Parcel firms still failing to deliver in Citizens Advice's second league table

  • Evri comes last for a second year running, despite overall improvement, with 1.75 stars out of a possible 5.

  • Yodel got the lowest rating score on any criteria, with just 1.70 for customer service

  • Almost half (46%) of customers who had an issue with their last delivery faced further problems when resolving the issue with their given delivery firm.

  • Royal Mail scores highest, knocking Amazon off the top spot and bettering its score from last year with 3 stars overall.

  • None of the major companies reach a 4 or 5-star service overall. 

Citizens Advice has revealed the scale of dodgy deliveries still blighting online shoppers, with its second annual parcel league table.

Four of the top five firms failed to secure even a 3-star overall rating, after being scored against criteria including customer service, parcel problems and accessibility needs (such as people needing longer to answer the door).

Citizens Advice found:

  • No parcel companies hit 3 stars when it comes to meeting the needs of disabled customers and any other individuals who require adjustments for how they receive parcels. DPD scored highest with 2.4 stars, but across all delivery firms, people needing extra support with their delivery were more than twice as likely to face delivery problems, compared with those who didn’t (54% and 26% respectively).

  • Yodel scores the lowest score on any criteria, scoring 1.70 for customer service. Close to half (43%) of Yodel customers polled by Citizens Advice reported a problem with their last delivery, compared to just over a quarter (28%) of Royal Mail customers. 

  • Almost half (46%) of customers who had an issue with their last delivery faced further problems when trying to find a resolution, such as not being able to find the right contact details or not receiving a response. Worst offenders were Yodel (52%), Evri and DPD (both 51%).

  • Despite facing problems, customers still awarded the parcel companies improved trust scores compared to last year, with Amazon and Royal Mail achieving 4.33 stars. The charity says this could point to shoppers’ generally low expectations of delivery firms.

Citizens Advice also revealed its online advice ‘If something you ordered hasn't arrived’ has been viewed almost 211,000 times in the last 12 months, and was viewed 52,000 times in the three months leading up to Christmas 2021.

The scores

The top five delivery companies by parcel volume were measured against four criteria using data from Citizens Advice Consumer Service, consumer polling and social media complaints.

*In March 2022, Hermes announced they were changing their name to Evri

These latest scores come as the charity continues to hear from individuals with stolen or late parcels.

I was so angry as £456 was so much money to lose

Tess from East Sussex was due to attend a wedding this summer. She ordered a number of dresses online to try on - totalling £456, but the delivery firm left her parcel in full-view of a public footpath on her porch. Tess never found her parcel and wasn’t able to get a refund. 

“I’ve checked everywhere for my parcel. I just don’t know why they didn't leave it with a neighbour and why they thought it was ok to leave it there without anyone signing for it. 

“The shop I ordered from said as far as they’re concerned the dresses had been delivered. I’d have to take it to a small claims court, which would be too stressful. I was so angry as £456 was so much money to lose. It’s put me off spending so much money when ordering items on one delivery now.”

Ofcom is responsible for the parcels market and recently reviewed its regulation, including consumer protections. It announced improvements for disabled people and people needing to complain. However, the charity wants the regulator to do more to stop problems happening in the first place.

“One year on and parcel firms haven’t got their act together, with nobody delivering a 4 or 5-star service.” 

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.”

Citizens Advice Consumer Expert, Jane Parsons, gives her top tips to help combat parcel delivery issues:

  1. Check delivery information - Before you place an order, find out the delivery times, costs and returns policies for the items you want

  2. If you’re out of the house during delivery - Consider asking a neighbour or friend if it can be delivered to their address if you think it may be a time or date you’re not home. But beware, if you do provide details of a safe space or nominated neighbour and something goes wrong it’s not the seller or courier’s responsibility

  3. Online trader or online marketplace? - Make sure you know if you are dealing with a trader or a private seller on an online marketplace as dispute processes may vary.  If you have an issue with a trader, a dispute can be raised directly with them, but if it’s a private individual it may be easier to go through a marketplace's dispute process

  4. Check reviews - It’s always worth taking a careful look at reviews to gain an insight as to how reliable the company is and how well they deal with missing parcel complaints and refunds

Notes to editors

1. Opinium Research conducted an online survey between 10th and 31st October 2022 of 8,421 UK adults who have received a parcel in the last month from: Royal Mail, DPD, Yodel, Amazon Logistics or Evri. To create the league table, the five top parcel delivery companies by volume of delivery were measured against four criteria: quality of service, accessibility, customer service and trust. Each rating was out of five stars, and each criteria has been weighted to calculate the overall score. The full league table and methodology can be found on Citizens Advice website

2. Top five companies by volume of delivery. Estimates taken from Apex Insight, UK Parcels Market Insight Report 2020

3. Online sales figures have been taken from ONS Retail Sales Index internet sales, October 2022.

4. Citizens Advice, Response to Ofcom’s call for inputs, May 2021. Section 7.28, pp.76

5. Figures are taken from Citizens Advice web views of ‘If something you ordered hasn’t arrived’. Views between 1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022 total 210,686. Figures were accessed on 2 November 2022. Views between 25 October 2021 and 25 December 2021 total 52,000. Figures were accessed on 4 November 2022.

6. Citizens Advice has previously called for regulatory change to the parcel delivery market. See report ‘Sorry we missed you’ July 2021 for more information. We have called for additional changes to the industry in our response to Ofcom’s recent call for inputs.

7. In March 2022, Hermes announced they were changing their name to Evri.

8. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.

9. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.

10. Citizens Advice helped 2.55 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2021-22. And we had 40.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.

11. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 18,500 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.

12. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.