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3 Jan 2022

'Help! Hermes has an unbroken track record of failing to deliver, what more can I do?'

What to do if you're at your wits' end with a delivery firm

Do you have an issue you need to put right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted.

Dear Which?,

As a respiratory physician for the NHS, I rely on online shopping and home deliveries as I'm not able to get to the shops easily.

All other couriers manage to find our home, but Hermes has an unbroken track record of claiming to deliver while supplying a photograph of somewhere nowhere near my home or that of any of my neighbours.

The courier's last six attempted deliveries have all ended up at different locations, none of which are my address and most have gone missing.

We even tried sending Hermes a picture of our house, but they just delivered it to a random fence post.

My wife and I were regular customers of Aldi's Specialbuys, which are delivered by Hermes. But we've built such a random collection of photographs from the courier claiming our parcels have been delivered, that we've decided we can no longer shop with a retailer who uses this courier.

I've made numerous attempts to try and resolve this, I don't know what more I can do.

Douglas Newberry, Hertfordshire

Douglas Newberry
Douglas Newberry

Put to Rights

Lauren Deitz, consumer rights expert at Which?, says:

Hermes delivery photo
A photograph of a delivery sent to Douglas by Hermes

Being stuck in a never-ending cycle of knowing whether your parcels will reach your home, but then having to try and guess where they've been delivered sounds truly exhausting.

Our research found that a fifth of people we surveyed in November have chosen to avoid a retailer because of the courier it uses, which is hardly a surprise if you suffer from repeatedly poor experiences.

When you buy from a retailer you rarely, if ever, get any choice over the courier that delivers your order. This can be especially frustrating if you know a certain courier is going to cause you problems.

You also told me that one retailer sent a replacement for a missing parcel that was delivered by Hermes to yet another random location, but when that replacement failed to reach your home the retailer refused to discuss the issue any further. You claimed for the undelivered order under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and your money was eventually reimbursed.

We contacted Hermes about this and it told us it is aware of these delivery issues and it has reached out to Douglas to try and resolve them. We have since been told by Douglas that Hermes has now managed to find his home.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, it is the retailer, not the courier, that is legally responsible for the safe delivery of your order. Any problem with a delivery should be raised with the retailer directly.

We got in touch with Aldi and it told us: 'We are committed to providing a reliable and efficient delivery service for all our customers. We apologise to Mr Newberry for his experience and are working closely with our delivery partner to prevent future issues.'

Need to know

  • Beware of giving specific delivery instructions - such as safe place locations or specified neighbours - as you may have difficulty complaining about a missing or damaged parcel delivered according to your instruction.
  • If things do go wrong, you have rights under the Consumer Rights Act.
  • Missing parcel and unresponsive retailer? Try claiming your money back under Section 75 or chargeback, restrictions do apply so read our guide for more information.