Courier vow over Xmas deliveries
The boss of a major courier has promised customers hit by delays to deliveries in the lead up to Christmas: "We will get back on track."
Yodel, the second largest delivery firm in the UK and used by a string of major stores, was forced to temporarily suspend new collections from retailers and admitted parcels may be delayed by up to three days as it struggled to cope with a surge of online orders on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Today the company's executive chairman Dick Stead apologised for the problems.
He told the BBC: "I had a phone call from a gentleman who unfortunately had waited eight days for his parcel and that's totally unacceptable.
"You have to remember that from the point of order to delivery there are a number of points in that chain. Whatever, the retailers and the parcel companies as an industry as a whole -we've got to do better under this circumstances.
"Again, I say apologies but we will get it back on track."
Yodel is one of the couriers used by firms including Amazon, Waterstones and Boots.
The delivery firm's Twitter feed was awash with complaints from customers.
Cathy Bussey said: "Poor service from @YodelOnline. No parcels, no card thru door, no response to my tweet for help."
Ryan Thomas tweeted: "H as anyone ever received a order when delivered by yodel ? Horrendous service."
Another customer wrote: "My delivery was due on the 8th, still not arrived & still no update on your website... Update please?!"
In an update posted on its website on Friday Yodel insisted that its delivery service has not been suspended and parcels will continue to be distributed over the weekend.
It added: "Today, we have re-commenced many collections from our clients, with the remainder coming back on line no later than Monday.
"We are working with all our clients to manage the flow of new volume into our network. By Monday we expect to resume our normal service."
Amazon customers took to a forum on the site to express their frustrations at orders due to be delivered by Yodel.
Dave Fletcher wrote: " My TV was delivered at 10pm and 3 days late! I'm now waiting for a mattress topper which is 2 days delayed!"
Another said: "Ordered a Sealey (emergency power pack) for Prime delivery, supposed to arrive Monday. By Wednesday still nothing arrived although Yodel tracking said it was in the same town."
An Amazon spokesman said: "Amazon orders continue to be processed and delivered in the normal timeframe. For example, Prime customers can order for next day delivery."
Waterstones customers were also reporting problems.
Mary Novakovich tweeted: " Just discovered that my @Waterstones parcel has been sent via @YodelOnline - and it's been delayed. Now there's a surprise. *grinds teeth*"
In response to one query, Waterstones said: "Yodel are currently handling more parcels than they expected, so some deliveries are taking longer than we would like.Very sorry if this affects your order."
A spokeswoman for Boots said: " We know how important it is for our customers, particularly at this time of year, to get their packages delivered on time, which is why our delivery system is set up using a multi-carrier strategy.
"This involves using some third party carriers and our own transportation system, meaning we have agility to be able to quickly switch volumes between carriers to ensure continuity and maximum opportunity for delivery to our customers."
Marks & Spencer has also been hit by unrelated problems, with customers warned that standard delivery could take up to nine days - four days longer than normal.
A spokeswoman said: " Our customer is always our top priority and that is why we've extended some of our delivery options. The vast majority of orders are delivered on time."
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: "Consumers tell us they are put off buying online because of delivery issues, which is why we're campaigning to Stamp Out Dodgy Deliveries. We want to see retailers make sure delivery services are first class, first time."