Clueless, crappy Citylink accuse me of copying their “entire site” in bonkers legal claim

Clueless Citylink really are the worst courier company in the UK

When a big company screws up and attracts negative criticism, the smart thing to do is to reach out to their customers, apologise and offer to make things right.

But that’s not how Citylink – recently described as the “most embarrassingly unprofessional company imaginable”  – like to do things.

Instead, they like to try and bully negative comments off the web by way of dubious legal threats and bizarre claims.

Three year old moan

Some time ago, I ran a piece venting about the astonishingly dire service I received from Citylink, who remain the worst couriers I have ever had the misfortune to use.

The piece, written way back in 2008, documented my unhappy dealings with the company, and proved rather popular with readers, notching up thousands of page views. A companion thread on the busy urban75 forums also found no shortage of equally disgruntled Citylink customers.

Although Citylink managed to piss me off again with more stunning incompetence in June 2011, I’d pretty much forgotten about the original article until I received this threatening email yesterday, entitled:


It seemed that Citylink had suddenly decided to object to the small (425 pixels wide) image I’d used to illustrate my blog article, which was a press photo of one of their vans with the logo altered to read “Shittylink.”

A little childish, I grant you, but it certainly reflected my anger with the company.

I’ve stolen the ENTIRE WEBSITE!

Because a tiny logo could still be spotted in the image, Citylink insisted that it represented an, “infringement of our registered and common law rights,” but then went deep into the realms of fantasy:

It has come to our attention that you have published material containing
the Flying C trademark and the intellectual property namely copying our
entire website ON

I’m not sure how using this one small image added up to ‘copying an entire website’, but Citylink went on to demand that I:

1. cease all use of the trademark Flying C logo and entire website encompassing our intellectual property;

2. deliver-up for destruction all material to which the Flying C
trademark and entire website encompassing our intellectual property, or any
other mark and entire website encompassing our intellectual property
confusingly or deceptively similar to our client’s trademark has been applied;

3. undertake, in writing, never in future to make any use of the Flying
C trademark and entire website encompassing our intellectual property without
prior written authority from us, whether within any corporate name, trading
name, trading style, domain name or otherwise;

4. compensate us for our legal costs incurred in this matter which
amount to £500 upon failure of complying with this notice.

Hounding bloggers

Now, some of you may think that Citylink’s time would be spent more wisely apologising to their irate customers and trying to improve their lamentable reputation, but it seems that threatening bloggers over  three-year old posts is more their style.

Clueless Citylink really are the worst courier company in the UK

Even though there is a very strong case that my use of their press image represented ‘fair use,’  I immediately removed it and replaced it with my own picture of a similar delivery vehicle, this time replacing the ‘Flying C’ logo with a rather splendid flying cock (see above for a more artistic take on it).

My reply

Keen not to suffer their randomly totted-up ‘compensation costs’, I took legal advice before swiftly sending them a considered response to their threats:

Hi Tim

Thank you for your message.

Although your claim of the “Widespread use of the Flying ‘C’ trade mark”
is clearly a wild exaggeration (there was only one small illustration
with the logo just 140 pixels across), I’m sure you’ll be pleased to
learn that the image of one of your legendarily speedy vehicles has
been immediately removed, as requested.

This did leave me with the problem of having to find a new
illustration for the article about your company’s dreadful service, so
I’m sure you’ll be delighted with the new image showing a battered
yellow transit van, circa 1982, with a big flying cock on the side.

Please be sure to contact me at your earliest convenience if you
believe this new – and, frankly, rather improved – image breaches your
copyright in any imaginable way.

I am rather intrigued by your bizarre claim that I was “copying your
entire website.” Unless your entire website comprises of a single
image you have become as confused as one of your legendarily wayward

I’m also mystified as to how I’m supposed to “deliver up the image for
destruction”. The disputed image was your own press photo with an
amusing caption added, so I don’t own it, and you certainly have no
claim to my text.

However, if you’d like to mail me the original photo file on a hard
drive, I’d be happy to smash it into a thousand pieces on your behalf.

