Online shoppers left fuming by "careless" Hermes Christmas deliveries in South Ribble
From parcels left in bins on collection day to pricey Christmas presents allegedly thrown over fences into garden ponds, Hermes has left some South Ribble households less than impressed with its service this Christmas.
The courier service has been the subject of numerous complaints in recent weeks, with families frustrated at the alleged carelessness of some of its delivery drivers.
As under-pressure delivery drivers struggle with overwhelming demand from online shopping this Christmas, some households have been left picking up the pieces - literally in some cases - as parcels are left outside in the rain, bundled into bins on collection days, slung over garden fences and delivered to wrong addresses.
With more people shopping online due to the pandemic and a growing number of retailers opting to use Hermes to deliver online orders, the courier service has come under increasing scrutiny this Christmas.
Tracey Heyworth, from Farington near Leyland, was left fuming when a Hermes delivery driver reportedly threw a large and expensive parcel - a Christmas gift for her husband - over a 2m (6.5ft) garden fence, only for it to splash into her fish pond.
She said the incident, which has been recorded on CCTV, has been reported to Hermes.
She said: "There could be anything on the other side of a fence you can’t see over. What if there were children playing in the garden or babies in prams when these drivers throw heavy items over fences?
"Many people are depending on delivered gifts for Christmas and time is running out for returning damaged items so please show a little more thought, be more respectful in where you leave items and, if possible, leave it with a neighbour. I am more than happy to accept items for my neighbours and I know they feel the same.
"Please try and make Christmas more enjoyable for your local community by ensuring their gifts are delivered in one piece - I know many people would appreciate it enormously."
Tracey was quick to add that not all of her experiences with Hermes deliveries have been disappointing, with some drivers taking more care with people's parcels than others.
Tracey added: "I know there are a few who deliver around Leyland and some are brilliant but hopefully this particular person will take more care in future."
Her post on a local Facebook group has led to 129 comments and prompted dozens of other disappointed households to come forward with their own experiences with Hermes.
Nicola Devereux said: "My local Hermes driver also has a habit of throwing parcels over our 6ft fence and doesn’t even bother knocking on my door!
"Photo proof of delivery is usually some blurry, nondescript image of something nobody could even recognise."
And Chris Hargreaves, from Farington, said: "I live in Farington and we have the same problem. Delivery driver takes picture on one side of gate and then launches it over, where the dogs then destroy it."
A woman in Lostock Hall said she had a similarly chaotic experience with her Hermes delivery.
She said: "I was home as well, they never knocked on the door and they didn't post a card either. They just chucked a bag full of new clothes over the front gate for me to find later."
Leanne Holmes, also from Leyland, added: "Had Hermes deliver ours too. Was supposed to come between 2pm and 4pm, but no knock, no card, nothing. Then we found the parcel of clothes slung over the back gate in the pouring rain."
Trish Kirk said dissatisfaction with her local Hermes driver has stopped her from ordering from Next because the retailer uses the courier for its deliveries.
It is among a growing number of retailers that are sending their orders through Hermes, including Debenhams, John Lewis, Next, ASOS, Sports Direct, Footlocker, Smyths Toys, GAME and Boohoo.
Trish said: "A Hermes driver delivered two of my Next parcels to the wrong house and because they weren't home, he chucked them over the garden fence.
"He came to tell us what he had done, but we didn't know these people from Adam - and there was over £200 worth of stuff in those parcels.
"The house was up for sale as well and we didn't even know if there was anybody still living there. I won't have Next delivered anymore because they use Hermes, it's too risky."
In Bamber Bridge, a woman was left scrambling to find a new Christmas present for her son, after the delivery driver left her parcels inside her recycling bin on collection day.
By the time she had returned home, her wheelie bin had been collected and emptied into the back of the lorry, leaving her son's Christmas gifts destined for the rubbish dump.
She said: "There is no excuse for treating parcels in this way, if you can’t do the job properly don’t do it at all. Our parcel could have been left in a bin store or with a neighbour if the courier driver had cared about customer service at all."
Hermes has been approached for comment.
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