friday. Surprised because no card had been left, and I had specifically asked for a Monday delivery.

    Stupidly, I assumed that they would attempt redelivery on the next business day (which would have been the Monday), however, the tracking information confirmed that my phone was still languishing at their Loughborough depot… This was confirmed after a phone call to the Carphone Warehouse, who told me it would be delivered yesterday (Tuesday) and if it wasn’t on a van, I was too late. Marvellous.

    Tuesday came. Dutifully, I stayed at home to wait. And wait. And wait. However, I was encouraged by the online tracker, which tantalisingly said that my phone was ‘out for delivery’. The day rolled by. I phoned the Carphone Warehouse a few times, but was told that their contract with Yodel didn’t give them much ability to do anything useful. They can’t guarantee any sort of timeframe (apparently any time up to 9pm is possible), can’t directly contact the drivers, and can’t speak to anyone to register their customers’ outrage. My (two) email complaint rants were logged however, and I was upgraded to their ‘premier’ service. Whoop-de-doo.

    So…I waited, and kept refreshing the tracking info. At 20.30, I saw, to my horror, that my phone had returned to the depot. No record of an attempted delivery, zip, nothing. Just gone back.

    This morning (Wednesday), I phoned the CPW nice and early, for today was the day that my old 02 contract would be switched to Vodafone. Thus, my phone HAD to arrive. The sympathetic customer service guy listened, said he would escalate it to his manager, and even managed to speak to a customer service person at Yodel. Alas, the Yodel customer service was unsuccessful in talking to the driver. My CPW customer service chap again said that it was scheduled to be delivered before 17.30, and that he completely understood why I was so appalled. At least there was one genuinely sympathetic voice.

    Well, it’s now 17.07 on Wednesday, the fourth business day after ordering my phone. Apparently, it is still ‘out for delivery’. Meanwhile, my old 02 SIM has died, and I have no phone. No call from Yodel, who have my number, no cards, no nothing.

    My suspicion is that my village (albeit just off a main A-road in Rutland) is too far to be convenient compared to the moron’s other drops. Hence, while the Yodel drivers are paid for each parcel they deliver, it doesn’t make financial sense for him to spend X minutes getting here and back, when he could make more local drops near to the depot and just ignore me.

    I have tried to quell the feelings of murderous rage and hatred, but to no avail.

    Suffice to say, I will be cancelling the phone and contract first thing tomorrow and going, in person, to a Vodafone shop.

    Retailers like the CPW must start to realise that they are losing customers because of their feckless, lying and unreliable agents. There. Rant over. For now.

  7. yodel do not deliver for carphone warehouse, they never have, not in the 20 years i worked for them, i was made redundant a month ago, best thing that ever happened to me. i now have a new job, and 50 grand sat in the bank thanks to my redundancy. and i’m off to the maldives in 2 weeks time for a fortnight. i dont have a care in the world. i would love to meet the new boss of yodel and shake him by the hand.

  8. Ex Yodel Driver….Yodel do deliver for carphone warehouse!!

    you say you dont have a care in the world….sounds like you didnt have a care in the world when you was a driver, no wonder you got made redundant!!!

  9. Hi everyone. I don’t work for Yodel but do work within this industry. I feel your frustrations.. but remember this..

    These depots and sub depots have hundreds of thousands of parcels to deliver daily. Someone mentioned earlier, the help desk should have at least dealt with the complaints before switching off the line.. you do realise, that queue wouldn’t have just ended with 5 people left?.. there’d have been another.. and another.. and another on that queue.. where would it end?

    Ok.. I’m a courier, I work on a bogus “self-employed” basis, I’m paid 50 pence per parcel, not paid for fuel (so out of that 50p, some of it goes towards fuel, out of my pocket). In our case, we cover a lot of addresses in a very compact area to make any profit.

    As far as I’m concerned with my attitude to the job – I do my best to get deliveries made, especially “next day”/”stated day”. But there are couriers that notice how far away a delivery is and realise if they even attempt such a delivery it will be at a loss to them.

    These companies have absolutely no interest in customer service – the parcel industry is diseased with greed, every company is trying to undercut the others, this is why things are in the mess they are and you see parcels being slung over gates if customers aren’t in (it’d be a waste of the courier’s own time and money to keep going back.. my company only pays me my 50p for one successful delivery). This is why things are the way they are, to add more clarity to why these services are so awful.

    Of course, in that case, they will ignore any complaints you have.. because it costs them money.. as I said.. customer service isn’t even in the equation anymore, it’s who can survive.

  10. I worked for Yodel and its predecessor companies for 25 years and unfortunately due to poor management at board level and no doubt most of the levels further down the chain , the customer service , also working conditions for employees became worse and worse. Partly due to the company not really understanding the nature of the beast , in my opinion , focusing too heavily on monetary goals without any real direction for company ideals and future development. No doubt they thought they were , but main problem was , no common sense was ever applied to situations. I was offered voluntary redundancy and grabbed in with both hands — best thing that ever happened. Its a great pity , because the company had the makings of being a fantastic operator in the marketplace of domestic deliveries , but they have just cocked it up big time due to the lack of basic management skills displayed by the big wigs . Many of the management staff at local depot level didnt have much of a clue either unfortunately. Sounds like they still haven’t — branding a delivery outfit with a name that sounds like a Swiss Yoghurt !! Oh dear !!

  11. Infuriating auto-mated telephone system meant I couldn’t get through to a real human being, I gave up and sent a complaint through the form on their website.

    So if the drivers are paid per delivery, it’s in their interest for me not to hear them? Do they get paid 3 times if they have to call back 3 times? If so, then that explains a lot.

    I got the “We missed you” card at 12:29 saying the driver called at 12:00. I had windows open so I could hear activity outside. I didn’t hear the driver. I didn’t hear them knocking the door. All I want to do is try and sort it out, perhaps I could get the driver to call again today, or I could ask him to knock louder next time, or I can reassure him I will DEFINITELY answer the door. I WANT MY DELIVERY!

    But because I can’t get through to a real person, I’m now fed up and angry with this company.

    These auto-mated phone systems are a joke, also!! Why can’t companies just pay someone to take answer your call, then redirect you if needed, just having that human point of contact would make things a million times better.

    This also happened to me with another delivery with Royal Mail: The auto-mated system wouldn’t let me through to a real person. It was so infuriating.

  12. Hi all, Thanks for sharing your experiences on the forum, very helpful! We are currently in the planning stage of developing a new courier company, employing mainly part-time drivers. Although, at this point in time we are keen to interview (approximately 20) ex or current part-time drivers who have worked at Yodel, Hermes, Interlink, DX, CityLink, DHL or Fedex.

    We are mainly after your experience and what makes it a desirable company for long term sustainable working. Any thoughts or advice will be super helpful! We are paying £10 for 30 to 60mins interview via telephone.

    If you are interested please email us on percentage@hmamail.com

    Thanks in advance!

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