UK parcel delivery company Yodel has taken to the lawyers to help clean up its pubic image through the social media site Twitter.
The Hatfield-based company, which has been working to improve the quality of its services this year under a new business model, sent a letter via law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges in May demanding US company Twitter remove published statements it said were “defamatory and constitute serious libel”.
The letter has now leaked out, revealing Yodel’s concerns about rogue or parody Twitter accounts – and also a Twitter account supposedly belonging to rival parcel delivery firm DPD UK.
Yodel’s lawyers said the “malicious” material on Twitter had included “incorrect statements” regarding the company’s delivery services, “namely that it fails to fulfil its contractual duties, it is incompetent and negligent”.
“The statements complained of are entirely false and the publication of the same on a website which is readily and openly accessible to millions of users constitutes an obvious communication,” said the letter.
Two of the Twitter accounts cited in the 9 May letter have since had all their entries on Twitter deleted, the Yodel letter stating that they were “a platform for such defamatory statements” over a “substantial” period of time.
Twitter itself does not comment on actions related to individual accounts as a matter of course.
Yodel’s media team has issued a statement confirming the letter of 9 May.
“The letter was sent in good faith and was seeking to address genuine concerns we had with what we considered to be potentially defamatory content on the site and the hijacking of customer conversations,” the company said.
“Twitter and other social media provide an open and honest channel for discussion, which we are fully supportive of and we will continue to use as a method of communication.”
Yodel holds around a 25% share of the home delivery market in the UK, delivering about 170m packages a year through its network. The firm formerly known as the Home Delivery Network acquired the domestic operations of DHL Express UK in 2010.
In an interview with Post&Parcel back in April, Yodel CEO Jonathan Smith said changes to his company’s business model would be completed in time for this year’s festive season, with an increase in staff recruitment and improvements in delivery notification for customers.