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The oddest place you’ve found a delivery

Benjamin Ward myHermes parcel note

A delivery being left outside without your consent is bad enough, but what about when your parcel is left in your recycling bin or thrown over the fence? Or even worse, thrown on to your roof?

You may have spotted this story in the news. Benjamin Ward arrived home to find a note from his courier saying that his delivery was ‘stuck on roof – sorry!’

Lo and behold the package – containing clothes he’d ordered for his son – was sitting pretty on top of his house. Benjamin tweeted about what happened:

MyHermes spotted Benjamin’s tweet and sent the courier back to apologise. The courier also came armed with a ladder to retrieve the parcel. Mr Ward graciously commented on the experience: ‘It was super-awkward. It was more funny than anything else, so I don’t really want to make a big deal of it.’

Unusual delivery places

Can you beat Benjamin’s experience? Darren Shirley in our Campaigns team once had one of his deliveries thrown over a gate into the car park next to his block. Peter O nearly had his delivery sent off to landfill:

‘Unbelievably, the courier had dumped a bulky package inside my waste bin when I was away for a few days on business. I had asked a neighbour to put my wheelie bin out on waste collection day. Thankfully, he forgot to do this!’

And how could I forget Which? Convo regular William – one of his deliveries ended up being taken round his garden by a fox. William now proudly sports a photo of the offending fox in his avatar (the more you know!).

What unusual places have you found your parcel? Oh, and if you need help, we have lots of advice on what to do if your delivery goes missing or your parcel has been damaged on our Consumer Rights site.

Comments
Profile photo of william
Member

In the middle of my back garden, looks like the local foxes had dragged it there from wherever the postman had left it. The teeth marks gave it away.

And now having just read the blurb , I’m famous 🙂

Most common is by the front door, in full view of the street, and usually when its raining. So even when I’m not going out I still have to open the front door to check, just in case.

But you try getting Royal Mail to admit it’s their fault, they’re usual reply is “many delivery companies operate in the area it could be one of many”. But my response usually shuts them up, “how many of those deliver packages with delivered by the Royal mail or stamps on it” And they still don’t apologise.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Maybe I have been lucky but the only problem was when I had a parcel left at the back door, behind a high fence. For security the postman had reached over and bolted the gate. He was obviously taller than me and it was difficult for me – without anything to stand on – to slide back the bolt. Stupidly I had left a key inside the front door, so I could not go through the house and into the back garden. That was 30 years ago and I have never left the house via the back door ever since.

Beware tall postmen who try to be helpful.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

The newspaper article says: “An online shopper was left bemused after a careless courier left a parcel on top of the roof of his home.”

It’s the wrong time of year for an April Fool’s joke and too early for Santa Claus to be attempting a delivery by chimney.

‘Careless’ seems to be an understatement, so please could we have an explanation for why Ben’s parcel landed up on a roof 6m (20ft) above the ground.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

I assumed it was because Hermes was the winged messenger of the gods. His main purpose was to deliver souls to the Underworld but clearly he also deposits parcels on the pantiles.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Thank you John. Hitherto I had believed that the Greek mythology that someone tried to teach me would be irrelevant throughout my life.

Profile photo of dave
Member

I had a parcel left in my wheelie bin. Ordinarily, that would have been ok because the courier put a note through the door to tell me. Unfortunately, I was on holiday and a neighbour put the bin out for me…

Profile photo of Sam Kennedy
Member

My other half waited at home for a delivery yesterday, was expecting two boxed but only one was delivered. He questioned that but the courier couldn’t help, just said he’d need to call the company. Then once inside and unpacking saw that the parcel wasn’t even addressed to him or our address! Despite calling straight away the company couldn’t send the courier back so now he has to wait in again later this week 🙁 Plus whoever was expecting the delivery currently sitting by my front door will also have to wait.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

Occasionally we have returned home to find parcels thrown over the side gate. With a trellis top this is 250cm (8’6″) high. Once the package was some twenty metres into the garden. We marvelled at the likely athletic disciplines employed to achieve this, possibly including a lengthy run-up along the drive in the manner of a javelin thrower and then a dramatic stop before hitting the gate while launching the article on a gentle trajectory pitching just short of the refuse wheelie bin [it might have bounced off the lid as they probably have a guided missile system with a nasal sensor that seeks out the most obnoxious landing place]. Perhaps they carry a trampette on the van to facilitate this form of delivery. Luckily some of the china survived unbroken. No British goods were involved..

Member
Damn Knit Blast says:
13 August 2014

Only this week my husband waited eagerly for a Hermes parcle, tracking it on his computer from his office – with a clear view of the road.

