"I was emailing and that got me no reply."
One woman pretended an Evri driver set her house on fire to get the company to respond after being ignored for a month.
Sania Shah, who runs a custom-made clothes business, tried to contact the delivery service – formerly Hermes – after two customers demanded refunds for items that had not arrived, leaving her £200 out of pocket.
Sania says she called and emailed Evri every day for a month to track down the missing parcels but received no response.
In a desperate bid to resolve the issue, Sania told Evri in their live chat that a courier had set her home on fire and even attached photos of a house fire she found online.
After reporting the bogus incident, Sania allegedly received a call from the company’s head office.
Sania admitted that the incident was untrue and said she needed to take “extreme measures” to get hold of someone, which ultimately paid off as the staff member helped her submit a refund.
She explained: “The customers were reaching me asking where the parcel was and wanting a refund.
“I’m willing to look for it, I’m not going to tell them that it’s their problem and they can deal with it.
“I was at a loss because I sent the items and was being chased for a refund, I just wanted to know where the parcels were.
“I tried to call but it’s so hard to get hold of them, it’s a robot and at the end it says ‘thank you, goodbye, go to our website’. I was emailing and that got me no reply.
“Live Chat finally got me in touch with someone. I started a conversation, they gave me a reference number and said ‘someone will be in touch’ so I replied saying ‘help, your courier has set my house on fire’.
“They asked for two photos to start an investigation so I went on Google and found a house on fire.
“It’s bad and people have messaged me saying that it’s someone’s actual house but I’m not trying to use that to my advantage.
“I just needed someone to ring me, I didn’t want to message.
“The next day I got a call. It was a lady who sounded like she was from head office, like she was the real deal.
“They obviously saw the fire and thought ‘oh, this is serious’.
“She said she understood that a courier had set my house on fire and I said they hadn’t but this is the extent I’d had to go to to get hold of someone.
“Then I asked her now that I had her on the phone if she could help me and she did. She probably knew I’d done a lot to get her to help me.”
While she is “not trying to encourage lying and giving Evri stress”, Sania believed her actions were needed to show “the extent people have to go to to get in touch and money doesn’t grow on trees”.
Sania continued: “This was a couple of hundred pounds to me, I’m just a small business.
“She told me what I needed to do to get the refund. I was able to send another product without having to make a loss because I was reimbursed.
“I make custom clothes on the side to make people happy and then you get Evri stress and it’s a put-off when you’re a small business but it hasn’t stopped me. People understand.”
Sania has not shipped with Evri since because customers were “put off shopping with her” when she told them she used the delivery service.
“I don’t use them anymore. People can’t go through that, it’s not ok.”
“I don’t understand how they get away with it.
“People don’t buy from me if they find out I’m using Evri so I make a conscious effort to use Royal Mail.”
An Evri spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear about Sania’s experience.
“As Sania had arranged delivery via a third-party logistics agency we are limited in the information we can access and have previously advised her to be in contact directly with her contracted logistics partner.
“As the UK’s biggest dedicated parcels company in the UK, we deliver 700 million parcels each year and are proud that 99% of our parcels are delivered on time.
“We have invested significantly in our onshore customer service operations in the UK, with dedicated teams in each depot.
“If a customer has a problem with a delivery that cannot be solved through our chatbot our dedicated teams will call the customer once they have carried out a detailed investigation, which involves reviewing all the available tracking data, delivery photos and spoken to the courier involved so they can advise the customer on the best course of action.”