Poppies are in season… and lost at Yodel’s depot

I had an eventful time buying poppies back in August and I hinted that I didn’t think the delivery process would be smooth – I was right but not in the way that I expected.

The delivery dates I was given over the phone were completely wrong and, just to make it worse, Historic Palaces hadn’t updated their system back in November (even though I asked them to double check) so the postal address on the package was wrong.

Yodel’s system had notes on it but the drivers appear to be ape people who can’t cope with anything except the address in front of them so they’d tried twice to deliver to the wrong address and the packages had then been checked into the (redacted) depot a week ago now and I asked them to hold them as on the 3rd delivery attempt things usually go back to the sender – which I didn’t want oddly enough!

poppy guards

(photo reused from last article and thus from the same source)

So I’d arrived at the depot to pick them up at 8am the following day, was kept waiting for an hour whilst they searched the correct spot and then spoke with both possible drivers (the one who delivers to the wrong postcode and the one who delivers to the correct postcode) – they promised they’d phone me back that day so I left politely and decided not to trust them to sort it out themselves – which is just as well as they didn’t ring me back.

I took the opportunity to use twitter for the first time ever – in order to repeatedly message yodel and Historic Palaces.

I  phoned Yodel’s central call centre and explained the situation vividly enough that I got a ticket number for Yodel’s escalation team – it helped that the depot can only be phoned by people within Yodel and yet the depot still weren’t answering the phone!

Almost everyone at yodel was really nice – but seemed to be lying as nothing ever happened the way they said it would. The one person who was a bit of an ass was the final person I spoke to at the escalation team as they said that the deadline for all the poppies to be delivered was the end of January so they were planning on delivering the poppies in the depot and “they were sure mine would get delivered as part of that” – oddly enough I didn’t think this was a very good response.


(photo reused from last article and thus from the same source)

I ‘d also phoned Historic Palaces and got them to escalate it AND emailed them to emphasis why I wanted the matter escalated (I didn’t think I was unreasonable and I only implied that I thought writing to the papers would make for dreadful publicity for  them) – it sounds like they REALLY regret using yodel. Yesterday afternoon they got annoyed for me (as I told them about yodel’s message)  and demanded a top to toe search of the depot.

At which point Yodel found the packages, I didn’t ask where, the boxes are battered enough to suggest that it was under something heavier and grubby. But at least they weren’t on ebay!

Yodel phoned this morning to confirm they’d found the packages so I dashed out and made it to the depot in record time. There were three people in front of me…all screaming about lost packages. I wandered in and the staff recognised me – probably because I’m  the first person not to scream at them ever.

poppy in rain

(Photo from the Guardian)

They excused themselves from the screaming people in order to get my packages – allowing me to queue jump, and they commented “you emailed centrally about these” – I smiled sweetly and said “just a little bit”.

I knew that I disliked yodel but gosh this has been a pickle.

The poppies are nice but at this point I am too acutely aware of the level of aggravation it has been to get them. However once we give them to people hopefully I will see the appeal of them again.

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3 thoughts on “Poppies are in season… and lost at Yodel’s depot

  1. Hi,
    I have just Google “Yodel Escalation Team” and am actually relieved to hear that we aren’t the only one suffering from being kept from our Poppy order. As you can see by the date of this response, it has been well over 6 months since I place an order for 3 Poppies, one for myself and 2 on behalf of a good friend of mine, who paid me at the time of placing the order.
    In late February after an email and phone call I did receive 1 of the 3 poppies. They had been trying to deliver it to the wrong house in the wrong town and the delivery was refused, which is why the contacted me. Once I had corrected the error with the guy who called me I thought it wouldn’t be long before the other two poppies turned up.. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 😦

    When I next spoke to someone from the company he told me that one was lost at depo and the other had been left with a neighbour but no card had been put through my door. At one point they suggestion that I should knock at the door of neighbours who I didn’t know and have never met to see if they had our poppies. I then discovered that under the ‘Sale of Goods Act 1979’ the goods remain at the companies risk until they are actually received by me, so it is there responsibility and not mine to retrieve them.

    Eventually the emailed me a claim form, so I filled one in for each of the missing poppies and emailed them back to the email address supplied. I eventually received an email back from them telling me that I would get my poppies by the end of the week. I even received an email and text from Yodel telling what times the delivery would be expected… and guess what, I stayed in and no delivery arrived. 😦

    To add insult to injury, I then received an email from the ‘Tower of London Poppies’ saying how the 80,000 or so had been successfully delivered, which from my own personal experience, I knew was not the case. 😦 Just after this announcement email (and while I was still emailing the company and getting no response), I received another automatic email say that the email address I was contacting the poppy company (PoppyAdmin) on would be closed and that a named guy at a different email address was now the only contact dealing with any undelivered poppies. 😦

    After another 4 email to this person at this new address, I eventually got a response telling that the poppies had been delivered to a house 10 doors away from me!! I tried to control my embarrassment and knocked on this strangers door in hopes of concluding this nightmare only to be told that there were no parcel delivered there with my name on them. I am at least getting a email response from a guy at the PoppyAdmin but he has told me that he has reported it to “Yodel Escalation Team” and is waiting to hear from them. I asked if he could send me a contact name and number at Yodel and today he he emailed me that he can’t due to ‘no name policy’!??

    I have asked on many of my emails to PoppyAdmin for someone to call me in person and have always included my mobile number on my emails to them but they only seem to be happy emailing in a impersonal, keeping their distance, kind of way. I also tried emailing the Royal British Legion for any help or advice of who I could contact. They send me a really polite email but could do nothing but give me a link to the Tower of London Poppies Order FAQs page on their website.

    So here I am, 1 poppy and awaiting 2 and a very disappointed friend whom I’m hoping don’t secretly think that I’ve done a runner with their money, or sold their poppies on Ebay! 😦

    In any other circumstances I would have just told them to keep them and just give me my money back but because they are something, so special and for friend who have paid me in advance, I feel that I am really up the creek without a paddle and have no idea where to turn for help resolving this problem.

    As I’m sure you understand, this negative experience has spoilt the excitement and joy of being part of such a special event. 😦 I am so upset and stressed about it all. 😦

    Any it’s been nice to get that off my chest and great to know that out of the 80,000 or so people that ordered a poppy that I’m not the only one who has had this problem. If you or anybody who may read this response can give me any advice on how I sort this please respond to this post.

    Kind regards

    Julie (The Poppyless ) 😦

    • Yikes that sounds a horrendous experience and all the worse for still being unresolved!

      I found that it was very hard getting anyone to take ownership of the problem – unfortunately your experience suggests this is the norm

      Yodel’s escalation team were very hard to get hold of – arguing my way through the front line staff generally got me a callback but they’d never put me through. I harassed yodel by Emailing, phoning and Kicking up on Twitter and this got me on yodel’s “too pesky to ignore” list which seemed to help – but they at least knew my poppies were in the depot. I’m horrified that they’ve got no real idea where they’ve delivered yours to!

      It might be worth contacting a national newspaper – having told the poppy admin people and yodel that you are going to do so… It might fire them up somewhat.

      The Guardian’s consumer champions seem pretty good or the Mail might work as it being poppies would allow them to rant about “disrespecting the war dead” – which I think the Mail would like.

      Best wishes for a poppy filled resolution for you and your friend!

      • Many thanks for your response and advice.
        I will give your suggestions some serious thought and let you know how it goes.

        Watch This Space!

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