Insights & Trends

Delivery Horror Stories 😱

5 min read

I'm sure you can think of at least one time where you were let down by retail logistics; either receiving a delivery or attempting to return an unwanted item. I can think absolutely loads, myself.

Last week I continuously went on about choosing the right delivery partner, now I want to show you some real-life examples on what could happen after choosing the wrong delivery partner.

So this week, I want to share some stories that I've managed to dig up, which have resulted in the end-customer receiving a sub-par experience, which damages the retailer's reputation more than the logistics company itself.

Just to note; these are all real reviews I have found from real UK companies, some are household brands and some not so much, either way I have decided not to name and shame.

How can you reduce the chances of missing a delivery? Simple, find a "safe place"...

Back in 2014, Which? released a "Dodgy delivery" conversation which has always given me a laugh.

Here's one you might have encountered before:

"Parcels left in the bin (which was full of nappies), left in the compost bin, left on my doorstep in full view of anyone passing by, left in the rain, damaged, not turned up, no attempt to knock on neighbours when I’ve asked them to etc."

Missed deliveries is a massive frustration with consumers and thusly will become your frustration too, if not handled correctly.

The main cause of missed deliveries, late deliveries or even "safe place" stories is a poor level of communication, mainly from the delivery partner. The best solution is to be able to update the customer at every step of the way with real-time tracking, the functionality to easily get in touch with the person whom is performing the delivery and a great level of customer service that can keep customers happy.

Pretty simple stuff really.

It's About Time...

If a delivery partner prides itself with their "on-demand" capabilities, make sure that they can deliver their promise (excuse the pun) and do not have reviews like this...

"Not so brisk. Booked a one hour time slot and no call from driver package arrived 45 minutes after the end of the slot when I wasn’t in. No apology when chased."

Or this...

"Extremely bad service, tried the company twice and they are completely unable to complete a delivery on time. Twice late and little to no concern about it. Would highly recommend not using the service if you are a company in need of a reliable courier service."

Are You Kidding Me!?

Check out these WTF moments...

I've heard similar stories to this one before, but just imagine partnering with a company that has no regard for the customer's convenience. Not only is it annoying for the customer but the retailer will most likely get a bad review. Here it is:

"I’ve got a message that my parcel was delivered. The hour, they said it was delivered, nobody came. And wrote that they delivered to me. But i got no parcel 😀 then I checked downstairs and i found it there. Is it so hard to reach the flat and give a parcel to the person? Of course easier to throw it anywhere. Even if someone can steal it. After all, these people don’t care about them jobs at all."

The point of this next one is not so much the content or the story, but more about being associated with such a delivery partner that you too inherit a similar perception just by association. Imagine a customer wanting to buy from you and come to find such a review about the delivery partner you work with...

"DO NOT TRUST THIS COMPANY They have no ethics, when they have clearly made a mistake and admit to making a mistake they refused to give me my money back, as I quote 'unintentionally ordered the wrong box', no I did not I ordered the right product but was given something completely different to what was ordered. I should have gone on Trustpilot and checked the reviews and would have had the forethought to waste my money on this company. I am utterly disgusted and flabbergasted by their customer service as what they are pretty much making very clear to me that this issue is no-fault than my own and, as a result, they will not refund my money but in the same breath they acknowledge they made an error. ****** is a scam avoid it at all costs, don't get duped into the promo codes advertised. if I could give it no stars I would.very dissatisfied and disgruntled customer."

Now, the next one gave me a complete shock. This is a loyal retailer experiencing poor customer service from their own delivery partner. I truly hope that this retailer is no longer working with them.

"We have used them throughout the year for several years and have had a phone call today to say that they will not be able to do any deliveries valentine's day as they will be fully booked with the people who have spent the most money THIS YEAR ...poor , poor customer service."


With every kind of transaction or deal, you need to do some due diligence beforehand.

When it comes to delivery partners it shouldn't be any different. Check out their Trustpilot, Google business or Facebook page reviews to see how satisfied their customers are, also it dig a little deeper to find internal reviews on Glassdoor as this gives you an insight as to how the company is run and if the team is happy (a great indicator of the level of customer service that you or your customers could encounter).

Secondly, make sure you and your delivery partner know how to act in the event of something going wrong because let's face it, things can and will go wrong — we're only human (as the cliché goes) . But being human also means having empathy, meaning that you and your delivery partners should be able to put yourselves in the customers shoes and come to a resolve to relief their frustration.

Last year, the Guardian emphasised that the customer should be able to go straight to the retailer with delivery problems without being "fobbed off".

"Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at Which?, says people are confused because they don’t know whether to contact the retailer or delivery company, but the answer is clear. “Take your complaint to the retailer and don’t be fobbed off.” "

When this happens, you need to be able to access as much information as possible, meaning that the delivery partner is to be completely transparent with tools readily available to help with any customer concerns.

"Retailers should be able to pin down where the driver was, who signed for the item, or where it was left. “The onus is on them to prove you received it, not the other way around. You can still complain to the delivery company about “rude staff, damaged parcels, or missed dates”."

I hope this has helped with your decision making or has some entertainment value at the very least, until next week!

Author image

About Chris Jordan

Previously managed high-street stores, now a full-on logistics nerd moving things from A to B — all day, every day!
  • Cambridge, UK
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