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Customers of delivery giant Hermes have questioned the company’s practices after receiving messages stating their items have been "safely" stored on door handles, rubbish bins and pavements
Online shopping has rocketed over the past year, with delivery firms turning over millions on the back of store closures and retailers entering administration.
But some members of the public say huge demand has triggered a rise in missing post, dodgy deliveries and parcels being left at risk of theft.
Elise Chambers got in touch with The Mirror after almost losing two Hermes parcels in a row.
On both occasions, she received messages from the delivery giant stating her items had been left in a ‘safe place’ – hanging on her front door.
“My experiences with Hermes have been awful,” Elise said.
The NHS worker who had ordered items from retail giants H&M and Lions, said she was “lucky” her orders were not stolen.
“It’s not the shops but the couriers they use. They just seem so unreliable,” Elise explained.
“I’d happily pay more to be able pop along to the local delivery office or arrange a redirection if I’m not in,” she said. “But the customer isn’t given many options.”
“With Hermes, it’s a choice of a safe place or with a neighbour which is great, but hung on a door handle does not constitute as ‘safe’,” Elise added.
On previous occasions, Elise’s daughter and husband had parcels at the same address left "in bins" while her daughter had to return one parcel due to the condition it arrived in.
“Our daughter actually had to return the goods unopened as they were filthy,” she said.
“Both her and my husband were lucky that the refuse collectors hadn’t been that day.”
Elise is one of hundreds of customers who claim they were shunned by the delivery company after attempting to make a complaint.
“Everything is automated,” she said. “You just go around in circles.”
“It’s just appalling – these so called ‘safe places’ just leave your paid for items at risk of theft.”
Mirror Money has heard from hundreds of people who have experienced similar issues with Hermes in recent months.
Many told us the company refused to cooperate after they raised concerns.
Jordan Carter, 34, had to report several of his parcels missing last month after they failed to arrive.
The school teacher said two parcels, ordered from fashion chains Uniqlo and Asos, disappeared in the same week.
“The phone lines are all automated so you can’t even track missing post,” he said.
“Asos told me the parcel had been out for delivery - but it never arrived. When I contacted the depot about both deliveries, they were unable to assist.”
Weeks later, Jordan received a message stating his item had been left in a ‘safe place’ – again, hanging on his front door.
“It’s really disappointing,” he said. “Customers are paying to have their parcels delivered – and the promise is that if you’re not home, it will be left in a ‘safe place’. That’s simply not the reality.”
On twitter, customers say they’ve exhausted all of their options.
One woman alleged that her mother’s parcel was stolen after being left on a pavement.
“@Hermesparcels One of your delivery drivers left a parcel for my mum on the public pavement outside her house," she wrote.
"Clearly when she returned home the parcel had been stolen. Hermes is claiming it was left in a ‘safe place’ so she is unable to get a refund. Help please!”
Another wrote: “My partner got a Hermes delivery today. We've been here all day but they didn't even bother knocking and they put the parcel in one of our recycling bins."
A third vented her frustration at being unable to contact the delivery giant.
“Hermes missing parcels and no way of contacting anyone, the customer said.
“Totally unacceptable to leave parcels in full view.”
Mirror Money put all of the claims to Hermes, but it is yet to comment.
However, in the past week we've heard from dozens of drivers who claim they are under extreme pressure to deliver more parcels due to recent pay cuts.
That's because they get paid per parcel delivery.
Speaking anonymously, one worker told The Mirror that while demand has risen, their salaries have been cut in the past year.
"They say that because we are delivering more, we have to have a pay cut of 2p a parcel," he said.
"We have already had a cut in the rates because they have introduced packet rates and postal rates.
"The pay is less than it was five years ago despite the couriers rising costs."
In other cases, couriers say they are having to 'work for free' at depots due to severe understaffing.
The company did not comment when approached for a statement.
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