Many online shoppers across the UK have yet to receive their Christmas parcels as courier Evri faces severe delays.
Customer are complaining about parcels and packages that are reported to have been delivered to the wrong address or left in improper or unsuitable locations.
In one case, the "safe place" where the parcel was left was the middle of the street.
“Don't know if anyone else has had this before but I never selected safe place as someone was in all day, iv checked with all my neighbours and my parcel is no where to be seen? Clearly the evri driver fancied a treat for themselves and they have taken my parcel!,” the client said in an online forum dedicated to the courier.
Another shopper was still waiting on her Christmas gift and even sellers are complaining about the delays.
“Is anyone still waiting on Christmas gifts? I'm still waiting on a gift that was sent from NEXT (NXT.L). It baffles me why big companies use this service.”
One seller is still waiting to see if the parcel will arrive, weeks after posting.
“Still waiting for parcels to arrive to my buyers, both posted 26th of December. They are stuck somewhere and I can’t get hold of Evri for comments/updates. I’ve got an email back over a week ago confirming my enquiry and nothing since!!,” she said.
“Still waiting for my parcels been stuck in their depot since 22 December said I was getting one delivered on Sunday still waiting,” yet another customer complained.
“EVRI has still not delivered Xmas presents apparently sitting in their depot since 14th December. Supplier has refunded me but I would like to know what happens to all the non -delivered parcels? Come on EVRI …. respond and be accountable,” was another complaint.
But some customers have been surprised by a delivery when all hope was lost. They only had to wait almost three months.
“Evri parcel delivered today, declared lost since late October...,” one shopper said.
“Don't give up hope I received 4 parcels today I ordered for Christmas 1 dating back as far as 27th November,” another one said in the forum where clients are despairing about the delays from the courier.
The company rebranded from Hermes to Evri after being marred by allegations that its drivers mishandle parcels.
According to the delivery brand, the decision comes after “two years of dramatic growth” which put the business through a “major transformation programme”.
In December 2021, an investigation by The Times revealed instances of parcels allegedly being thrown against walls, with one depot manager telling the reporter “all you can do is act totally stupid” if an angry customer complains.
Evri was recently named the UK’s worst delivery service in Citizens Advice league table. It received the lowest score in the table for the second year in a row, mustering a “lacklustre” 1.75 stars out of five.
Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “One year on and parcel firms haven’t got their act together, with nobody delivering a 4 or 5-star service. Behind the figures are shoppers seriously let down when parcels go missing or are late.
“The needs of those who rely most on online shopping, such as disabled people, are being forgotten. Our findings show there’s more for Ofcom to do to protect shoppers, and if these firms don’t up their game, it should be fining them.”
Evri at the time said it was a reliable courier with a loyal client base and competitive prices
The firm said that staff shortages, Royal Mail strikes and bad weather had contributed to the problems.
Evri told Yahoo Finance UK: “We are sorry that some customers are experiencing short, localised delays in receiving their parcels. We continue to be impacted by high demand, staff shortages and bad weather conditions but due to the hard work of our local teams, we successfully delivered over 3 million parcels each day over recent weeks.
"Despite incredible efforts from all of our people, our service has not been as good as we would have liked in some areas, and we are committed to redoubling our efforts this year including a focus on recruitment. In some local areas, there are still some delayed parcels that should be cleared over the next few days and we apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment. However, in the unlikely event that a parcel hasn’t been delivered within 10 days, we would advise customers to contact their retailer/seller who will in turn contact us if necessary”
Read more: Royal Mail losing £1m a day
If your parcel does not arrive by the date agreed, you can make a claim against the retailer. These laws are enforced by Trading Standards.
If you didn’t select a particular delivery date or window at checkout, you are entitled to a refund if the item doesn’t show up within 30 days.
If your purchase is damaged when it arrives, it is also the retailer’s responsibility to refund you.
An MP has questioned whether Evri should be investigated over its “poor customer service” after the parcel firm apologised for ongoing UK-wide delays.
During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Labour MP Carolyn Harris said “Does the Prime Minister believe that over 40,000 interactions by either social media, email or letter regarding the poor customer service and working conditions at the delivery company Evri warrants an investigation by the relevant Government department?
“His ministers in BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) think not. But I’m sure the Prime Minister would want the general public to believe that he at least is interested enough in this problem to take action.”
Prime minister Rishi Sunak said: “I am aware that other Government ministers have looked into this issue and are currently considering the matter at hand. I would be happy to write to her when we learn more about the situation.”