The Curse of Yodel – and how to survive it – maybe…

I’ve described, at length, the shambles that was my Amazon delivery routed through Yodel couriers, so I’m not going to do it again, but last night my Twitter timeline became one long, enraged, cry for help as victims of Yodel’s incompetence vented their frustration.

I can tell you – though I can’t cite my source without dropping someone in the mire – that Yodel already have a massive backlog, without having the slightest clue what they’re going to do about it, and the Christmas rush is barely under way. How much worse is it going to get?

It’s clear, from last night, that it’s utterly pointless talking to Yodel – they either leave you hanging on the line until you get cut off, or simply don’t answer – or just pour a torrent of bullshit in your ear if they do. And I can tell you, from personal experience, that they don’t reply to online enquiries which detail their fuckuppery and ask for an explanation and a firm delivery date.

In the end, I emailed Amazon, on Monday, saying that unless they could light fire under Yodel I’d be minded to cancel my order (I’ve covered Amazon’s initial and inept response to that here). At 16.48 on Monday, my package was listed as out for delivery. At 15.00 Tuesday, it finally arrived. It should have been here last Thursday. Last Wednesday, Yodel passed it to another courier who, instead of delivering it to me, buggered about with it until Friday, then delivered it back to Yodel. That, at least, is what Yodel’s tracking applet says (and I have screencaps to prove it).

So, anyway, if you know it’s Yodel that’s causing your delivery problems, don’t waste time talking to them – that only hides the problem from the sender.

You absolutely must make the sender aware of what a total fuck-up Yodel are, by complaining directly to them, loudly and repeatedly, if necessary, and threatening to cancel if they don’t do something about it. I would, though, based on Amazon’s response, use the most basic of English, and say that you are “seriously considering cancelling,” or you are “thinking seriously of cancelling” – and even then there’s a risk that they’ll still interpret that as “cancel immediately and give me a refund!” as they did with me, until I set them straight.

Whatever you do, you really must make the senders aware of the situation, not just bitch about it on Twitter. Because if you don’t, the situation is never going to get any better. Hell, there was even an item on Radio 4 yesterday about how horrendous Yodel are.

Yodel’s website, by the way, boasts that they now offer an international  service. Given that coping with a domestic service is way beyond their capabilities, the thought of how much worse they can become on the international stage is one that fills me with horror and dismay.

Yodel, useless bastards that they are, deserve to have every contract terminated without delay, before they damage the online shopping industry.

It will – very soon, I think – become a selling point among online retailers to boast that they don’t use Yodel. If so, they’ll be the ones getting my business, not the ones who keep using Yodel despite knowing that all they’re doing is pissing off their customers.


9 thoughts on “The Curse of Yodel – and how to survive it – maybe…

  1. It all sounds woefully incompetent.

    On the theme of questionable delivery companies, where I am, CityLink are notorious for not ringing the doorbell, but just putting a ‘we tried to deliver’ card through the letter box and driving off!

    I was skeptical at first until they did it to me twice! Sadly for them, my hyperacusis means I can hear their loud van engines, so I immediately rushed to the window and called down to them to wait.

    They claimed my doorbell must not be working properly but, as I use a clip-on pager to tell me when my doorbell has rung, I was able to bring this to the door with me and prove the doorbell did work.

    On previous occasions, before I got wise to their behaviour, I would find cards from them when I’d been in the whole time.

    When I called the number to arrange re-delivery I was always asked first to get it myself from their depot 20 miles away that is NOT accessible by public transport. When I explained I didn’t have access to a car (or ability to carry heavy things due to disability) they reverted to the good old “could you get someone to do it for you?”.

    After further emphasis from me on their clear policy of offering mutually convenient re-delivery if the first attempt failed, they would finally agree to try again.

    Interestingly, when I said “please can they make sure they ring the doorbell”, the operative would say “I’ll make a note of that”.

    Why would a delivery company have to make a note to ring a customer’s doorbell?

    Anyway, just wanted to share.


    • Now I’m waiting for the useless sods – Yodel, that is – to collect the unwanted machine. I had to suggest a date, so I gave them Friday, December 9. Got an email back from them saying:-

      Non-working date specified, collection re-booked for 12/12/2011

      What sort of a half-arsed company doesn’t work on a Friday? No bloody wonder they can’t cope!

