Hermes delivery driver refuses to deliver to us for 4 months (and counting)

Hi all,

Just after a sanity check of what I'm doing to try and resolve a dispute with Hermes, the delivery company.

Background:
For 4 months a total of 7 parcels have been returned to sender with no delivery attempt, and the driver claiming they tried to deliver when they did not. This is after we asked the delivery person to please socially distance as my wife is in the "extremely vulnerable" group (she's on medication that suppresses her immune system so risk of extreme symptoms or death from COVID is greatly increased). The driver was not having any of it, insisting that they had to deliver the package inside our doorway onto our inside doormat in order to mark it as delivered. All other deliveries are happy to put it outside our door and take a step back. The first time my wife asked if they could step back away from the doorway the driver took a step forward and tried to push the door open further and push the package into her hands. As you can imagine this would be distressing for anyone, let alone someone who is in the 'extremely vulnerable' group. 

We basically pleaded with the driver to make some compromise (for example, put the package next to our door and step back so they could take their photo) and explained that my wife's suppressed immune system and concerns for her health were why we were being so careful. But the driver refused to even have a conversation about it, and after explaining this several times (each time a parcel was delivered) it ended with them throwing the last parcel 10ft down our garden at us as shouting "I'm never delivering to you again". Since then every single one of the seven deliveries we have had from Hermes is marked as "We had trouble delivering your package" and returned to sender on the day of delivery. We both work from home so know there was no delivery attempt.

Some of those packages contained medication to help my wife manage her condition. Superdrug parcels were returned, so we turned to Lloyds Pharmacy and today a package from them was also returned. So we're running out of options for having the medication delivered. It should be obvious why delivery would be preferable for us rather than going to the shops over the last 6 months.

I've opened 5 or 6 support tickets with Hermes and spoken to someone at head office there over the phone. We have been told categorically that there is no requirement for parcels to be hand-delivered inside our doorway and that what we're requesting is reasonable and normal. And also that training will be given to the delivery personnel on 3 occasions.

After being promised that the issue would be resolved a 3rd time by the driver's manager having a conversation with them we are still not getting deliveries. 

Next steps:

In my last support request to them earlier today I said I was collating all the evidence from the support requests together to send to an ombudsman. And I asked them to let me know about any formal escalation process that they have in the meantime.

Anyone got any other tips? Do you think those next steps are good ones? 
«13

Comments

  • pollypenny
    pollypenny Posts: 29,393 Forumite
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    Very odd.  Most delivery drivers put the parcel on the step, ring the bell and step down the
    path. 
    Anything provoked this attitude?
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • sattewell
    sattewell Posts: 6 Forumite
    First Post
    Very odd.  Most delivery drivers put the parcel on the step, ring the bell and step down the
    path. 
    Anything provoked this attitude?
    Indeed, all our other delivery drivers have either done what you've described or been very helpful and considerate when we've explained the situation. Re: provoking - Nope, it's very strange. We didn't talk to them any differently from any other delivery person. The Hermes delivery driver would not engage in conversation when we asked if it was possible for them to put the package outside of our door. They responded with very pointed "I can't" or "You step back" or "I have to take my photo" without going into detail or actually responding to what we were asking. 
  • p3ncilsharpener
    p3ncilsharpener Posts: 352 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 28 July 2021 at 6:58PM
    I'm not sure what rights you have here as you are not their customer, whoever sent you the parcels is.  Whilst they can complain I wouldn't expect them to do much, they won't have the desire or the resources to get into a protracted argument with Hermes over one delivery address.

    Are there not other pharmacies you can use that don't use Hermes?
    Does your local pharmacy (or one near enough) not do deliveries?
    Could you not use the NHS Volunteers service to have the prescription picked up from a local pharmacy?

    Whilst none of that solves the problem of you not getting Hermes deliveries (which is going to be a pain in the backside given how often they're now used) it seems wise to find a solution to the immediate problem of the lack of medication before you try to tackle Hermes (who don't appear to have much interest anyway.)
  • sattewell
    sattewell Posts: 6 Forumite
    First Post
    I'm not sure what rights you have here as you are not their customer, whoever sent you the parcels is.  Whilst they can complain I wouldn't expect them to do much, they won't have the desire or the resources to get into a protracted argument with Hermes over one delivery address.

    Are there not other pharmacies you can use that don't use Hermes?
    Does your local pharmacy (or one near enough) not do deliveries?
    Could you not use the NHS Volunteers service to have the prescription picked up from a local pharmacy?

    Whilst none of that solves the problem of you not getting Hermes deliveries (which is going to be a pain in the backside given how often they're now used) it seems wise to find a solution to the immediate problem of the lack of medication before you try to tackle Hermes (who don't appear to have much interest anyway.)
    Hi, thank you, these are all good suggestions and things we can fall back on. We're trying another pharmacy first that we think does not use Hermes. Mind you, we thought that with Lloyds pharmacy as the first delivery we had from them did not use Hermes, then the next one did - arrrggh! My wife and I have split the workload - she's on medical supplies, I'm on Hermes :) 

    You're right in it being a pain in the backside - I would roughly guess about 30% of what we have delivered uses Hermes - and that's after us actively trying to research and avoid companies that use them.

  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,023 Forumite
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    Are these medications prescription medications? If so most local chemists will dleiver.

    However, I donlt think they will deliver non prescription medication.

    Have you phoned a company and explained you have problems with Hermes delivery and can they use another courier or Royal Mail instead?

    I did contact one company to complain of delays we had with Hermes delivery and they advised they could use another courier but i would have to order over the phone and request it, rather than order online.


  • pramsay13
    pramsay13 Posts: 1,937 Forumite
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    I doubt there is much you can do. You've obviously rubbed this driver up the wrong way so you need to find a way around it.
    Even if the boss has a word they will just say tried, but no answer.
    All i can suggest is that you check with a company who they use before placing an order. The extra work involved will be far less than chasing up a parcel that the driver may or may not have attempted to deliver.
    Using Hermes for medication seems like a recipe for disaster so I would say get a pharmacy that delivers in their own van. There are 2 or 3 that do that near us. 
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,293 Forumite
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    While expensive, I wonder how effective the parcel boxes are in reality - these sort of things https://www.smartparcelbox.co.uk/

    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Norman_Castle
    Norman_Castle Posts: 11,871 Forumite
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    edited 29 July 2021 at 7:18AM
    The problem is clearly with this driver and should have been resolved by his manager. Are the returned parcels all from the same sender? If so they should also be complaining to Hermes.


  • Boa21
    Boa21 Posts: 278 Forumite
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    Do youn have a Twitter account? Calling them out and tagging them publically can have a remarkable effect on company attitude.

    This is disgraceful behaviour and the driver needs more than 'a word'
    The force is strong in this one!
  • Morglin
    Morglin Posts: 15,918 Forumite
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    I was on the shielded list, but if the door rung, with a parcel, my non shielded husband just masked up, answered the door, and then the courier would either leave it outside the door, and take a pic or my husband would open our door, stand back a bit, and let the courier put it on the doormat and take his pic.  We had no problems at all with any courier.

    If we had workmen or installers in, I just kept a bit of a distance and my husband dealt with them.

    Obviously, now I’m double jabbed, the shielded guidance has changed completely, and we are taking in parcels as normal.

    Perhaps you could answer the door while your wife stays in another room?
    You can tell a lot about a woman by her hands..........for instance, if they are placed around your throat, she's probably slightly upset. ;)
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