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Some of the largest parcel firms in the UK have criticised research by Citizens Advice which claimed to have uncovered consistent problems in their customer service and deliveries.

DPD, Hermes and Yodel said the findings were flawed and based on poor methodology after the independent organisation said there were “huge cracks in the sector” and called for Ofcom to introduce stricter rules for delivery firms.

Citizens Advice created a company league table, comparing top parcel firms against criteria such as customer service, problems and accessibility.

It said no delivery company scored more than three stars out of a total of five.

It said Hermes and Yodel performed the worst, scoring 1.5 and 1.75 stars respectively.

Amazon Logistics came out top, but still only scored 2.75 stars.

It also said DPD scored lowest when consumers were asked if they’d had a problem with their last delivery: 41% of DPD customers polled by Citizens Advice reported a problem with their last delivery.

It claimed there were major issues with consumers unable to get the help they needed.

But the parcel companies have hit back and said Citizens Advice’s survey was self-selecting and did not accurately reflect a cross section of society.

Mike Hancox, Yodel chief executive, said: “We are always striving to better all aspects of our services and welcome consumer feedback.

“However, we don’t believe these findings truly reflect the excellent service the vast majority of our customers receive, with data for perfect deliveries and other independent review sites giving a more accurate view.”

Hermes said it welcomed feedback on its services, but a spokeswoman added: “However, we do not accept these findings as we believe this research is flawed and based on poor methodology.

“We are also disappointed that Citizens Advice made no attempt to engage with parcel companies about this research, other than to let us know they were publishing it, and there was no attempt to raise any perceived issues with us to allow us to investigate.”

In a statement DPD said it had raised “significant concerns” directly with the advice organisation: “Our own data shows that over 99.5% of all DPD parcels are delivered right first time, which is one of the main reasons we have been voted top in MoneySavingExpert’s annual parcel delivery customer satisfaction poll of over 10,000 recipients, eight years running,” it said.

Amazon said the vast majority of its deliveries were made without an issue and in the “rare case something occurs, we work with customers directly to make it right”.

Royal Mail said it delivered to 31 million addresses across the UK and customers put their trust in its brand.

“We are committed to continuously improving our services as we re-invent the way we deliver to and from our customers,” it said.

A Citizens Advice spokesman told MT that it drew on a wide range of data and it stood by its methodology.

"We did consult industry about the methodology prior to publication, but it's not correct to say we accepted it was flawed," the spokesman added.