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Home Delivery Network/Yodel are pants AVOID!

Here is an email I sent as complaint because the last 2 out of 2 deliveries have seriously been a lot of fail, I’ll update if they respond or resolve the situation

DISCLAIMERS:

  • I mention 2 companies below, Amazon and Made.com it’s by no means their fault that I have had this experience (although the decision to use HDNL in the first place could be debated) it is solely HDNL/Yodel causing the problems. Amazon and Made.com are good quality companies and i would recommend either of them 🙂
  • It’s quite possible this is a localised HDNL issue (New Cross Depot, London) however not a lot of my reading over the internet fills me with confidence that it is only localised but rather likely a systemic company/country-wide plague
  • THIS IS A LONG EMAIL – You have been warned 🙂
  • REDACTED a couple of items that would be otherwise exposing personal information unneccesarily

UPDATES:

  • made.com been in touch with me due to my comments on twitter, they are chasing from there end and are doing much more than is required to help me out – that is what you call customer service 🙂
  • 27/10/2011 – 8AM: one of made.com’s items finally arrived at 21:40 last night, totally missed the delivery window and…. after 9PM!!!!, still as of yet not even acknowledgement of my complaint
  • I got an actual email response from Yodel dated – 2nd November 18:32, the from name was Amazon which is slightly misleading (i might report this to Amazon), its just a generic letter of response and “assurance” that they will investigate it

To Whom It May Concern,

This is the second time in almost as many weeks that I have had a package going via Home Delivery Network (HDNL), to arrive shockingly late or not at all. So far in the case of the second time, I’d like to record a catalogue of failures from my 2 current experiences and ask you what you are going to do about it. I’d like to point out that out of around 8 dealings with HDNL, I have only ever had one package arrive within the set time on the set day, but even then the delivery driver had a lack of care for the package, but I am not referring to that incident.

1st Delivery/Order – Amazon.com

I ordered several goods via amazon prime, which entitled me to free next day delivery. One item, being sent direct from Amazon, was sent via HDNL. It was ordered on a Sunday and dispatched on the Monday. I expected to receive the package on the Tuesday and took time off work to be able to receive it. The package did not arrive on the Tuesday and at 7pm I called the call centre. I was advised that you were very busy and that delivery drivers were delivering until 9pm, despite your advertised delivery time of 7am to 7pm. I called later at just after 9pm to be told the same information, as the only information the call centre had was that it was still out on the van.

Needless to say it was not delivered on that Tuesday and I had wasted a whole day waiting in for a package I expected to arrive. I called on the Wednesday morning at about 9am once the delivery status had been updated to scanned into depot again, and they just told me the vans load until 11:30am, so they couldn’t say what was happening. They also said they would need a day to recover the package so that I could go and collect it, as I required the item I had ordered on that Wednesday (which is why I ordered next day delivery) so I said no. I also was advised that the driver “did not attempt delivery” which meant they would today, as drivers are “not allowed to ‘not attempt’ delivery more than once”. The advisor also as good as guaranteed that I would receive the package on that day.

I called up at 7pm when the parcel had still not arrived, and was advised that they were very busy and were delivering until 9pm – again your automated service still said 7am – 7pm. I also expressed my concern that I was told the exact same the previous day, and the member of staff was fairly blunt in saying there was nothing she could do about it because the depot was closed. When I asked to speak to the manager, she put me on hold and then took my contact details and advised me a manager would call back – this never happened.

I called again at 9pm as the parcel had still not arrived, and the advisor had no information and could not contact the depot or driver.

The package arrived at 22:15pm. 5 mins later and I would have actually have been in bed! Also the package was supposed to be signed for, however the driver literally just handed me the package after I opened the door and commented “its a bit late isn’t it?” and walked off, no signature taken or anything.

