HDN customers play pass the parcel, once they find it

6 March 2009

Bitterwallet reader Dave has been in touch concerning an epic tale of  non-home delivery involving Home Delivery Network.

Before Dave reveals his story in his own words, let us assure you he possesses no x-ray abilities, nor is he trained in the art of Holmesian detection. And if he was part of a clandestine Government-sponsored programme involving remote viewing, he's not saying:

Having ordered a Sony DSLR camera (costing £250) I was surprised to note yesterday evening that my account said it had been delivered that day, whilst I was at work. Having no card through the door to tell me they had called or where they had hidden it, I rang them up, to be told it had been left in a secure place in the street, which was interesting as I live in a flat that's openly accessible up a staircase.

I couldn't find it anywhere, so became fairly annoyed; they then told me someone would call me back within 24 hours with an update. Quite by luck my house phone rung, and it was someone calling from another block of flats round the corner, who had found a parcel dumped in a courtyard outside his door. He'd looked up my number in the phone book and called me, so I could pop round and pick up my camera.

Essentially, HDN couldn't find my flat, so abandoned it in a neighbouring courtyard in the hope it might someone make it's way into my possession.

A courier business encourages peoples to engage in real-life social networking instead of titting about on Twitter, and suddenly they're in the wrong? Honestly, some people.

A triumphant customer service FAIL for HDN, but can you better it with your tale of delivery uncertainty? Send your stories by email (not HDN, we'd like to read them) to [email protected]

