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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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…

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.

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..

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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…

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.