Finally, I’m happy to pledge to never to use any Citylink images
again, although, sadly, it’s highly unlikely that I won’t feel
compelled to write about your incompetent service again in the future.

In fact, I can feel a new article coming on now. Oh, yes.

Mike (

PS Have you ever heard of a phenomenon known as the ‘Streisand Effect’?

Clueless Citylink really are the worst courier company in the UK

The Barbara Streisand backfire

The Streisand Effect happens when a wealthy company or individual tries to use legal means to hide or remove a piece of online information that they don’t like – but in doing so, they only end up publicising the information more widely.

It is named after the American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose doomed attempts to suppress photographs of her residence in 2003 had the exact reverse effect [Streisand effect].

With luck, I’m hoping that this is exactly what Citylink will now suffer, because after Ol’ Timmy’s attempts to bully me with his nutjob claims about ‘copying their entire website,’ I’m going to express my dissatisfaction with his company TWICE AS LOUDLY AS BEFORE.

Clueless Citylink really are the worst courier company in the UK

Citylink: universally derided as being crap

It’s not just me who had had a nightmare experience with Citylink – just look what their online users say.

The Review Centre has received no less than 1,299 reviews of City Link’s delivery service and they’re almost all bad, with  the most recent reviews commenting:

“Pathetic so-called service”
“Worst Delivery Company Imaginable”
“Most embarrassingly unprofessional company imaginable.”
“Late delivery and useless drivers and customer service”
“Making Peoples Lives A Misery – A nightmare experience”
“AVOID AVOID AVOID! (If you want your parcel delivered!)”

Yes, they really are terrible

Another reviews site, TrustPilot contains over 570 reviews, and once again, they’re overwhelmingly negative, with Citylink only managing a lamentable overall score of 1.9/10 for service.

The most recent reviews on the front page come with the damning titles: “Disgusting service,” “Appallingly bad service,” “4 attempted deliveries and none of them to the right address – still waiting,” and “Shockingly unprofessional ‘company’.”

Clueless Citylink really are the worst courier company in the UK

The popular dooyoo site also has a lengthy discussion thread about Citylink’s service and – as you may have guessed – it’s full of user complaints and people deeply dissatisfied with their service.

Avoid the feckers

As for me, I’ll never use Citylink again if I can help it, and I will always explain to online vendors why I don’t want them to send their goods with the company.

I’m also hoping that by sharing this, others will get a good idea of what they can expect with Citylink and make a more informed choice when choosing a courier for an important delivery.

Company background:

Citylink, now owned by Rentokil Initial,  reported revenues of £335.5 million last year and were happy to sign a three year deal with Colonel Gaddafi in 2009. Nice.

Join the discussion:
Citylink – the worst courier company in London, bar none.

31 Comments on “Clueless, crappy Citylink accuse me of copying their “entire site” in bonkers legal claim”

  1. I have had a simlar nightmare with Hermes (failed to pick up 3 times, with a day in beween each time for ‘re-booking’ – promised twice to ‘fast-track’ for the next day – didn’t happen. Had already booked and paid through Parcel 2 Go, no way of contacting them other than ‘live chat’ which didn’t operate until late at night. All I got was ‘sorry your pickup failed’ – NO, it didn’t FAIL, the bloody useless gits just didn’t bother to turn up!

    Ironicaly, it was not resolved until Parcel2 Go changed the courier to Citylink, who DID pick up the next day. Whole thing took more than a week to sort out.

    Similar problems with Amazon using Yodel – lost goods and not resolved until they used Citylink.

    Seems thay are all rubbish, according to where you live or who the driver is, and how much time they spend sitting in a layby filing their nails or whatever else flaots their boat if you know what I mean..

    Now I have a parcel to return with a 7 day window – do I use Citylink who apparently are complete rubbish in every way but have picked up my parcel when others failed, or pay a forune for somebody else who may be just as bad?

    1. Always book directly with My Hermes on their own website, cheaper service, telephone contact, £50 insurance included. Never use third party websites to book with My Hermes as they will not deal with your complaints problems and will referr you back to the company who you booked with, who will not help you.