  2. I have had many satisfactory dealings with Amazon, but this is the first time they have used YODEL and they are utterly rubbish. All the tracking page says is the package was forwarded top another courier last Friday. Their phone line is permanently engaged. Amazon cannot even get hold of them. If I at least knew who the courier was I could try them direct for a status update. All I am after is seeing an “Out for delivery” status so I know to wait in for it. Certainly I will be telling Amazon that IF I decide to buy from them again, they had better not ship via YODEL or I will be straight on the cancel button.

    • Threatening Amazon with cancellation, by email, worked for me – it arrived the next day. Bizarrely, they also processed a refund – useful as I sent the order back as unsuitable.

      Against all the odds, Yodel turned up early on Monday to collect it.

      I’ve a feeling that when DHL and HDN merged to form Yodel, they offloaded a lot of staff – too many – and now they simply can’t cope.

      And I’ve spoken to one person whose package went on an excursion to Northern Ireland, and back, before finally being delivered!

  3. I’ve had issues with Yodel in the past my O2 phone on a next day delivery took over a week to get to me, after finally got someone at O2 to kick someones backside and having it driven to me in a car.

    I currently have three seperate parcels at “Loaded on to drivers van” status in Nottingham with Yodel/HDNL. I’m in Leicester and am expecting the “Unable to deliver in a timely manner” update to appear around 4pm.

    The extract below is from Euro Car Parts advising their customers of delivery issues. It’s Christmas, you think they have seen it coming.

    Tuesday 6th Dec – Our Carrier (HDNL/YODEL) today faced record volumes – 20% ONTOP of their seasonal forecast, This has caused delays in 6 of their 26 depots. – All orders placed TODAY have been delayed (please see delayed timings above)

    Wednesday 7th & Thursday 8th Dec – Our Carrier (HDNL/YODEL) On both of these days had intermittent technical issues with their machinery in their central sorting depot. All orders were dispatched from our Wembley warehouse on time, however HDNL were unable to move these past their sorting office, causing delays.(please see delayed timings above)

    Friday 9th – Yodel are working through their backlog, caused by the weather, extra parcels and their technical breakdown, Extra vans have been drafted in for Friday & the weekend. Today we have REMOVED the 24 hour option from our website, to reduce the backlog, as we don’t expect it them to be fulfilled.

    Saturday 10th – Yodel have spent all of Saturday (& in some areas Sunday) delivering the backlog of parcels – Many customers have received their 24 and 48 hour deliveries on a Saturday service!

    WC Monday 12th – Yodel are back to 95% and believe they have cleared all of our backlog (if you still haven’t receive an order from Wednesday please let us know) However we have removed all delivery options from our website EXCEPT for our economy service – All economy deliveries from today are expected to be delivered in their normal 2-4 working days.

    • Not entirely sure who HDNL/Yodel are. The company, which comprises DHL Domestic and HDN, is properly known as Hart-Yodel (on their own documentation), or just Yodel to the rest of frustrated humanity. Is there a subdivision trading as HDNL/Yodel?

      Anyway, I’m not convinced by their explanation, as from what I’ve been told by other victims, this fuckuppery has been going on for some weeks, if not months, and as we reach the Christmas peak, it certainly isn’t going to get any better.

  4. Just finished on the phone to Yodel…2nd time they have failed to collect an Amazon order! have to wait 48 hours for an explanation for the no show – cant specify a new collection time other than anytime between 9-5-what an awful company!

    Phoned Amazon call centre & asked for a refund, they are sending City Link on Monday between 9-12.

    Recommend not buting from Amazon if they continue to use Yodel!

  5. I ordered on the 11th from littlewoods who use Yodel and littlewoods said it will take upto 5 days to be delivered, but Im still waiting now, it just says item is on the van when tracking it. Try and ring two numbers for the depot but just get ringing then cut off on one then a engaged on the other. WHAT A DISGRACE!

    This is the Nottingham depot.

  6. I’ve already wasted a day, with a no-show, and Yodel tracking saying “Not home, Card left”. And have just had a glimpse of a massive anti-Yodel thread on the Amazon forum. Clearly Amazon are not listening to their customers.

    So I’m not buying from Amazon again and am in the process of closing my account.

    I’d advise others to do likewise.

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