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Yodel advises customers to track their parcel by submiting their mobile number

Millions Of Christmas Parcels Sent Without A Mobile Phone Number

Millions of Yodel customers are left without tracking information on the progress of their order when forgetting to add their mobile number.

Britain’s biggest independent parcel carrier is calling for consumers to share their mobile phone numbers with retailers when they shop online this Christmas - so they can be kept up to date on the progress of their parcel.

Yodel, which will handle more than 1 million parcels a day at the height of the Christmas rush, only receives a shopper’s mobile phone number with half of the parcels it handles, leaving millions of customers without information on the progress of their order.

The carrier also disclosed that up to 6,000 parcels arrive in its network every day with errors in the address; getting just one letter wrong in the post code could send a parcel hundreds of miles in the wrong direction.

Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel said: “Customers tell us that they want to be kept informed of their parcels’ progress, but we can’t text you if you haven’t given your mobile phone number to your retailer. So add the right number to your orders or online account and we’ll be able to stay in touch.

“We’re also urging people to check their addresses very carefully when they shop. It sounds silly but we get thousands of parcels every day where there is a mistake in the address. This inevitably delays your parcel as we have to work out manually where it’s supposed to be going.”

A small error in a postcode can send a parcel a long way from its intended destination: if an online shopper in Peterborough with a PE5 postcode enters PA5 by mistake, their parcel will head to Johnstone in West Scotland instead of Cambridgeshire - 325 miles from where it should be.

Yodel, which began preparing for Christmas in January, is sharing a series of tips with consumers to ensure they get their shopping without a hitch.

Dick Stead said: “It’s our responsibility to get parcels where they’re supposed to be going - something we take very seriously indeed. But there are some important things consumers can do to help our drivers find your home and keep our network running smoothly.”

The advice comes as Yodel’s teams prepare for a record-breaking pre-Christmas delivery rush. Analysts are expecting consumers to spend more than £1 billion on Black Friday alone*. Yodel will deliver up to 4.9 million parcels every week between Black Friday and Christmas Eve.

Yodel’s top tips for Christmas shopping deliveries

Placing your order

1. Please tell us your number. If your retailer asks, please give them your mobile phone number. If we have updates about your parcel, or if the winter weather delays us getting to you, we can text you.

2. Check your address carefully. During the Christmas rush 6,000 parcels come to us every day with the wrong address. Be extra careful with the postcode which is particularly important. And if your house has a name, add the street number too if you can.

3. Specify your safe place. If your retailer asks you where you’d like your parcels left if you’re not in, please provide a ‘safe place’ or neighbour’s address. Keep it really clear and simple - like “the red garden shed on the left” or “Number 62”.

4. Use an alternative address. If you think you won’t be in when we deliver, consider using a ‘click & collect’ service (such as CollectPlus), or arrange for the order to go to the retailer’s nearest store, your work address or even a friend.

5. Order early but choose slow. With forecasts of snow it’s more important than ever to get your Christmas presents ordered as soon as you can, but if you don’t need it the next day, choose a slower delivery method if you have the choice. Waiting a few days for your parcel helps keep the system flowing smoothly for everyone.

Your home

6. Help us find your front door. Make sure your door numbers are clearly visible and well lit. If your front door can’t be easily seen from the road, adding an extra set numbers on the gate or outside wall will really help too.

7. Test your doorbell or intercom. Please check that your doorbell or intercom system is working and clearly audible wherever you are in your home. If it’s battery operated it might be time to put some new ones in!

Stay informed

8. Most parcel carriers show you the progress of your parcel online. Yodel's brand new website (www.yodel.co.uk) lets you see live updates for your order, including any delays. We also have customer service on webchat and social media, which means you can get help without having to call us.

*Source: IMRG/Experian

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