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Parcel firms deliver miserable service for the third year running

16 November 2023
  • Citizens Advice Parcels League Table shows a substandard performance by all major parcel firms

  • 13.3 million people faced a delivery problem with the last parcel they received in just the last month

  • Evri and Yodel come in last place, with an overall score of just 2 stars out of a possible 5

  • Royal Mail and Amazon jointly come top - but with a meagre 2.75 stars

Shoppers continue to face a substandard delivery service with no major parcel firm securing even a three star rating in Citizens Advice’s third annual parcels league table.

In the last month, over 13 million people experienced a delivery issue with the last parcel they received, according to new research carried out by the charity. 

The Citizens Advice parcels league table looks at the top five delivery companies by parcel volume and measures their performance against criteria including customer service, delivery problems and accessibility needs (such as people needing longer to answer the door).

Citizens Advice found:

  • 13 million experienced delivery problems - a third of shoppers (34%) experienced a delivery problem with the last parcel they received. Problems included parcels left in insecure locations and parcels arriving late. Worst offenders were Yodel (40%), DPD (37%) and Evri (34%).

  • Poor customer complaints processes - of those consumers that experienced a problem with their delivery, nearly half (43%) of consumers then had a further issue when trying to resolve the problem, such as not being able to find the right company contact details or not receiving a response. In the end, over half (53%) of those that had further issues found it difficult to resolve their problem. This figure rose to 60% of people with a disability. 

  • Failing disabled customers - almost all parcel firms scored 2 stars or below when it came to meeting the needs of disabled customers or individuals who require adjustments to how they receive parcels. An estimated 7.2 million people have an accessibility need they’d like to share with their parcel delivery company. However almost half (45%) of these people were unable to do so.

Citizens Advice also revealed its online advice page: ‘If something you ordered hasn't arrived’ has been viewed almost 222,000 times in the last 12 months, a 78% increase in views since 2019.

The scores





Delivery problems


Customer service


Overall scores


Amazon Logistics









Royal Mail



































Ofcom needs to review its current approach

The rate of parcel delivery problems remains high and is showing no sign of letting up and Citizens Advice’s research indicates the regulator's current guidance on accessibility and complaints procedures has not yet resulted in meaningful improvements.

Citizens Advice is calling on parcel firms and the regulator to take action now, the charity proposes three recommendations:

  1. Parcel companies should use the league table results to identify areas they need to improve. It’s clear from our results that delivery problems remain an outstanding issue, with a particular focus on parcels being left in an insecure location. With no improvements on delivery problem scores since last year, the rate of parcel problems remains far too high across the board.

  2. Ofcom should conduct a review of their new complaints and accessibility guidance by April 2024 and should consider enforcement action, such as launching investigations or issuing fines, if there have been no significant improvements by this date. 

  3. Ofcom should expand its monitoring processes, to fully capture the type and rate of delivery problems across the board. This should include issues consumers have when they both receive and send parcels. And results should be used to take action against companies with persistently high rates of problems.

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“For the third year running our league table reveals online shoppers are being let down by a substandard delivery service. This is an issue we feel has been neglected for far too long.

“We continue to hear from consumers that are chasing up lost, late or damaged parcel deliveries, it’s become an unfair and at times, costly burden to bear. 

“With a seasonal surge of deliveries on the horizon, parcel companies must take action to protect shoppers and get to the root cause of these persistent failings.”

Citizens Advice Consumer Expert, Jane Parsons, gives her top tips to help combat parcel delivery issues:

  1. Check delivery information - Before you place an order, find out the delivery times, costs and returns policies for the items you want

  2. If you’re out of the house during delivery - Consider asking a neighbour or friend if it can be delivered to their address if you think it may be a time or date you’re not home. But beware, if you do provide details of a safe space or nominated neighbour and something goes wrong with those arrangements it’s not the seller or courier’s responsibility

  3. Online trader or online marketplace? - Make sure you know if you are dealing with a trader or a private seller on an online marketplace as dispute processes may vary.  If you have an issue with a trader, a dispute can be raised directly with them, but if it’s a private individual it may be easier to go through an online marketplace's dispute process

  4. Check reviews - It’s always worth taking a careful look at reviews to gain an insight as to how reliable the parcel company is and how well they deal with missing parcel complaints and refunds

  5. Who to deal with when a parcel goes missing - Your purchase and contract is with the seller. If your parcel goes missing you should speak to them to deal with the problem, not the courier company

Notes to editors

  1. Opinium Research conducted an online survey between 19th September and 13th October 2023 of 8,164 UK adults who have received a parcel in the last month from: Royal Mail, DPD, Yodel, Amazon Logistics or Evri. Data was weighted to be nationally representative of those that had received a parcel from one of those 5 companies in the last month. To create the league table, the five top parcel delivery companies by volume of delivery were measured against four criteria:delivery problem , accessibility, customer service and trust. Each rating was out of five stars, and each criteria has been weighted to calculate the overall score. The full league table and methodology can be found on Citizens Advice website

  2. Top five companies by volume of delivery. Estimates taken from Apex Insight, UK Parcels Market Insight Report 2023

  3. Online sales figures have been taken from ONS Retail Sales Index internet sales, October 2023.

  4. Citizens Advice, Response to Ofcom’s call for inputs, May 2021. Section 7.28, pp.76

  5. Figures are taken from Citizens Advice web views of ‘If something you ordered hasn’t arrived’. Views between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023 total 185,836. Figures were accessed on 31 October 2023. Views between 25 October 2022 and 25 December 2022 total 56,833. Figures were accessed on 31 October 2023.

  6. Citizens Advice has previously called for regulatory change to the parcel delivery market. See report ‘Sorry we missed you’ July 2021 for more information. We have called for additional changes to the industry in our response to Ofcom’s recent call for inputs.

  7. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.

  8. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free. 

  9. Citizens Advice helped 2.55 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2021-22. And we had 40.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.

  10. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 18,500 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.

  11. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.

  12. Notes on league table: Data is not available for all companies for all data points. Amazon logistics does not have a C2C service so is excluded from the Cost metric. The cost rating is worked out using the costs for a consumer sending a 1kg and 5kg parcel from drop off at a shop to a UK mainland address for each parcel company. A DPD parcel sent by this method should be delivered in 1 to 2 working days, Yodel within 2 working days, Royal Mail between 2 to 3 business days and Evri in 2 to 4 working days.

  13. Parts of the Accessibility metric are made up from data on consumer perception and as such should not be seen as a judgement on whether or not these options or services are actually available. Costs and CO2e are contextual metrics and don’t impact the final star rating. 

*Amazon Logistics and Royal Mail are tied first place, whereas Yodel and Evri are tied last place. Where scores are the same we’ve used unrounded scores to decide where to place each company.

**CO2e refers to CO2 emissions per parcel. This is measured in grams, with fewer grams representing reduced emissions. We’ve excluded Amazon logistics from the environmental metric because they haven’t published CO2 emissions data. We recognise that not all of the parcel companies will measure this exactly the same way, and it doesn’t account for the different sizes and structures of each company.