  2. Received a note re a failed delivery yesterday. Waited in all today for 2nd delivery to find at 5pm that it had been the 2nd one yesterday. Strangely enough, no note the first time.
    Visited depot to find that one of he two boxed items -a heavy standard lamp- was no longer in its box and was in fact dented on the base. Informed that the lamp had been returned by the courier yesterday and the box had been wrecked so they had taken it out of it.
    Can you believe anything that they’ve said??
    Not a word!
    Bunch of liars.
    Are all these private courier companies as useless as City Link?. Avoid at all costs and use Royal Mail while it still exists!!

  3. Hi guys stay away from city link especially the manager carol at wednesbury West Midlands and the other 2 rouges Jayne and Wayne they don’t like there customers and are not afraid to tell and show you that!!! They have no customer facing or working experience and they and their CS make it difficult to complain abt them as they won’t give any details of there bosses!!!! Can anyone one help with their seniors names or contacts as they seriously need reporting here many ppl I know in the business have been driven away from city link over these 3 rouges running city link in the evening shift…

  4. I have never left a bad review about anyone before but I am so cross with this company. I returned home today to find a card saying “sorry we missed you” so following the instructions on the card I phoned to arrange re-delivery. When I got through I was told I couldn’t have it re-delivered because that was the second attempt and now it was being returned to sender. I asked when they had tried to deliver as I only had the one card and they said 3 days ago. I explained I was in all that day and no delivery had come from them. I was told yes it had and then they proceeded to tell me in detail about the colour of my front door etc. I said then why wasn’t a card put through as had been done today. They couldn’t answer that and tried to blame the sender for not letting me know that the parcel was coming. I asked to speak to the manager and was told he was dealing with a DELICATE matter in the depot. I said I would hold and was told there was no point but I insisted and when eventually the same operator came back she said there was nothing they could do. I said I would still like to speak to the manager to which she replied” well it’s nearly closing time so you can’t ” I said well I will. She then told me the lines would go dead in three minutes. After more discussion in which she blamed everyone other that just say it was a driver error not to leave a card, I gave up waiting and she said she couldn’t promise but would ask a manager to call! Surprise surprise NO CALL!! NO PARCEL!! Now I have to contact the seller and ask the to kindly resend! HOPEFULLY NOT BY CITY LINK!!!

  5. I’m currently refurbishing my kitchen as as a result I’ve been ordering pretty much everything online. This has resulted in a huge number of deliveries (10+ and counting) being made over the last week or so. These deliveries have all been made successfully using the following:


    The only delivery that has failed to be made is the one by citylink. This is despite the fact that 1. I was at home at the alleged time of attempted delivery, 2. other couriers delivered items successfully on the day in question 3. my neighbours are always in and are willing to take receipt of delivery 4. I know full well shitty link did not in fact attempt delivery.

    Citylink are easily the single worst courier in the UK, bar none. Every single delivery is a complete shambles. The only reason I can think of why companies insist on using them is they must be cheap.

    Citylink are a bunch of useless twats and I hope they go out of business.

  6. Here’s a follow up on how shit city link are. So my initial delivery was due on Friday 22nd. It did not happen despite two people being at home all day, and despite several other couriers delivering successfully.

    As the delivery was not made on Friday 22nd it was due to be made the following Monday, 25th. This did not happen. I call up and ask where my delivery is to be told it’s scheduled for Tuesday 26th. Tuesday comes around and still no delivery. I call up again to be told what they actually meant is Wednesday 27th. Unbelievably the delivery still does not arrive today and after a third call I’m told all the other dates were wrong and in fact the correct date is tomorrow, Thursday 28th.

    City link are complete and utter shit. From what I can tell they aren’t even the cheapest courier out there so fuck knows why anyone uses them.

    Avoid shitty link (city link) like the plague.

  7. Love this article on Shitty Link. I have had a similar experience to everyone else from these bully boys, I am here as a result of the “Streisand Effect”. I left a very factual and truthful review for them on another site. This was almost a year ago. Today I get an email telling me that unless I provide proof of purchase, my review will be removed as Shitty Link have complained! clearly they are dumb enough to hope that given the time elapsed, I will have not got proof of my “purchase”. Tough titty, I still have the record and have sent it to Trustpilot. As a result I am now leaving as many shitty reviews about Shitty Link whereever i can – so well done Shitty Link, your nasty little plan isn’t working.