He watched the driver drive up our road, stop, fiddle with some technology and drive off without leaving the vehicle. The status of the delivery instantly changed to “unable to deliver”.

Apparently my husband wasn’t home to sign for the parcel!

Hermes point blank refused to accept what their driver had done, insisting there was no answer at the house.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

We’ve noticed that if there is no car on the drive or outside the house the couriers seem to assume that nobody is at home. I sometimes wonder what the commercial advantage of not even attempting to deliver could possibly be. For the company it means extra expense and for the employees it puts their job at risk.

DPD has the best tracking system and they have real time updating of their driver’s drop round and estimated time of arrival; trouble is, so many suppliers use other, substandard, carriers.

Personally, I’m finding Parcelforce very good nowadays; they tend to come at about the same time every time so you can look out for the van, the staff are very polite and courteous, and the condition of the delivery is usually entirely undamaged. Plus there’s none of this “over the gate” lark.

For service standards overall, I think UPS are the winners but they don’t seem to be contracted much for home deliveries.

Member
Elsa Elwine says:
13 August 2014

I ordered over £100 goods from Lands End in the sale. The delivery person put it in one of my wheelie bins which was halfway up the front garden, and not in its usual place next to the back door (as that is where my lodger puts it if I am away.)

I work away and when I return I always have piles of post to sort. By the time I got to the card that told me that my parcel was in the bin, it had been emptied again!

Luckily Lands End believed me and sent me the whole order again.

Member
Helen Koseda says:
13 August 2014

once waited weeks for parcel from ebay informed the seller that i hadn,t received it only to find it next to my bin where it had lain in the rain.no note nothing.

Member

In the rabbit hutch, I came home to find a card saying the suit for my son I had ordered had been left in the back garden, went to look and couldnt see it anywhere, noticed a small piece of plastic hanging out of the rabbits hutch and when I opened the door there was the suit, luckily they replaced it so my son did not have to walk around smelling of rabbit droppings. Just could not get my head around why the delivery man thought this was a good idea.

Member

One time Yodel actually broke into our garden box in the front garden, which was padlocked, and shoved the parcel in so hard that it was badly damaged. The garden box is now broken and no longer water tight. We were, eventually compensated by the company who provided the goods.We had requested that the delivery should be left with a neighbour and I know that during that day there were neighbours at home.
We always park our cars at the back of the house and use the back door so one day I was shocked to find when I stepped out of our front door that there was a box of 12 bottles of wine balancing on our front garden wall by the door and no card had been left. We rang the wine company who said the box had been delivered two days earlier by Yodel. Fortunately the box had not been stolen or fallen off the wall or become wet but it was full of ants. We did get compensation from the wine company. We had asked yet again that the box should be left with neighbours. A couple of days after this incident I saw the Yodel van in our cul-de-sac and mentioned to him about my last two deliveries and he just said ‘I never read the delivery instructions’ and briskly drove away.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I have had excellent service from Royal Mail for many years. I live fairly near the local depot, so it is easy to pick up anything that is undelivered if I was out at the time.

When shopping online, I often choose traders that specify that they use RM. Unfortunately, information about the carrier is often not provided.

Apologies to William and everyone else who has had poor service from RM.

Profile photo of william
Member

All these examples of poor delivery practices, makes me wonder what targets these delivery people are under that they would do some of these things. Yes I’m sure some are just incompetent, but I suspect many will have some draconian target to meet, which won’t take into account the distance they have to travel and/or the road conditions.

I wonder when targets will evolve into you must have zero complaints about your work instead of you must deliver 100 items in 5 hours whilst travelling 200 miles to do it. P.S. That’s made up but I wonder how close to the mark it really is.

Member

I sent a box to my sister in law & tracked it. It said delivered at 10:10 am. She was at home. No-one rang the bell or knocked on the door. But 5 hours later when my brother arrived home, he spotted it by the recycle bin. Another time I sent a box to a friend in Scotland. I stuck a photo of her home to the box,(the only bungalow in the village) The courier walked past her house & left the box on the step of a HOUSE in full view where anyone could steal it. Fortunately another neighbour saw it & told my friend .

