Volkswagen unveils trial to allow Hermes drivers to deliver parcels to a customer’s car boot using a digital code – sparking social media fury over whether it is safe

  • Hermes has partnered with Volkswagen to trial first in-car delivery service in UK
  • Trials are being held in Milton Keynes with the full rollout expected later this year
  • Delivery drivers are given a single-use code to access cars to deliver the parcels 
  • But after the news was unveiled on Twitter, Hermes came under fire for reliability
  • The company has received a barrage of complaints asking about missing parcels

Trials are underway allowing Hermes delivery drivers to unlock cars using their mobile phone and deliver packages inside the boot while motorists are away.        

Volkswagen has partnered with the courier to trial its car-boot delivery service in Milton Keynes and is hoping have the service available nationwide later this year. 

Couriers are given a single-use, time-specific digital access code to open a car and deliver a parcel in what Volkswagen hopes will offer a ‘new level of convenience’.

But after the news was announced on Twitter, the firm faced a fierce backlash with many raising concerns over the safety of the service and the reliability of Hermes.

Couriers are given a single-use, time-specific digital access code to open a car and deliver a parcel in what Volkswagen hopes will offer a ‘new level of convenience’

Once the car is open, the courier is then able to leave the parcel inside the boot. But some have questioned the safety of the new service

Volkswagen announced the news on Twitter, but Hermes faced a backlash with many raising concerns over the safety of the service and the reliability of the courier

Dozens commented about the reliability of Hermes, with many asking where their missing parcels had gone (above and below)

The courier was bombarded with tweets slamming its ‘woeful’ service, with many questioning how the technology will improve the firm’s ‘unreliable’ performance.

Volkswagen has moved to clarify the stringent safety measures in place however. 

Outlining how the service will work, it revealed that customers piloting the scheme will receive a text or email when one of their parcels arrives at the Hermes depot.

They will then be given the option to have it delivered to their car. 

Once they accept and authenticate themselves using a unique Volkswagen ID log-in, the Hermes courier is then able to see which packages have been converted to in-car deliveries.

The Hermes courier is then given a single-use, time-specific digital access to open the car which can only be used by them, and GPS co-ordinates for the car are sent to the courier to carry out the delivery. 

Once successful, couriers provide photo evidence of the delivery and confirm that the boot is securely locked afterwards.  

But not everyone is convinced about the new technology.

Outlining how the service will work, Volkswagen revealed that customers piloting the scheme will receive a text or email when one of their parcels arrives at the Hermes depot

The news has come under fire on Twitter however, with many questioning the decision to offer the service to Hermes customers (above and below)

How do Hermes drivers get access to cars to deliver parcels? 

Customers piloting the scheme will receive a text or email when one of their parcels arrives at the Hermes depot, giving them the option to have it delivered to their car. 

Once they accept and authenticate themselves using their unique Volkswagen ID log-in, the courier is then able to see which packages have been converted to in-car deliveries.

The Hermes courier is given a single-use, time-specific digital access to open the car which can only be used by them, and GPS co-ordinates for the car are sent to the courier to carry out the delivery. 

Once successful, couriers provide photo evidence of the delivery and confirm that the boot is securely locked afterwards.

After Volkswagen revealed the news on Twitter yesterday afternoon, Hermes came under fire for its reliability.

One irate customer, Steve Bousfield, said: ‘So not only will they damage your goods but also your car. Hopeless.’

While Craig Russell said: ‘Chances of Hermes finding a car in a car park are even less remote than them finding a safe and secure place at your home address!

‘Carrier pigeon be more reliable!’

And Cameron Heyes said: ‘I wouldn’t trust Hermes leaving a parcel with my neighbour never mind giving them access to my car.’

Another joked: ‘Will they still put the parcel in my wheelie bin (even on bin day) and now put both in my car boot?’ 

Also on Twitter, one person said: ‘I love VW, I really do. But this venture with Hermes doesn’t fill me with enthusiasm. 

‘Does the excitement come in the form of will my car still be there when I return?!? 

‘I’d prefer to see innovation money spent on wireless fast charge electric vehicles, please.’

Hermes has tried to reply to all the messages left after the news was announced, offering customers help with tracking down their parcels.  

And staff at Volkswagen UK have expressed their enthusiasm for the project.   

The service will purportedly allow a motorist to have their parcel delivered while away from the vehicle (pictured, a promotional shot from a Volkswagen advert revealing the service)

Some have questioned the safety of the new service (above and below). But staff at Volkswagen UK have expressed their enthusiasm for the project

Claire McGreal, Brand Strategy and Mobility Services Manager at Volkswagen UK, said: ‘We are excited to have Hermes on board as our first courier partner to trial We Deliver in the UK. 

Feedback from users in Germany, where the scheme is already live, has been consistently positive and we hope to begin rolling out gradually across the UK by late 2020.

‘Security is of course high on our list of priorities which is why delivery details are traceable to specific individual couriers. 

Should the delivery be unviable on the day for any reason – for example, there is insufficient space in the boot or the courier can’t locate the car – then the delivery will default to the user’s alternative address instead.’

Adrian Berry, Innovation Product Owner at Hermes, said: ‘At Hermes we are constantly looking to develop innovative products and services that improve convenience for our customers.

‘We are really pleased to be partnering with Volkswagen and look forward to working with them to develop this further. It is the first trial of its kind in the UK and supports our mission to make parcels more personal. 

‘Further to this, we envisage that in-car delivery services will increase first-time delivery rates; reducing the number of delivery vans on our streets.’

We Deliver is part of the Volkswagen We range of digital services which allows users to register their parked Volkswagen as a delivery location for a parcel or service with a courier or service partner being granted one-off access to the boot of the vehicle.

Once the Milton Keynes trial has been completed and feedback collated, the service will be rolled out gradually across the UK. We Deliver can be activated in vehicles that have the We Connect Plus package. 

In order to use this service, the owner of the car must be registered on the Volkswagen We platform. Most Volkswagens produced after January 2, 2019 are eligible for the service, or after July 2, 2018 for the Touareg.

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