    I too had a failed delivery on a Friday, I too had the tracking claiming to have attempted delivery. I too had the driver take a photo of a front door which wasn’t mine. I too didn’t then get my parcel until into the following week as they refused to make amends and deliver the following morning – after all, I hadn’t paid for SAT delivery so why should they (they said).

    I have been a delivery driver myself, so I understand the pressures, but blatant lying and falsification of records is not the way forward – nor is employing bullying tactics in order to have the truth removed. There is so much negative press now on Shitty Link that hell will freeze over before they can up their reputation to more than 3 stars. they seem to be one star on all the sites I have found.

    One word about Hermes….I have worked for them and unless you package items really well, you are unlikely to have them arrive intact. Don’t put FRAGILE stickers on either unless you want them to treat it as a challenge and play a spot of footy. Packages are hurled into baskets, on and off lorries and no attention is paid at all to the fragility of an item. Delivery drivers (end of line couriers) are self-employed and as a result of the low pay, they tend to often be mums who use their own cars to deliver, I’ve nothing against mums, but it does mean you’re strapped for space and stuffing things in your car left right and centre! On the whole though, the actual couriers for Hermes are the best bit about them…all the ones I knew were damned hard working and usually taken for a large ride by the company itself.

  8. Fucking funny as dude. The website is down but before my tracking order was no longer there before it was then it wasn’t working. One of their drivers must have wanted a Wii U extremely badly

    1. Ben, whilst I sympathise with your situation, you were entirely negligent in not paying the extra to insure your goods. You say you didn’t know the real value, but I’m sure you must have known it came to more than £20! I think I’d remember spending that amount on equipment. As a professional, you should have treated your parcel professionally instead of throwing caution to the wind in not paying for the extra carriage costs. To be honest, with goods of that value I would have driven back and got them myself.

      1. I understand what you are saying but when I already have contents insurance (though under these circumstances I wouldn’t be able to use it) paying additional money which was limited to £1000 would still not compensate me. If you view City Links website, I think you would soon establish that there is no possible way that anything could go missing whilst in their care. I was not concerned with damage as my rucksack had plenty of padding. Of course the only other potential reason for it going missing is theft, which you would not consider possible either, or if it was they would easily determine who was culpable. Back to my reason for being angry over my loss, I was told by the depot manager that I would be fully compensated as he admitted responsibility ‘regardless of my £20 cover’. Now considering that information I would have thought you could understand why I am not at all happy now that they have gone against their word. Very easy to say in hindsight you should have done this, fact is a very reputable national business has treated me very very poorly.

        1. Ben, City Link aren’t reputable at all – check the independent review sites. As for thinking nothing will ever go missing, that’s a bit short-sighted. I’ve worked for a delivery company as a courier and one thing I have learned is never to send anything fragile or put fragile stickers on things; the depot staff will use these items as footballs for entertainment in the early hours. Never send anything unwrapped either. A rucksack is just too tempting for those at the depot. Yes they have gone back on their word – but they probably knew damn well they wouldn’t have to honour that word, given the circumstances as a 3rd party – but “their word” would have been enough to get you off the phone at the time! 🙁 City Link ought to be able to trace exactly where your parcel went missing – I know that much 😉 I do hope you get it sorted, but my advice is to *never* send anything you can’t live without via a delivery company.

          1. Yes you’re right as it happens they are not reputable, found this out afterwards. I was fobbed off with ‘I will email all depots to try and locate your rucksack’. I would guess that any item located without a label would be easily matched up to its correct consignment number. An also fobbed off with the ‘put the claim in, and we will fully compensate you’. But as Bev put it, ‘I’m entirely negligent’ is utter nonsense. She must work for City Link to come out with such a ridiculous comment, I was not responsible for the label coming off, losing it etc etc. I paid money for a service, I was let down, plain and simple.

  9. City Link Never Delivery To My Address, Will Be Blocking Them In with Car Alll Day Next Time. Hit Them Ware It Hurts, In Their Pocket. No Deliveries, No Pay!