32 comments

  • cabbagebike
    I was at home even yesterday and found out that the Wii Fit (ordered 2 months ago) had been left in my wheelie bin! Had it had been the day before, it would have been expensive landfill. Maybe knocking is a health & safety issue nowadays?
  • siemo
    It's common practice that when their website says "attempted delivery" you can be sure that the courier is just a lazy ass and didn't even try to deliver it.. He just came back to the depot and will deliver your package the next day.. I got used to it, so whenever I order something expensive from Amazon I always pay a little bit extra, but at least I know the exact delivery date plus I know that the parcel is safe..
  • LLLLL
    HND are terrible, i was waiting for an item before christmas, called supplier to see where it was after a week to be told HND had tried to deliver 3 times...had i received a card...no... so 3 times they had been and left without letting me know. In the end i had to go to their depo and ask them to find my item, i waited about 30 min finally it was found. so much for home delivery.
  • Matt
    Gotta love these guys, everytime they attempt to deliver at my place they claim no one was in... odd seeing as I live at a halls of residence with 24hr security which accept all parcels for us. The customer services always say 'i'm sorry sir, delivery was attempted but you were not in' in a manner that suggests they know it wasn't but are going to blame you anyway. When i point out about our security, they always 'go to check' and miraculous it turns out the package never left the building! Joke the lot of them!
  • Paul
    Royal Mail. Make up a story, it probably happened.
  • Mike
    Paul. HDN is NOTHING to do with Royal Mail!
  • BiFF
    Just got a package from these guys delivered earlier in the week when we weren't in. They managed to leave a card but there was NO information on it whatsoever. There were lots of fields for the driver to fill in but he left them all blank and just wrote "11" on the card in a random spot. Turns out the package was left at number 11. We only found out when the neighbour brought it over that night, otherwise we would have had no clue.
  • Pizza_D_Action
    HDN SUCK! So do DHL and Citylink for that matter. My digital camera was found halfway up the alley at the side of my house... either the driver delivering it had "go go gadget arms" or it was thrown..... hhhmmmmm
  • Paul
    Mike. "A triumphant customer service FAIL for HDN, but can you better it with your tale of delivery uncertainty?" That there doesn't specify HDN only stories :)
  • Harry
    HDN have done all of the above with me too, (leaving at a neighbour with no card, dumping in our wheeliebin) which leads me to believe that this is standard practice for them. Luckily their depot is just down the road from us so any problems get sorted fairly quickly. May I suggest BW launch a poll of the best (and worst) delivery companies..? UPS tend to have a "knock and run" policy round here, while City Link's service (for us) has improved greatly recently.
  • Amanda H.
    Thing is, a lot of couriers are leaving in droves, as the companies that "employ" them, do not pay them a decent enough wage. A lot of companies are now employing self employed car couriers to save them even more money. What happens then, is that you are constantly getting new people to do the rounds, and it takes at least a year to learn the patch inside and out. More of this will continue to happen. Checkout http://www.parcelforum.co.uk most of these guys "work" for parcelnet among other companies, they have been getting 45p per parcel for the last EIGHT YEARS without a pay rise, to add insult to injury, out of that 45p they have to pay TAX, NI, PETROL, WEAR & TEAR (which is a lot more than you'd think), MOBILE PHONE etc etc, before they can even think about taking a profit. Then you have NO Holiday pay at all, No sickness pay, No Pension, No Union, No Tea-Breaks! No Payrises, ZIP. A lot of couriers aren't even getting Minimum wage unless they deliver 30,112 parcels an hour!
  • worto
    I can definately confirm UPS's knock and run policy - they must only get about 20 seconds per drop off or something. Everytime I order something from apple it comes via ups and after 3 days of them trying to deliver it when I'm in (which seems to involve waiting for the 30 seconds I'm away from the front door then sneaking a card through the letterbox really quietly and legging it) I end up collecting it from the depot - maybe they get paid for each attempted delivery?!? As for $hitty link - it's the main reason I try to avoid buying from ebuyer - not used them recently but they have always been a pain in the butt - I've always had problems with them & my hatred for them only got worse when one of thier drivers rolled backwards into my car at an island and drove off :-o
  • Bob M.
    I ordeded a £1000 PC and the delivery guy knocked on the door, threw my box at me and then sh!t all over my front door. Not as bad as the HDN guy tho, poor thing.
  • tom
    You should have rang them and said you couldn't find it. Could have got a refund perhaps?
  • Dave/'Chris'
    Tempting to do so, but for some reason I'm too nice/moral to do that. Although when I complained to Amazon after ringing HDN they were more than happy to send another if I couldn't find it. Someone's evidently made of money!
  • Theo C.