2nd Delivery/Order – Made.com

I ordered these packages some weeks ago and was prepared for the wait originally. I received an email from them on Friday 21st October advising that they were dispatching the goods to the courier. I received an email on the Monday 24th to say they were due to be delivered on Tuesday 25th. I clicked on one of the emails to reschedule the delivery to the Wednesday, which was more convenient for me – I wrongly assumed this was for both packages, however it looks like it was only for one of the 2 packages. Your system is obviously lacking the ability to realise that if 1 package to the same destination as the other is rescheduled, it should ask to reschedule the other.

I got an email Tuesday morning saying you were going to deliver between 4pm and 7pm, so I rush home in order to be able to receive it, however it did not turn up within that window. I called at just after 7pm, but before I did I checked the tracking status of one of my orders (at this stage I only assumed there was one order in your system and not two)

Lo and behold it says the package had been delivered. I have checked with my neighbours and they have not received a package for me, and I was also at the property at the delivery time and was no more than 3 metres away from the front door for most of the delivery window time, so would have heard someone attempting to deliver and heard a van drive up or away. I called to complain that I have not received the parcel, and they told me all they could do was email the depot because it was closed at 6pm. I asked to speak to a manager and was told I couldn’t. I asked why not and was told they were “busy dealing with escalations”, so I asked for the call to be “escalated”. The advisor took my contact details and told me a manager would be in touch – as of yet no manager has been in touch.

I called yet again this morning and was advised of the 2 parcels and I was advised such: for the parcel that was “delivered” but not i was told they have to contact the depot and interview the driver, and it can take up to 48 hours and that I should contact the seller: made.com
The second package they advised me was damaged and awaiting further advice, and the advisor didn’t really know what to advise me to do. As of yet I have not received either of these 2 packages and I actually need them for people to sit on tonight!

So from my details above, here is how HDNL/Yodel totally failed me:

  • First order arrived a day (and a half) late
  • First order management never called me back
  • First order the package arrived at 10pm despite being given two sets of information separately
  • First order didn’t get me to sign for it
  • Second order, two separate items, wasn’t made clear in emails
  • One item is supposedly damaged
  • One item was marked as delivered, but it looks like driver never bothered to deliver it
  • Advisors have no info or means to contact depot
  • Has still not arrived

I also have lost earnings as a result of waiting for packages, I am a freelance IT consultant and any time I need to stay off work and wait for a package is actual lost earnings, because I do not have things like annual leave, so to earn money I have to work. If I exclude the days when I arranged to be present to receive the goods, I have so far lost:

Order 1: 1 day
Order 2: half a day and counting

If I was to be working 9 – 5 during that lost time, based on the above figures, I have lost overin potential earnings due to the failures of HDNL and Yodel.

I also have the following questions of HDNL:

  • why do you deliver until 7pm but your depots “close” at 6pm, how is this even possible?
  • why do you have to deliver until 9pm and then not actually update your automated systems to advise of this?
  • why do managers not call back customers despite being told this would happen?
  • how are you going to repair your reputation with myself?
  • how is it acceptable to deliver packages after 10pm when your stated delivery time is 7am to 7pm?
  • how is it even possible for your drivers to take too many packages to deliver that they are not able to complete there delivery round within the delivery day?
  • is it acceptable to provide so little information to the customer?

Until I actually get a satisfactory response, I will be advising friends, family and other acquaintances to immediately cancel orders from suppliers that send via HDNL/Yodel, and/or to get their suppliers to choose alternatives to yourselves. I will also be forwarding trimmed down versions of this email to made.com and amazon.com and suggest they find alternative providers.