Member
Caroline says:
14 August 2014

I needed a camera to film my son’s dress rehearsal of a play. Yodel insisted, wrongly, I’d been out when they tried to deliver it. 5 phone calls later, and numerous searches of websites to find numbers that were answered, because most calls were not, I tracked it down to a depot about 50 minutes’ drive away and was assured I could collect it there. As it was time-sensitive I drove out there.
They searched the warehouse for me, to no avail.
They then promised it would be delivered to my home the next morning, [It wasn’t.] Then they promised delivery that afternoon. I think I may have spotted the guy driving past in his car – there are just three houses in our lane, all clearly signed – but it wasn’t delivered.
I drove back out to the warehouse, where the bloke on duty that night explained that many ‘Yodel van drivers’ don’t actually have vans, or Satnav, but deliver when they can – sometimes around other employment – using their own cars.
Still no sign of my parcel, said to be “in the van”, but on Day Four my 24-hour-tracked-and-to-be-signed-for-delivery was left on my doorstep without the bell being rung. I almost trod on it as I left the house to see and, yes, film the rehearsal.
I had no time to see how the camera worked, nor to charge up the batteries in it!
And by then I’d bought a camera from a shop…

Member
Anne says:
15 August 2014

Yodel are usually the worst offenders for me. My favourite was the card I received telling me that they had left a parcel at my side gate… my house is semi attached on one side and a max 3 inch gap between garages on the other! To make it worse, I couldn’t think of anything I expected and when I rang to query it, they said they had no record of the reference on their card. I am so frustrated at missed deliveries when you are in, parcels left in full sight of any passing would – be thief, or in the rain, that I know favour ‘click and collect’ services including the Collect – plus network.

Member
Gavin Storrie says:
16 August 2014

Royal Mail “delivered” a secure postage envelope containing passports to a stranger called James who then kept the parcel. It has never been found.

Member
Ballard says:
16 August 2014

Poor delivery has happened to me so many times – from all couriers including Royal Mail. One in particular – Despite adding to the order that parcels not to be left if I was out – I came home after a 3 day holiday to find a parcel on my front door step which had been left 3 days previously! It was very soggy and might just as well put out a huge placard saying ‘Burglars please come in no one is at home’. I complained to the mail order company and the delivery service but no real action just an apology. The next order from same mail order company was thrown over the back gate! I feel consumers are powerless about the behaviour of delivery couriers who seem to do what’s easiest for them and take no account of customers’ wishes. The mail order companies should put more pressure on getting a better service from their couriers.

Member
Biker-d says:
16 August 2014

Hermes courier did himself no favours by ringing the doorbell and then standing with his back to the (glass) door and tossing and catching the small parcel. Upon opening same it became clear that he hadn’t always caught it and the item was smashed. The suppliers replaced it, delivered by Royal Mail OK. No more Hermes for me – I always request that on orders!

Profile photo of jok
Member

We have a note on the front door to ask for time to open it as I am disabled. Since the note was put up I have noticed that delivery men drop and run. Quite literally some times as my PA was by the door when a knock occurred and when she penned the door he was running down the path. It is really annoying as I cannot pick up items from the ground. Some of the delivery guys are awesome and know they can come through the gate and will normally find me in the kitchen. Love those guys.

The funniest place we ever found a parcel was when we lived in NZ. There letters are left in the post box by the road, but if a courier is used they deliver to the door -which for us was down 50+ stairs. I had been told to expect a gift parcel it was mid winter, June, so frequently wet. We told the person nothing had arrived towards the end July.

They checked with the company they ordered from, it had been sent and signed for. We had not been home and who else could have signed for it when we were out. No other explanation was ever given. The search went on some time till in the spring, November, the parcel was found. My husband aimed to clear up the bbq which had been standing below the house covered up. There in the bbq he found the long searched for parcel, nearly placed to keep it dry.

Why the delivery man had looked around the property to find somewhere dry to hide who knows. It was very kind of him/her but a quick note in the letterbox would have been very well received. We still giggle about it now, thankfully it was not something which would go off.

Member
Richard McMillan says:
16 August 2014

Living in the wilds of Lossiemouth where next day delivery normally means 3 to 5 days except for the Royal Mail who provided the service according to the postage charges.
Delivery quality does vary considerably. I have had a letter box broken because it wasn’t quite large enough for a parcel. I have a working door bell but the door is normally hammered. I must admit the Royal Mail are the preferred service for me.

Member
Cookie says:
16 August 2014

Yodel failed to deliver a large TV as agreed on a specific day. After many calls and failure to track where it actually was in their system we cancelled it. The next day we came home from work to find it on the doorstep, in the rain, in plain view…..
So many instances of Yodel doing the ‘unable to deliver’ thing when I had arranged to be in all day – and my home office is three paces from the front door so I always hear a bell or knock.

