148: customer disservice

This week I have been wrestling with the delivery company formerly known as Hermes – now rebranded as Evri, as presumably the god Hermes was too well known for actually delivering stuff. I expect deities have firm views on this sort of blasphemy and threatened them with a good smiting unless they changed their name. Usually, I have no issues with Evri as the local couriers are helpful, friendly and reliable.

The problem, it seems, lies further up the chain. Between Christmas and New Year two parcels were dispatched by two different companies – one arrived at the Evri local depot on New Year’s Eve and the second on 4 January. And there they stopped. ‘Sorry, your parcel has been delayed’ was the tracking update. ‘We’ll get it out to you on the next working day’. Readers, this was not the case. The courier said that there was a big backlog at the depot. Evri didn’t say anything, and continued to say nothing.

The ‘help’ pages – and I am using the term ‘help’ in the absolute loosest sense of the word here – said that if the parcel has been with them for seven days then to contact the sender. The sender, not the people who actually have the parcel in their possession and who are, therefore, presumably better placed to know where it is. So I contacted the senders, who then have to contact Evri. One sender responded within 24 hours to an email saying they couldn’t help till seven working days had passed (not what Evri’s site says, but there we are) since the last update. The other sender was also gatekept by a digital ‘assistant’ but eventually let me chat to a real person who said they could ‘urge’ Evri to deliver the parcel.

I tried Evri’s digital ‘assistant’, Holly. I am qualifying the word ‘assistant’ in the same way as the word ‘help’ above please note. Holly is able to ‘help’ with sending a parcel, receiving a parcel, or ‘something else’. Help with receiving a parcel allows Holly to tell you the same tracking info that you have already seen on the tracking page, which is what caused you to click on the chatbot in the first place. ‘Something else’ allows you to report damage to your house or vehicle and you get to upload photos. So I uploaded some photos of the tracking numbers and eventually got a reply saying they couldn’t see any damage in the photos. I emailed the ‘customer service’ (see previous disclaimer) email address that had emailed me, and received an auto response informing me that Evri didn’t do customer service by email and to use the digital assistant. It was all getting a bit circular by this point.

Eventually I received a response telling me they would see what they could find out. This felt promising. Evri could redeem themselves, I thought. Hope triumphant over experience!

Two hours later I received another response saying ‘after an extensive investigation we can tell you the parcels are lost’. They were sorry I was disappointed. Contact the senders who will be able to refund or replace the items. Not, mark you, sorry that they had disappointed me. No offer of compensation. No promises that this would not happen again and no suggestion that they might actually take steps to find out how these parcels got ‘lost’ in the local depot. The onus was placed on me to contact the sellers to tell them someone else had lost the goods they had dispatched in good faith. Clearly Evri don’t update the sellers either, as I had an automated email from them asking me to review the item I hadn’t received.

Another parcel, for which I had paid next day delivery on Thursday so I could use the item over the weekend, is at their hub and didn’t even make it to the local depot. As someone pointed out to me yesterday, Evri have won plaudits two years running for being the worst delivery company on the planet – which in an industry of terrible service really does take some doing.

Things making me happy this week

  • An online course run by the V&A Academy – visible mending with Restoration London, on sashiko and boro stitching.
  • Waltham Abbey Wool Show – we have a spinning workshop booked
  • Finishing the 2022 Temperature Galaxy cross stitch
  • Giving my 20-somethingth pint of blood
  • Seeing the face of my Whovian colleague when she found a crocheted TARDIS on her desk for her birthday
  • Making more daft crocheted items and some earrings
  • Plotting 50th birthday shenanigans (to be revealed soon)

And now I am off to Tesco to stave off starving teenagers

Kirsty x

Gardens/Favours – Benedict Jacka

Kill the Farmboy – Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne (struggling with this – I loved the Iron Druid series but this is amateurish)

Night Watch – Terry Pratchett (Audible)

Storm Front/The Law/Brief Cases – Jim Butcher

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