  10. Am I alone in totally failing to share any of the synthesized media sympathy for these bone-idle retards being quite deservedly made redundant at Christmas 2014? It’s hard to believe that any City Link employee’s family would have been able to enjoy Christmas anyway, because he/she would undoubtedly have failed to get their parcels under the right tree by the promised date. After years of consistently bad experiences with Shitty Link, the possibility that they may now cease to exist has been one of my best Christmas presents ever. I’m shedding no tears and my heart isn’t bleeding. As far as I’m concerned they can all starve in the gutter…assuming any of them can actually manage to navigate their way to a gutter, that is…

    1. I’m a little less harsh in my thoughts, but only a little! For the few good employees at City Link I wish you all the best and am sorry for you losing your job. You have been dragged down by the ineptitude of those around you.

      However, for the inept managers and staff who populated most of this rancid company I think you got what you deserved. Your online reviews really do show how crap you were.

      7 packages in last 3 years from them, only 2 delivered as promised, 2 lost completely, and 3 severely delayed – 1 a passport with a visa for a trip I was making 4 weeks after that took a lot of time and effort to rearrange – try getting a new GB passport and Iranian visa in 4 weeks!

      Same story as most of the others – drivers stating they tried to deliver, cards supposed to be left, items sent back to sender, etc. Basically it stems from being too busy and then lying to cover up the problems. Only one I didn’t get was a photo of my front door!

      This does show capitalism does work sometimes though – a truly appalling company has gone tits up due to market forces.

      1. I would like to believe in these “few good employees at City Link.” I’d also love to believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, workers’ control of the means of production, peace and goodwill, and other unlikely fairy-tales.

        Meanwhile, what about getting together to produce a car bumper sticker, green lettering on yellow background, saying:


    2. Yes, I would think that you are totally alone in being glad that over 2000 employees lost their job on christmas day! By calling every single employee of city link a bone idle retard without having met EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE of city link you have made a massive generalisation, which is pretty lazy….probably makes YOU a bone idle retard doesnt it!!! Haha, you do make me laugh, your parcel didnt get delivered so you wish everyone starves in the gutter!! Haha pathetic.
      I would ask how important this parcel was that you feel such hate and vitriol (google the word) towards City Link – was it a human organ? Important documentation? Or maybe just your nuclear powered dildo!!!!
      You really are a massive c*nt and I would wish you all of the worst life has to offer….. but, I can imagine being you must be punishment enough!!! Enjoy the rest of your worthless life! I’ll be here laughing at you!!!

  11. They’ve gone bust. What a surprise. I see the workers at my local depot are out ‘protesting at being made redundant’. They’ve got the cheek to say that they’ve worked all of December only to be disappointed that their wages turn up. Oh the irony.

    1. How ironic????????????? You misunderstand the word……isn’t that ironic!!!! Please at least google the meaning of the word before you post something, it saves you looking like an absolute idiot!! Real people lost their jobs, while you’re still whining about a parcel!! Pathetic

      1. Fuck those real people. They were lazy bastards that were as incompetent as they were entitled, and they deserved to lose their jobs.

        1. If Reuben’s Owner and Rachel’s Owner (who appear to have a lot in common with one another) are, perhaps, suggesting that Reuben’s dissatisfaction and Rachel’s dissatisfaction with Messrs Shitty Link (which also, bizarrely, appear to bear some resemblances) may have been a tad excessive, then the Owner/s clearly do have a point.

          Did Reuben or Rachel seriously, literally mean that actual human beings ought to be left to starve? Er, speaking as the Reuben half of this evil combo, no I don’t think we did.

          But had Reuben and Rachel observed that this alleged parcels service was not terribly good? Er, yes, it appears we both had, and it further appears that we both happened upon somebody ELSE’s web site referring to City Link as SHITTY LINK. This was not a sobriquet of Reuben’s devising. SHITTY LINK. It doesn’t seem to have been a sobriquet of Rachel’s devising either.

          SHITTY LINK. This sobriquet didn’t come from nowhere. It came from people’s experience, dear Owner. Believe it or don’t.

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