Profile photo of karenjive
Member

Oddest place I found a delivery. A house on a different street. Same number as my house, and same first letter for the street. I only discovered where it had gone, as it had been signed for, and from the name, (thinking it may be a neighbour) found through electoral register records the address it had been sent to.
Tried calling, and left a note. Guess what, the occupier never contacted me. The company did reissue once I could prove the address they had delivered to.
Royal mail – the delivery guys know me and my neighbours. Always leave with a neighbour or in my “safe place”, and if I’m in, will knock if they have parcels for neighbours. AND the collection office is fairly local if they do return.

Member
Ellie says:
16 August 2014

Hermes are the worst carriers I have ever experienced – it is hard to know how they manage to stay in business. They have an uncaring disrespect for the customer which starts at the top, as my complaints to customer service have been completely disregarded. Consequently, my family no longer deals with ANY firms that use Hermes – that is a stipulation we make with every firm we deal with online or by mail order.

Over a very long period, parcels were either thrown over our gate (often landing on or in front of the bins) or left outside the gate on the pavement. Goods were damaged and frequently soaked through. On one occasion when I complained to Hermes, a pleasant assistant told me that she would note my complaint among the many thousands they receive, but told me that nothing would be done about it – she even said she would never personally use their service!

Like DamnKnitBlast, although I work at home full time in a room close to the front door, and my dog barks long before anyone actually knocks, on several occasions Hermes deliveries failed as, according to their notes when the goods eventually arrived, I was out! However, this was completely untrue and, on all these dates, nobody even stepped through our gate.

The true nature of this Hermes driver reached a peak one day when my husband was gardening just inside the high front gate and was hit on the head by a large package (fortunately soft) which had been thrown over it. He rushed out to speak to the delivery man and asked him why he continuously found it too irksome to open our gate and walk the few yards to the front door (which, incidentally, has a covered porch). The driver retorted that nobody was ever in, also that there was nowhere to leave parcels (which proved he had never tried), then threatened to get out of the van and hit my husband! We suspected on that occasion that a woman passenger was throwing packages over gates without even getting out of the vehicle.

Although yet again we reported this to Hermes, and reported to the company who sent the package, nothing was done and (according to neighbours) the man continued to be employed by Hermes. As previously, despite this more serious complaint, we received no acknowledgement, let alone any apology. We later realised that we should have reported the driver’s threatening behaviour to the police.

Profile photo of dyfnwal
Member

A threat made towards a person may constitute Assault in English Law. An item thrown over the hedge which subsequently lands on a person’s head may be “Battery”. The item could have landed on a sleeping baby or toddler.
A complaint to the Police might have resulted in the alleged assailant being subjected to an interview lasting a few hours at the Police Station. This would certainly annoy or anger his employers.
Should a driver be convicted of Assault &/or Battery, there may be a joint liability with the employer to pay compensation to the victim in the Civil Courts.
Many firms will suffer no consequences from ignoring letters of complaints from members of the public who usually let the matter drop after the first complaint.
They will however, respond to Solicitors letters, calls from the Police or communications from the Courts.
Incidentally, do Delivery Companies permit their drivers to carry passengers? At one time, Royal Mail post vans were not allowed to carry any passengers, possibly for insurance reasons.

Member
Patricia Howard says:
16 August 2014

Parcel Post delivered a new computer to me and left it in the bin!

Member
Patricia Howard says:
16 August 2014

I came home one day to a note that said a package was “left in Wendy house”. I thought that meant a neighbour’s house, since in the first place, each house in our village had a name so perhaps one of them was Wendy House, or one of our neighbours might be called Wendy. So I went door-to-door asking where Wendy lived until someone enlightened me – I was a newcomer to Britain, and in the US we call them ‘play houses’. This is the way us poor foreigners learn British.

Profile photo of romulus
Member

I heard of a valuable web site ordered ladies coat being left in a fridge in the garden of the owner.
Following complaints by the person who ordered the coat and after some weeks had passed the coat was finally discovered.
In the meantime another coat had been re dispatched to the lady so she now owned two valuable coats. the company refused to take the old one back, saying it had been written off!!.
And we complain about the increase in living costs!!.

Member
Henry says:
17 August 2014

Can I give another side to the argument?
The need to be at home to receive a delivery is the bane of online shopping although the timed deliveries some companies now use as standard are a great help. Being fairly busy but living in a semi-rural setting as we do I am more than happy for deliveries to be left on the doorstep where they are surprisingly safe (I appreciate this may not be the case in a city) or under a side porch we have which at least gives some protection from the weather – far preferable to having to phone and reschedule the delivery which only starts the problem over again! All that is needed is a little common sense and consideration on behalf of the delivery driver, and a note through the door to say what they have done with it.