    Laithwaites use HDN to deliver its cases of wine. I was at home all day (I work from home) on the day my case of wine was "delivered" by HDN. No case of wine anywhere on the property - not at the door, not round the side, in the garage or at the back door. No card through the door either. Laithwaites look in to this and after a few hours call me back to declare that the couriers are being "evasive" in their responses. I get a new case of wine delivered. Some HDN driver is probably doing his job over the limit on my wine, even now.
  • matt a.
    they (hdn) threw my 150 pound camera over the back gate and smashed it to bits
  • Morgan
    Really not a fan of HDN either. Ordered several pairs of jeans, attempted to have them delivered at my office since I wouldn't be in the house during delivery. Kept checking the status of my delivery, each and every time the tracking had "attempted delivery, building vacant". The office I work in is possible the largest building in the immediate area with a sizable sign on the side of the company name and there is always atleast 4 people in the office between 8-5pm. The guys who were delivering it kept going to an empty up bungalow behind our building, looking at the property and going "Yup, still boarded up, no-one there" and returning to the depot. Eventually I had to get the number of the delivery guy directly and wave him down from the main road. I can understand that the self employed people have to be quick on their rounds to earn a living but they show some incredible negligence. Especially when the guy accidently gave me his delivery notes too and I realised they had been using our staff carpark to turn around and leave the cul-de-sac!
  • steve
    sorry but you wanna try 'express despatch' they just threw 11 parcels over a fence before they even reached the depot, then forged our despatch managers sig to say he had recieved them back (shame he was in spain at the time)
  • Benjimoron
    Gonna stick up for HDN here, I know loads of people hate them and probably for good reason. But the guy that does the HDN deliveries here is superb, really nice genuine guy. Been the same guy for the last couple of years from what I can remember. He did break my doorbell though, we had a good laugh about it though! It was only held on by a bit of selotape.
  • Lam
    I know this might not wash with all of you, but ....... if you do quite a bit of homeshopping, on sites like Cdiscount that always use HDN, then give the courier person a tip. You will find it's always the same driver that serves your address and you will get excellent service. Consider this - you can get a 6 drawer solid wood chest of drawers ( flat pack ) delivered for £1.99. It's darn heavy and the dude has to climb 4 flights of stairs with it on his back. Yes I know they are paid to do a job but we tip our taxi drivers 10 -15% of the fare for driving us round the bend, and the hairdresser/barber for cutting our hair, and we tip the pizza delivery dude............... so why not the courier driver?
  • Lam
    oh and a point to add - yes times are tough and money is tight. Once I had no change so I offered to make him a cup of coffee and he went and got his flask from his van. Even the smallest gratuity to show your gratitute is much appreciated
  • Colin
    Back at the start of 2007 I ordered a Doughnut maker from Boots. A couple of days later I received an email informing me it had been dispatched via HDN and would be delivered in a couple of days. A week passes and nothing so I call up Boots. I inform the lady that no card has been left so she asks me whether I have an alleyway behind my house and that I should check there. There is an alleyway, luckily not a public one so I check and no package. I call Boots back who issue a refund as they had run out of stock. About 6/7 weeks later at around 7pm on a Thursday night there is a knock at my door. There's a man there who asks me whether my name is Paul. I inform him my name is Colin, he goes back into his 4x4 and says "Colin, yes I have a package for you." He explains that he lives on the opposite side of the estate (also a number 9) and that he has been working away. Upon his return home he finds a note from the window cleaner (dated 6 weeks earlier) about a parcel that he found in the middle of the back garden, and that he is placed under the barbecue for safekeeping a & to protect against the elements. HDN had "delivered" (I use that term in it's loosest sense) my Doughnut maker to the wrong house (fair play they got the house number right). I shouldn't really use the term "delivered", rather the courier had just thrown it over the fence into the middle of this man's garden (and they didn't leave a card at his either). Mind you I effectively got the Doughnut Maker for free. I was tempted to call Boots up and tell them I had eventually received it (as I am an honest person) but decided HDN were in the wrong here not me. I'm always wary when I order something from Amazon and they use HDN. However I now get them to deliver to my mum's house, as she's in during the day. That way they can't loose items or launch them like a mortar barrage into someone else's garden with a totally difference street name. It makes you wonder who manufactures their Satellite Navigation devices!
  • jake
    Mmm have to get myself some cheap eat european female to come over and do all my chores for a £1 an hour,maybe she could service the drivers too and I could be on a nice little earner,all the drivers will know where to 'come' then.
  • Kat
