Yodel threatened Twitter with legal action to silence online critics

Home delivery firm Yodel, which handles packages for Amazon, Currys, Boots and O2 among others, has asked Twitter to delete dozens of critical tweets and accounts that it claims are defamatory and “constitute a serious libel”.

Yodel’s lawyers, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, wrote to Twitter on May 9 threatening legal action if the tweets were not removed.

It claims the statements in the tweets are “entirely false” and it includes a list of tweets that it wants removed.

Yodel, formerly known as the Home Delivery Network, has been repeatedly criticised by customers awaiting packages and its reputation has taken a battering online and on TV after it was the subject of a BBC Watchdog programme:

“The company formerly known as HDNL, had a trail of unhappy customers when it featured on Watchdog in 2010. Sixteen months on, new name, new promises – same old problems,” says BBC Watchdog.

The Watchdog programme highlighted numerous customer stories including that of Kim Hobbs who bought presents for her daughter, but Yodel lost the first part of her address leaving her present-less. She didn’t get an apology.

Another story was that of Claire Jolly. She has a seven foot fence and gate and has CCTV footage of the Yodel delivery driver bringing the X-Box 360 she ordered from Amazon – and throwing it over the gate. Yodel did apologise after Claire complained.

The list of tweets that Yodel provided to Twitter typically include those hitting out its failure to deliver on time, lost parcels and advice to others not to use the deliver service. Many are disparaging while others are humorous but don’t strike me as particular libellous.

Yodel appears to be using heavy handed legal tactics in an attempt to silence dozens of online critics – hardly a step that is likely to endear it to customers or a step in the right direction when it comes to customers service.

Some of the tweets Yodel wanted deleted simply call on Yodel to fix its customers service. Others tell of horror stories similar to the one suffered by Claire Jolly.

Many of the tweets still seem to be online while others  appear to have disappeared.

Yodel in its letter also asked that a parody account, @NotYodel, and another Twitter account @HDNL (the name by which Yodel previously went by before rebranding) be removed.

Both accounts are no longer active and appear to have been taken down by Twitter.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges claimed that it has been proven that the existence of these Twitter accounts “”over a substantial period of time, that the existence of these pages serves as a platform for such defamatory statements to be made against our client”.

In a statement Twitter says it doesn’t “comment on actions taken around specific accounts or Tweets” and offered no comment on the Yodel letter.

This latest episode and threat of legal action will do nothing to improve Yodel’s battered image and it only serves to further highlight the well documented issues that some customers have had with Yodel.

It also is another indication that Yodel has no real strategy for dealing with the chorus of online complaints.

While this letter might have silenced a few tweets, a quick search finds plenty more in online forums.

Twitter is the home of people ranting about brands that have let us down. We have all done it. Whether it is complaints about 02 or Virgin Media (me personally). Do they all go demanding for tweets to be removed? No, at least as far as we know.

These are some of the tweets that Yodel wanted removed and which have not been taken down by Twitter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.smith.5283 Timothy Smith

    there are not good at there job or there company

  • Senne

    useless dicks. I’m putting legal action against them. allready in post. let’s see if they can afford a better lawyer than me. you fucked now yodel.

  • Ron Chambers

    Trying to find a number to contact Yodel.
    they said they left a parcel with my daughters neighbour five days ago.It still hasnt turned up.Next door is empty the other side dont have it?

  • John

    One of the worst companies ever! It’s some kind of joke! they have ‘helpline’ and even twitter account… so what?! if you cannot talk with anyone!

  • Rfwortley

    The most useless company in Europe and probably the world. Any seller using this bunch of incompetent clowns must want their heads examined

  • Hygcam

    just experienced a delivery from Yodel, tried once and then sent the package back to the supplier before I could even get to their depot to collect………… beware if the courier is Yodel

  • JANE DARLINGXX

    absolutely discusting. I will not buy from amazon again because they refuse to stop using this crap company. lied about attempting to deliver a parcel when I was in all day, the branch is is scanky middleton where there most proberbly robbing or tampering with the goods. AMAZON CAN PISS OFF NOW

  • Rob

    I am sat here right now waiting for my Argos Direct delivery to be made by Yodel, which I paid extra for to get it today (22/12/2012), so after reading some reviews I thought I would call Argos Direct to check the status of my order, they said it was at my local Yodel depot being loaded onto the van for delivery today, so I call Yodel and was on hold for 47 mins, to then be told that they have no parcels due for delivery to my address today or any other day, so I call Argos Direct again and explain the situation, a very helpful lady calls Yodel to check the situation, she explains that she has been told that the parcel is on the van and is out for delivery to my address today. What am I to believe!

  • Rob

    Here is my update for the above post made by me today, just after my review post my parcel turned up by a very polite Yodel delivery driver, he came to the door and said I have your parcel but it is not wrapped so you can see the picture of what it is, and he said is it ok to bring it in now or are your children about? What a considerate person, well done Argos Direct and Yodel, a great job!

  • Wowwster

    I blame amazon currys 02 for using them John Lewis got rid of them I use eBay now because Thayer use Royal Mail don’t use them for 6months

  • Jan Ran

    Yep. worse even than Virgin Media!! I have had so many problems today I will tell whoever sent the package it will be their last order from me. Yodel’s telephone and online service does not recognise the reference number on the top left corner of the card they put through the letterbox today. I work night shifts and have no intention of staying awake all day tomorrow for such an incompetent company. Let them send the package back to its originator and explain that to them!

  • Ed

    well, today i found out that parcel that came from US, was delivered and signed for by me, yesterday, when i was still at work.. ok, had usual mentioned problems before, but never that the scum driver would sign it for me and keep MY PARCEL!

  • Mikesimmonds42

    when they have delivered parcels the only thing they have done is throw them over the gate or leave them on the front door step where someone else can come along and steal them! the best one was and xbox kinnect that was left outside in the heavy rain!! A1 + for cant be bothered!!

  • Lady_h

    I’ve got the same problem and now the company does not want to issue a refund. Had a green card through my door to say it was delivered to my neighbor n the neighbors are saying they did not sign for my parcel.

    Its been over a month no parcel no refund.

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