Parcel delivery giant Evri has apologised after customers across the country are still not receiving packages on time or at all.
The firm said that staff shortages, Royal Mail strikes and bad weather had contributed to the problems and it was working to sort them out.
In December, Labour MP Carolyn Harris accused the courier of causing “misery” to people in the run-up to Christmas.
Evri told the BBC the backlogs should be cleared “over the next few days”.
Customers across the country told the BBC they had not received parcels despite them being marked as delivered and others facing month-long delays.
People in Somerset on Tuesday said Evri failed to deliver more than 150 packages to addresses across the Chew Valley, while others in Warwickshire said hundreds of parcels had gone undelivered over the past two months.
Ruby Dawes, from Blackpool, paid for Evri to deliver a Christmas food parcel to her daughter in Belfast in November, but the package still hasn’t arrived.
“I tried every single day to track it down,” she said. “It was full of all Christmas stuff for my daughter. It was all chocolate and nuts and all that.”
The 78-year-old told the BBC the hamper was picked up at 17:06 GMT on 29 November and has been missing ever since.
“Every year up to now we always sent it with Hermes [now Evri] and it’s been great… but [after] this year I will never use them again, never.”
Karen Cubbin, 47, from Chesterfield, said the service from Evri was “shocking”.
She and her son sold a pair of his Adidas limited edition trainers on clothing website Vinted for £200, but they were never delivered.
Paypal refunded the money to the customer, and tried to recoup it from Karen, who says it was very difficult to talk to Evri.
“We never got through to a human being, just robot chat,” she said.
Another Evri customer who had problems with customer service was Mark Taylor, 43, from Reading.
He told the BBC that Evri had lost a package containing £200 worth of vinyl records which he sold on Ebay. He posted them in November but it still hasn’t arrived and Ebay has refunded the buyer.
“Evri has no customer service, it’s a total disgrace,” he says. “You don’t know if it’s been stolen, or where it’s gone.”
More demand was placed on couriers when Royal Mail postal workers held strikes in the run-up to Christmas as part of a long-running row over pay and conditions.
A spokesperson for Evri said the company continued to be affected by the backlog caused by the industrial action, as well as staff shortages and bad weather conditions.
However, it said it had managed to deliver more than “three million parcels each day over the Christmas period”.
“Despite incredible efforts from all of our people, our service has not been as good as we would have liked, and we are committed to redoubling our efforts this year,” a statement said.
Danni Hewson, an analyst at AJ Bell, told the BBC that Evri had been a “besieged” by the sheer volume of deliveries it had taken on.
She said Evri and other couriers faced a shortage of delivery drivers.
Ms Hewson added firms often employed temporary workers around Christmas when demand was at its peak, but said some people might have opted to go for more secure and longer-term jobs, and were also “more likely” to take up seasonal work in supermarkets which offered higher pay and bonuses.
At the height of the Covid pandemic, some workers turned to delivery driving when they were unable to carry out their usual job.
Supermarket deliveries and the rise in online shopping meant companies recruited drivers to keep up with demand, however, since Covid restrictions have eased, many employees have returned to their old jobs.
But in some areas the levels of demand on couriers have remained.
Residents frustrated by missing Evri parcels
Evri apologises for pre-Christmas parcel delays
Customers report EVRi parcels going missing
As well as packages not arriving on time, customers have also criticised Evri’s online help service and said getting hold of staff by phone or e-mail is extremely difficult.
One complaint is that Evri’s tracking tool states an order has been delayed, followed by no further updates for days.
In Mrs Dawes’ case, her tracking tool simply says the parcel was picked up in November and nothing else.
Others have also complained of paying for next-day delivery and it not arriving.
Regulator Ofcom said the customer service some people experience when a delivery goes wrong “simply isn’t good enough”.
“Delivery companies will have to tighten up their complaints handling, and we’re requiring better protections for disabled customers, who are almost 50% more likely to experience significant problems with parcel deliveries,” the regulator said.
“If we don’t see significant improvements in customer service, we’ll consider enforcement action or tighten regulations further.”
In a statement, Evri said: “In some local areas, there are still some delayed parcels that should be cleared over the next few days and we apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment.”
It added in the “unlikely event” that a parcel had not been delivered within 10 days, “we would advise customers to contact their retailer/seller who will in turn contact us if necessary”.
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