    HDN recently delivered my purchase which was in a Black bag from ASOS. The delivery person obviously was better than some leaving outside in the elements etc, however he left the black bagged parcel, on a navy blue carpet, behind a few pairs of black boots under a chair in our porch, as in none of the other residents that came home during daylight saw it which made it even harder to find once i came home in the dark. It was the best hidden delivered parcel i have ever recieved. A card though the letter box would have taken 30 seconds to write & would have helped with the confusion of seeing "delivered" on my tracker and not having my item. Had there not been the website tracket i'd still be waiting! To be fair, at least i got it in one piece, inside the right house.
  • Dave T.
    I also have had a similar delivery with HDN! The Driver left the Parcel (An Ipod) in a secure place at the side of our house, customer service told us. IN THE FRIGGIN' WHEELIE BIN!!! Long live HDN....or maybe not?
  • The B.
    Pah, that's nothing, I was expecting a data disk (encrypted) from a major bank. It was sent by DHL and didn't turn up, chasing up, they reckoned it had been signed for by someone no one had heard of, we checked our CCTV and nothing, no delivery guy. When faced with this info the delivery guy suddenly remembered he'd delivered it to a diferent address, we sent the package it came in back to the bank to see if it was the same as they'd initially sent and no, it had been opened and repackaged to try and cover the theft up. Just as well the data was massively encrypted.
  • Exactly
    If the Government can lose two discs filled with the names of 25 million children in receipt of child benefit; parents names, NI numbers, bank details, dates of birth, addresses, the lot, then why are you surprised at HDN losing some crappy parcels?
  • Billy S.
    I ordered a £10, 000 PC....the HDN driver threw it at me, shat on my carpet, bummed me to death, buried me in a shallow grave on the front lawn, moved in with my wife, impregnated her with swarthy toned babies and.... ate all my biscuits. Needless to say, I shan't be using them again. Or anyone else for that matter......seeing as I'm dead.
  • sheofnottheirbiggestfanclub
    I am absolutely disgusted with this service. I ordered from ASOS on Friday for next day delivery for it to come today. They must have just knocked once but i didnt hear it as i was in and they have left me a card stating 'it has been returned to our depot for safekeeping'.....what? You leave it with a neighbour or leave it around the back somewhere safe stating on the card(i have a garage and an inside garden where lots of delivery companies have had no trouble doing this before)....or AT LEAST give you the option to pick the parcel up on the SAME day if it is next day delivery. As now they won't deliver as it is out of hours 8am-2pm. tried the Preston depot number which is apparently where it is being sent back to be held, no answer of course as its a Saturday. What an absolute joke. I have paid next day delivery so i should receive next fecking day delivery on a SATURDAY hence paying for it. SO ANNOYED! And whats more this isn't the first time i've had problems, the last time i used this service i asked for next day delivery again and it came late. Disgruntled is not the word for this company, they are absolutely useless.
  • Dez
    Please don't always blame the courier drivers, I have worked in the past for these companies although not for long for these very reasons and you are expected to deliver around 100 or more parcels a day this includes planning the route yourself, and the routes change often so you cant always learn it easily. Finding your own way round to every delivery address including homes that have just a "name" instead of a house number on a long street! and carrying heavy cases of wine and flat pack furniture up flights of stairs to top floor floor flats to find there is no one home and no neighbours will accept them. You also Load the van yourself, and are expected to keep returns to a minimum, you simply don't have time always to try neighbours - hence it gets left in "a safe place", albeit some of the drivers do use silly places like Bins that's obviously a bad idea. You need to do All this whilst driving a 3.5 tonne vehicle safely down narrow streets of double parked cars and busy housing estates safely and through rush hour traffic for only £7 an hour. You are expected to deliver 1 parcel every 5 mins over approx 8-9 hours delivery time, no time for lunch breaks. Your total working day is about 10hrs long. How many of you would do it. If most customer had to spend just 1 day in a van with a couier driver I imaging they would be a bit more respectful of how hard a job it is for small reward. This is why I have now gone back to an office based job.
  • Bloomin f.
    Four separate days I have waited in for HDN to PICKUP a parcel to be returned to PLAY.COM. I ordered some Halo blocks for my son, and when I opened the packaging the box was badly broken and had a gash in the end - bits of megablocks were floating around so I arranged for it to be picked up. I dont blame HDN for the damage as the outer packaging (plastic waterproof stuff) had no damage so it must have been caused by PLAY, however HDN continue to not be able to find the house even though it is easy on SAT NAV and on a popular road. Apparently, they have been unable to gain access (clearly going to wrong house)--- maybe they should try knocking, or if having problems finding the house drive by the street looking for someone glued for the day to their window! They have my telephone number, description of the house and still cant find it - BLOODY USELESS. If when ordering something they say HDN are to deliver then request alternative or buy else where, truely you will be saving a lot of stress and time off work.

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