Evri’s phone number is even harder to find than my parcel

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I placed a time-sensitive order and, because of the postal strikes, the retailer sent it with the courier Evri. It never turned up. Instead, I keep getting messages from Evri stating that it’s been delayed and should be dispatched on the next working day. I tried to contact them. There is no phone number or email address that I can see on its website. I phoned a number suggested by Google and the voice recognition answering service demanded the Evri tracking number. Six times I tried to tell the disembodied voice the number, and each time it failed to recognise what I was saying, told me to call back with the correct tracking number, and then cut me off.
RY, North Burlingham, Norfolk

Evri is a reincarnation of Hermes, whose reputation for service was so dire that, last March, it hoped for a fresh start with a new name. Alas, altered branding had little effect on its performance, and the company was ranked the worst performing parcel delivery service for the second year in a row in a recent survey by Citizens Advice.

It has, however, hit on a foolproof way to stall complainants, many of them still waiting for online orders and who get no say in which courier the retailer chooses. It has no Twitter presence and no contacts page on its website. Even the customer services link for lost parcels clicks back to the list of FAQs, rather than to a phone number.

SK of Nottingham has been trying to trace five errant Evri deliveries from five different retailers and, like you, has been unable to contact the company. “I feel like I’m on an Evri blacklist where every parcel destined for my address disappears,” she writes.

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Evri tells me its phone number is on its FAQs page. Five minutes of intensive sleuthing failed to track it down. Each FAQ opens a menu of further FAQs, none of which ended with a call option. Only Evri insiders know their way through the labyrinth. I had to rely on its press officer to show me which of the many subsections lead to the holy grail. Which, I can reveal, is 0330 808 5456. But that’s only half the battle, as RY found when he rang it.

Evri admits that it’s aware of issues with its voice recognition system and is “investing” in improvements. It points out that it operates a chatbot, but you have to reenter the FAQs labyrinth to track it down, and only a few of the myriad options produce it. The company only acknowledged that RY’s parcel had been lost after I got involved. He’s now been sent a replacement by the retailer.

SK was sent a goodwill payment by Evri and replacements by the retailers after my intervention. It says: “Like everyone in the sector, we are experiencing higher than normal volumes, driven in part by the Royal Mail strikes, as well as final-mile staffing shortages in some local areas which has affected some deliveries.”

Customers who have not received an order should complain to the seller, which is contractually the customer of Evri. However, Evri has told me that it’s hit on a brainwave to help them out and will be publishing a “brand new” customer services number on its website this year. When that happens I propose a contest to see who can track it down!

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