A woman from Bristol has said her Christmas is 'ruined' after gifts sent by her family went missing in transit and instead, she received a box of old car parts.
Julia Harris, who lives in Avonmouth, has suffered three heart attacks during the past year. Because of her vulnerable health, her family decided not to gather for Christmas this year.
Instead, her son and his father, Adrian, sent a box containing several gifts they planned to open together over a video call on Christmas Day.
When a large box was delivered to her house yesterday (December 20) by DPD, Ms Harris was surprised to discover the outer packaging was a different shape from the one that her family had sent, which she’d seen in a video message.
Instead of gifts, she discovered “rusty old car parts” packed with Amazon cardboard and bubble wrap.
Ms Harris said: “I rang my son and his dad straight away. They thought I was joking and winding them up, so I showed them on a video call, and they couldn’t believe it. My son’s dad got straight onto DPD, who were absolutely useless and didn’t want to know.”
Tracking information for the parcel suggested it was repacked at a DPD depot in Rumney, Cardiff.
Ms Harris said that the DPD tracking information “looked normal" until it got to Cardiff. She said it was then repacked and re-labelled at 9am on the day of delivery.
Ms Harris said she tried phoning the depot throughout the day on Tuesday but said was unable to get any response.
Meanwhile, her son's father, contacted DPD and was initially told that because it was a DPD Local delivery, he would need to contact Parcel2Go, who works with the company.
He said he persisted in trying to speak to someone at DPD and was asked for video evidence to be sent to an email address, but he claimed that the address was not valid and kept bouncing back.
He alleged he then waited in a phone queue for over an hour before being given another address to send the footage to.
The only reply the family claim to have received is a generic response that said the company would ‘look into it in due course’.
Ms Harris' family said that while individually, the items didn't have a high monetary value, collectively - they were worth around £200 and were all chosen with great care, some even handmade.
Because of this, the parcel was insured for £200.
The family said they chose to send the presents via DPD because they wanted to avoid issues due to the Royal Mail strikes, but have said they will not use the company again.
Although the family say they are aware it must be a highly pressurised time of year to be a courier, they feel that DPD's lack of willingness to engage in communication is inexcusable.Ms Harris said: “They don’t care, we’re just another customer to them, just another barcode. The little Christmas we were going to have we haven’t got now, it’s been ruined."
A spokesperson from DPD said: "We are very sorry indeed to hear about this and have launched a full investigation.
"From our security images, we can see that the packaging failed in transit, and we are now conducting a search to locate the missing items, as a matter of urgency.
"We will be in contact with the customer to resolve this issue."