Yodel – I know where they got their name from

yo_1449987fOne of the fastest growing business sectors in the last few years is cardboard boxes. All this online shopping we do needs a lot of cardboard boxes for deliveries. Another sector that has exploded in recent years is the courier and delivery services that carry all those cardboard boxes. Some of these services are certainly better than others.

When we were setting up our online race wear store, we did a lot of research into the available delivery services and, whilst we received quite a lot of different recommendations, the one over-riding message was “Don’t use Yodel”. From my own recent experience, I can understand why.

In the last six months, we have suffered a couple of IT hardware failures that could have impacted on our business quite severely.The potential downside of being at the cutting edge of technology within an industry is the risks associated when that technology fails. We all know that computer hard disks fail – although one usually hears people say “I wish I had backed up” when they do. Luckily we have pretty robust backup services at Daytona but we do occasionally need a hard disk or two in a hurry. For the last 10 years we have used Ebuyer as our main component supplier but since they contracted Yodel to be their main couriers, we have stopped using them for anything.

On one occasion we paid extra for guaranteed next day delivery for a critical part but Yodel didn’t deliver. When we contact Ebuyer for an explanation, they told us that Yodel has confirmed that their driver had attempted delivery as his GPS unit showed him in our car park. The problem is that our CCTV showed that he didn’t actually get out of the van. He drove in. Stopped. Entered a code on his handheld scanner that told Yodel’s system that he had attempted delivery but there was no answer. He then drove off, watched by our cctv system and the four staff in Reception.

The next time Ebuyer were supposed to deliver next day, he didn’t even bother driving in. We just received a text that the delivery had not been possible. No apology. No attempt to make up for the failure. So we told Ebuyer that we wouldn’t be using them anymore.

Contrast that with the service we receive from DPD. DPD are the delivery service of choice for Box Technology who are our official technology suppliers. You know the tills we use to take your payments and the kiosks where you register for races? They are all supplied by Box.

When we order an item from Box Technology, we receive incredibly reliable service from DPD. If you haven’t ever had a DPD delivery, you may not believe it but you get a text that tells you the drivers name. Along with a one hour delivery window, you get a link to a  map showing exactly where he is. As you refresh the map, he moves closer to you. DPD’s system is so reliable, the driver isn’t allowed to deliver early if he is running ahead of time. When “Clinton” turned up last week with a new touchscreen till for Daytona Sandown Park’s reception, his handheld scanner would not allow him to scan the delivery as he was 2 minutes ahead of the scheduled time.

Compare that with today’s scheduled collection for a customer. We used a third party delivery service and were concerned that they sub-contracted Yodel to make the collection. Our worries were well founded. No-one turned up from Yodel and when we contacted the  delivery service agents, they had to admit that they could not contact Yodel to ask where the driver was.

So now we know, they are called Yodel as it seems that that is what you have to do if you want to call them.

Jim Graham