Yodel take the flak for broken ceramic poppies

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Yodel have been criticised by people who have bought ceramic poppies from the Tower of London because some of the items have arrived broken. The individual poppies, which collectively formed the artwork Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, each represented a death in the First World War. They have subsequently been sold for £25 each with some of the takings going to Services charities.

What’s not clear is quite how many of the poppies have been damaged in transit.

But it’s fair to say that it was inevitable that some of the poppies would break: nearly one million have been sold. And such was the inevitability that some of these ceramic poppies would be broken in transit, that I wonder if any of the poppies were kept back in contingency. (If not, I’d be astonished.)

Secondly, how good was the packaging? We all know that a parcel goes through the ringer in any system and it is always going to be bashed around. Some people have said it’s astonishing that the consignments didn’t have Fragile marked on the box or Fragile tape used. I don’t suppose that would make much difference. Acres of protective packaging is required and it would be good to know if it was done properly.

One eye catching incident was reported on the wireless this morning and also in the Daily Mail. It involved one delivery that was chucked 20ft over a front gate. The buyer recorded the incident on CCTV. Remarkably, the poppy was intact.

Yodel bashing is favourite sport for ecommerce SMEs: everyone has a story. But on this occasion I think reserving judgment until we know a bit more would be fair. Although, it is quite surprising they were chosen by Historic Royal Palaces for the job in the first place.

13 Responses

  1. Fragile stickers dont protect inadequate packaging of items
    even so a fragile sticker should not be needed ,all parcels should be treat with respect and care not just those with a sticker,

  2. Despite the inventive nature of the delivery over the fence, I think it’s a shame Yodel are getting all the blame. It’s obvious the items were not packed with due care and attention. Yes all packages should be handled with respect but these should have been well labelled with Fragile all over the place. They are just not replaceable and I too would be very interested to know who decided that Yodel was the appropriate courier. One contract I would love to have seen.

  3. I sell ceramic mugs and post them in ‘smash proof ‘ boxes. One arrived broken and the customer was annoyed that it didn’t have fragile marked on it. Having worked for Royal Mail for many years, marking items with fragile or please do not bend can invite trouble.

    If it is going to be mishandled a fragile sticker won’t protect it, but it’s the customer’s perception that it should have been marked as such. Delivery drivers couldn’t care less, I’ll stick my foot through his wing mirror if I ever saw him mistreating my deliveries. It might dawn on him to start treating people’s property with respect.

  4. Yodel have managed to ruin a hardback book sent to me.

    The book seemed to have been well packaged, however the packaging was very bashed and was ripped on one side (exposing the book). There was also water damage and the book was warped.

    It was delivered to a neighbours flat so it was not chucked over a fence, left outside or in a bin.

    I think the damage occurred in the Yodel sorting system (it was far more than an individual driver could manage).

    Good thing I ordered this Christmas present early as I have time to get a replacement.

  5. I think many of the muppet Yodel drivers are being taken on by Amazon Logistics in their attempt to snatch the worst delivery company crown.

  6. Firstly, it’s not inevitable that some of the poppies have arrived broken. If, after hundreds of thousands of young men gave their lives for this country, something commemorating their sacrifice cannot be packaged and delivered with care and respect, then there is something seriously wrong with how this country has developed, but then we all know there is, don’t we.
    My poppy has just arrived broken, my neighbour ordered 4, 1 is ok the rest filthy dirty and 2 broken. That’s in two neighbouring villages in lincolnshire, so how many more across the country? We don’t want refunds or newly made replacements, we want what we ordered, a part of this years important commemorations, anything less is meaningless. Janette

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