Member
ladygeeke says:
17 August 2014

A courier delivered a mattress addressed to my house, but instead of leaving it at no 55 left it at no 5 – when I phoned the sender they insisted it had been delivered and signed for so would not take any action. I found it eventually by calling at random houses up and down the street until the honest tenants at no 5 told me they had it.

Member
Amanda Warner says:
18 August 2014

I had a similar experience, a king size mattress left over the road with a neighbour! That was tricky to carry home, especially as she was 8 months pregnant

Member
dave@york says:
17 August 2014

The courier DPD has a fantastic tracking system. DPD sends a text and email early on the day specifying a delivery window, with a tracking link.
On my screen I can see “Darren is making delivery 57 and yours is number 81. Estimated delivery time is 1.37pm +/- 30 mins” and I can follow Darren on the map. Because of this, I was at my door as Darren’s van drew up.
Excellent for me and also enables DPD to make a large number od deliveries in a day. Why can’t other couriers do this?

Member
madbovine says:
27 August 2014

The reason is because most of the other couier firms will not spend on new technology
TNT fine there sub contracters for late deliveries late premiums deliveries in fact the sub contractor or self employed driver gets fined for almost anything . You will find that DPD many years ago changed their working practices and spent money on new tech and new working pratices for their drivers in essance makeing it the best courier company in the UK

Member
Will Chegwidden says:
17 August 2014

A friend sent me a box of Hotel Chocolate chocolates and the courier must have got in to my neighbours backyard and then decided to hurl it over our communal backyard fence “towards” my backdoor as I found it near the back door, and my own back gate was locked. Unfortunately they managed to hit and break part of my fancy £110 pet flap (it has a microchip sensor and light sensor in it). They promised to look in to it but I’m still chasing them months later.

Member
Amanda Warner says:
18 August 2014

Hermes delivered my wedding dress earlier this year & left it in my garden waste wheely bin, luckily not on bin collection day

Member
Barbara says:
18 August 2014

A present containing cheese, clearly marked as such on the outside, was put in our greenhouse on a dry hot day and without leaving us any note. Found a day later. My husband is fond of ripe cheese …
Suppliers using Yodel and MyHermes are generally to be avoided – packages have languished at delivery personnel homes for more than a week before being returned to sender.
I really like Collect+, both for receiving and sending, and for their tracking.

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Member

Wow, that delivery takes the (cheese) biscuit!

Member
Niels Thomsen says:
9 January 2017

“Suppliers using Yodel and MyHermes are generally to be avoided…” – but Collect+ IS Yodel!

Member

Courier threw the parcel over what he thought was my fence.

He missed and threw the parcel into a dense pack of conifer trees at the back of my neighbour’s garden, adjacent to the side alley of our house.

I didn’t find the parcel for 6 months, after a very heavy storm damaged a 6ft fence panel and I had to remove and replace it

Book was under the trees, damp,withered and infested.

It took ages to get my money back!

Member
Tim Dabbs says:
20 August 2014

I live in a town house with about a 14 foot driveway straight onto the pavement and no fencing or hedge. I have quite often had parcels left behind a neighbours small (2 foot) potted fir, quite often which I have not noticed for a day or two. I have never been given the option, when ordering online, of a delivery date or a delivery company. So far everything has been fine up to now, quite often, goods are left with neighbours and a form is put through my door. The worst company I have come across is DPD who insist, when you go to their depot to pick up a parcel, of making you specify a time for collection. As their depot is 12 miles away, through horrendous traffic, I am quite often late!

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Member

Hi everyone, thanks for sharing all of these stories. We were in touch with some of you to help with the launch of our latest campaign – Stamp Out Dodgy Deliveries! You can see some of your stories featured: http://www.which.co.uk/campaigns/dodgy-deliveries/

And we’ve published a new debate: https://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/stamp-out-dodgy-deliveries-delivery-online-shopping/

Member
Donna D says:
10 November 2014

I ordered items from the Disney store which was to be delivered by hermes. So, using the tracking system it said the parcel had been delivered to letterbox. I had ordered 2 large dolls so trust me when I say they didn’t fit in my letterbox. There was no card posted to say it was anywhere else. I did check my garden and with neighbours just in case but I can guarantee there was no parcel delivered. I contacted Disney store who said that this some time happens and that I should give it another a few days, as they might try to deliver it again. ( even though the tracker said it was delivered). They even suggested I leave a note on my door to say I am not at home and let them know where they could deliver it to. ” open invitation to house burglars “.

Member
Dana R says:
16 September 2015

I had a package left under my door mat at the front door useless to say I stepped on it on my way out T_T