Parcel firm Evri admits it deserves poor reputation

Evri has admitted that it has "earned" its poor reputation for customer service, but claims it is turning things around.

Evri has admitted that it has “earned” its poor reputation for customer service, but claims it is turning things around.

The parcel delivery firm was forced to apologise last Christmas after people complained of delays or not receiving their packages at all.

Evri is also consistently ranked near or at the bottom of customer satisfaction league tables.

But the firm said it had invested £40m in improving services this Christmas.

Evri’s chief customer officer, Chris Ashworth, said: “We’ve obviously earned that reputation and we’ve got to work hard to turn it around.”

The company expects to deliver around 90 million parcels over this year’s festive period, up from 84 million last year when it was beset by problems.

“Last year was an unprecedented situation,” said Mr Ashworth. “The Royal Mail strike was announced eight weeks before Christmas.

“It takes 12 to 18 months meticulous planning to step-up an operation like this and double in time for Christmas. Mistakes were made.”

Since then, he said that Evri had taken on 6,500 extra staff with the majority concentrating on the final mile of delivering parcels.

Mr Ashworth also said the company had doubled its UK-based customer service representatives and invested in phone lines and chatbots which he said run “24/7”.

However, one viewer got in touch with the BBC to say it was still impossible to speak to someone at Evri to resolve their problems while others complained of a lack of consistency across the country.

“I wouldn’t recognise that, no,” said Mr Ashworth, though he added: “Having said that, we aren’t perfect and we do get the odd thing wrong but consistent localised problems are not something we recognise.

“I’d urge any customers that are seeing those things to contact us – we’re now very easy to contact.”

Over the past three years, Citizens Advice has drawn up a league table of parcel delivery firms, where it surveys customers on issues such as customer service and delivery problems.

While none of the companies such as Royal Mail or Amazon scored particularly highly, Evri was bottom in 2021 and 2022. For 2023, it was ranked joint bottom with Yodel.

Last week, Ofcom, the communications regulator, published its latest Post Monitoring Report which found that Evri was ranked the lowest in terms of customer satisfaction.

In surveys conducted in January and July, 46% of those questioned said they were dissatisfied with being able to make contact with Evri while 26% said they were satisfied.

But Ofcom noted that since then “Evri recently introduced a phone service, in October 2023, which should make it easier for parcel recipients to contact it in future”.

Mr Ashworth said: “It is no longer difficult to get hold of us.

“We do use automation and we do that because when you look at an operation of this scale we don’t want to leave the customer hanging on. A customer can leave a message, we will investigate and we will get back to that customer.”