DPD has been voted the best parcel delivery service by MoneySavingExpert readers for the third year in a row, with iPost Parcels, DX and Yodel all ranked in the bottom three for the second year running.

More than 9,000 took part in our annual poll on the best and worst parcel delivery firms in the run-up to Christmas, with users asked to rate only those firms whose services they have used in the past 12 months.

Some 61% of those who have had goods delivered in the past year by iPost Parcels, which is part of the UK Mail group, rated their experience as 'poor', while DX was voted second-worst with 58% saying it was 'poor'. Yodel, the second most commonly rated firm in the poll after Hermes/myHermes, was voted third-worst, with 57% deeming it 'poor'.

All three of the worst-rated firms were given a 'poor' rating by a higher proportion of those who'd used them than last year. In December 2014 DX came bottom, with 57% rating it 'poor', while 48% scored iPost Parcels 'poor' and 45% said Yodel was 'poor'. See our Parcel Delivery Rights guide for how to fight back if you're unhappy with a parcel delivery.

In response to the MSE poll, Yodel says it has set up a dedicated email address for MoneySavingExpert users who are experiencing problems – you can email it at yodel.mse@sm.myyodel.co.uk.

The order of the four best-rated companies remains unchanged. DPD stays in first place, with 71% of users rating their experience as 'great'. CollectPlus, which is jointly owned by Yodel and was voted second-best overall, received the lowest 'poor' rating of all 17 firms at 9%.

'Put pressure on retailers when delivery isn't up to scratch'

Steve Nowottny, news and features editor at MoneySavingExpert, says: "With the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping, parcel delivery firms are in the spotlight like never before – they're under massive pressure to deliver as the pre-Christmas rush hits its peak.

"What's striking about these results is the scale of the difference between the best and the worst. With those delivered to by the top firm more than four times more likely to say they had a 'great' experience than those using the bottom firm, clearly not all parcel firms are created equal.

"Yet what's frustrating for those unhappy with a parcel delivery firm is that they can often take little action, as their relationship with the firm is indirect. We pay and have a relationship with the retailer, not the parcel delivery company the retailer chooses to use, which means our comeback can be limited.

"The answer of course is for users to put pressure on retailers when delivery isn't up to scratch. If you're unhappy with the service you've received, make sure the retailer you paid knows – hopefully they'll be able to rectify the situation, and if they receive multiple complaints that should prompt them to put pressure on the parcel delivery firm in turn and force them to up their game."

iPost Parcels, DX and Yodel bottom of parcel delivery pile, MSE poll finds
iPost Parcels, DX and Yodel bottom of parcel delivery pile, MSE poll finds

The full survey results

Users were asked about their experience with 17 parcel delivery firms, and were asked to rate only those they had used during the last year. The full results from our poll are in the table below, ranked from worst to best in order of total score based on 'great' and 'OK' ratings:

Parcel firms ranked from worst to best – as voted by MSE users

Firm Great OK Poor
iPost Parcels 16% 23% 61%
DX 17% 25% 58%
Yodel 21% 22% 57%
UK Mail 21% 42% 37%
City Sprint 17% 51% 32%
APC 27% 38% 35%
Hermes/myHermes 34% 30% 36%
TNT 27% 52% 21%
Amazon Logistics (i) 38% 35% 27%
Interlink 34% 43% 23%
DHL 39% 51% 11%
FedEx UK 41% 47% 12%
Parcelforce 42% 45% 13%
UPS 50% 38% 12%
Royal Mail Parcels 51% 38% 10%
Collect Plus 53% 38% 9%
DPD 71% 19% 11%
Order calculated by 0 points for 'poor', 1 for 'OK' and 2 for 'great' and firms rated from worst to best. Percentages may not hit 100% due to rounding. 9,479 people voted – they could vote for more than one firm. (i) Not always used by Amazon.

What do the delivery firms say?

Tracy Hodges, customer services director of UK Mail Group, which includes iPost Parcels, says: "The results of the MSE poll are disappointing, as we aim to provide an excellent customer service and are currently taking measures to improve our customer satisfaction scores.

"In 2016 we will be conducting a survey to explore how we can improve our customer experience and will work hard to address the feedback received."

Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel, says: "We're disappointed to see Yodel near the bottom of MSE's poll once again. There's no doubt that as a business we had significant problems with our service in the past but our own data – and results from independent review sites – show a massive improvement in the service we're delivering.

"We're confused as to why this isn't reflected in MSE's 2015 results. We apologise to anyone that has had a poor experience and to address this we've opened a dedicated email address for any MSE reader currently having a problem with a Yodel parcel. We promise to address any issues as fast as we can."

DX was contacted for comment but did not provide one.