For your reference, my delivery address is:

Regards




Student finance shenanigans

just an update on my student life, will get to why the title in a mo. this year i was doing whats called the Professional Pathway (PP) scheme with Uni which meant i did a uni equivalent of a modern apprenticeship – work 4 days study 1 etc. i have to admit initially it was a great thing but it came with its own challenges the biggest of which was time management and particularly with the switch between, work and studies and back again.

one of my biggest problems this year was that because my job involves a lot of first line support there would quite often be urgent issues coming in on a tuesday which was my day when i attended lectures, Tuesday being the offices busiest day never helped either. this often left me the dilemna of do i focus on fixing the work issues or switch off and focus on the lecture material. i have to admit here i let work take the priority more than not, in some situations it was entirely approriate but other times it really could have waited until later that day or the following day, i have been lucky that it didn’t affect me too much

my second issue for which is one of the primary reasons why i am not going to do PP next year (i will be returning back into full time studies in october) was that PP students were still expected to meet the same deadlines as full time students, i raised this issue several times with no resolution but to put it into perspective so that it doesnt sound like a small thing, full time students in second year this year were only attending university 3 days out of 5 a week, this mean if we just rule out a day at uni as busy and only take week days into consideration full time students had 2 free days a week in which they could do personal studies and coursework (now i will admit that i would likely have spent it working part time to combat some of the student loans etc and many students do) a PP student on the other hand spends 1 day at university attending lectures and the other 4 days working by basic maths it works out that full time students have 2 days per week extra time in which to do the work set, when you set the same deadlines that full time students found hard to meet then you can understand how much harder it is for PP students.

this wasnt the main reason i decided to return to full time studies though, the other was that i felt the organisation of the PP course was utterly shambolic, there were times when i asked for help and got nothing, there were several times where said i was unable to do something or meet a deadline due to work related changes meaning i couldnt do my original project proposal and effectively had to start again (1 week before the first deadline was due) i got nothing but an ok, submit an extenuating circumstances form and let us know when you had a proposal, the lecturer ignored my question asking about other alternatives if i couldnt find a new project proposal, let alone my questions about the further deadlines. as a result i was basically ignored, missed the deadlines and was as good as screwed. this was all at a time when i wasnt motivated about uni which did not help at all so it ended up that i will fail the main module from this term. the options for me were to quit uni altogether (i dont want to give up again) repeat the year (if this year was anything to go by it wouldnt solve the problem) or go back into fulltime education, the choice was a logical one to make.

so that leads me on to the post title, because i wont be working fulltime (i may only have odd freelance work and i have to support myself) i need to apply for student loans, went through the process fine no bother and get to the end and am told i can have the maintenance loan but not the tuition fees loan (approx £3300 for 2010/2011) upon querying it i have since found out that students only get full support for the years of there degree plus an extra year (to account for repeats), this shouldnt be a problem for me because my degree was a 3 year one and i had only just completed my second year (it was part time so i have to effectively restart the second year to do the missed modules) so i should be on my 3rd year of support out of a max of 4, i have since been told that they took my first attempt at uni into account as well so i have technically already studied for 3 years. no problems i should get the 4th year of support….

not exactly, the 4th year is always reserved for the final year of studies. which leaves me in a sticky situation and begs the question that i am sure many people who have gotten into similar situations as myself have no doubt asked. if the fees loan is reseved for the final year so i cant get the loan for this current years studies, how do they expect me to even reach my final year?

so at this moment in time i have no idea how things are going to turn out. Student Finance have clear rules and will not deviate from them. i have to work out how to effectively come up with £3000 to pay for uni tuition fees to get through this year, i have savings but if i used that i would be clearing them out and would have no saftey buffer if things really did hit the fan (besides i was saving that money for future rainy days/buying a house deposit/getting married? – ok being presumptous on that one but a man can plan cant he?). i am praying that i get most of my deposit back from the old flat so that i can at least have a safety margin again of something, and i am praying that i get a lot of freelance work that i can do in my spare time to help fund things

i have to admit that i am pretty annoyed at this although in reality its just the rules of the situation so i have nothing to be annoyed about except myself, i am just pretty annoyed that the rules werent clear in the first place. but oh well life moves on, i can only pray that God reveals the correct solution to the problem because he has already made it clear that it is the right path to be on so i am quietly confident that it will all come good.

wow long post, but glad to get it off my chest.