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Ch4 Despatches “Secrets of Your Missing Mail”

By Chris Dawson April 30, 2013 - 8:56 am

Channel4 Despatches hmIf you missed Channel4 Dispatches last night on “Secrets of Your Missing Mail” it’s a bit of an eye opener.

The programme went undercover to investigate Royal Mail’s competitors, the first half of the programme looked at treatment of parcels and the second half investigated alternative letter carriers. Whilst it was only filmed at specific locations it does show just how parcels and letters may be being handled… James and James Fulfilment are only to aware and explain just how bad the situation is.

Parcel Damage Exposed by Channel 4 Dispatches is Tip of the Iceberg

James and James FulfilmentJames and James Fulfilment acts on behalf of retailers to pack and fulfil orders. They’ve seen an increase in damages and postal issues over the last few years, despite improvements in packaging materials and technology.

“Channel 4’s Dispatches program last night brought to the public eye various issues that we’ve experienced first hand. We applaud the programme for bringing the problems we face every day to a wide audience. Unfortunately these issues, and the attitude of certain delivery staff, are common across most couriers.” James Hyde, Operations Director.

With reduced costs being demanded by more and more consumers, clearly margins are being cut resulting in less care being taken, especially at busy times. While the majority of workers employed by the couriers are hard working and honest, it only takes a few to bring service levels down.

“We work hard to offer a personal and reliable service to online retailers, taking care to package items well. This kind of irresponsible handling is disappointing as it damages everyone’s reputation.”

James and James Fulfilment believe that the industry has a lot to do to be able to offer a level of service that is suitable for home shopping.

“There are certainly couriers out there who handle goods carefully and offer excellent service, but they simply aren’t competitive for low cost home delivery.”

The main reason is that consumers are not willing to pay extra, especially when the responsibility for delivery rests firmly with the retailer. If a parcel is damaged before arrival, then under UK legislation, the retailer is generally at fault – meaning that businesses are being forced to meet the cost of damage in transit.

  • peter stanley
    8 years ago

    It certainly gave UK Mail at Bournemouth a bad rep, I suppose unfortunately the old saying you get what you pay for is still true. What surprised me more was the so called high class wine merchant using a normal courier, if I was paying hundreds or thousands of pounds on bottles of wine I would expect a high class delivery service as well.

  • Glenn
    8 years ago

    I saw the last half of the program and was astonished.

    As a regular moaner on many matters I thought it only fair to mention my dealings with Parcel Force. As an Amazon FBA seller I have an account with Parcel Force and ship at least 25 large boxes every month. To date I have found the service to be excellent. I appreciate that my business is B2B and that the routes to Amazon fulfilment centres are well established, but that said I am very happy with Parcel Force.

    • peter stanley
      8 years ago

      I can only agree Glenn, I get deliveries twice weekly from Parcel Force and have been doing for years, I very rarely have a problem and on the rare occasion a parcel goes astray it usually arrives a couple of days later.
      I don’t think I’ve ever had a lost parcel from them unlike collect+ who lost my sent parcel the 1st time I used them then refused to pay compensation.
      Have a guess which parcel company I will NEVER use again!!

    • 8 years ago

      Have to agree about Parcelforce too – I love them, but the trouble is they generally cost more than some of their competitors.

      If you’re a buyer would you be happy to pay more for a better service and if you’re a seller do you want to foot a courier bill which will be considerably more expensive if you’re shipping hundreds (or thousands) of items per day?

    • davelovesebay
      8 years ago

      This is still available on C40d.

      The winer seller should at least use UPS, they have vans that a racked at least and more likely to be able to handle special items.

      For the wine seller, 4 grands( or whatever_ worth of wine in via that courier seriosuly ?

      What not spend a 10ner more for peace of mind.

      For the parcel force thing, We send everything via parcel force, even international recently. They cost more but is its worth it, if u paid 2 quid more for 10 parcels. But spent less time replacing and chasing its for you to decide.

      Also less hassle using one courier than finding cheaper ones to do each parcel.

    • Stuart
      8 years ago

      I used to use Parcel Force and everything arrived damaged! I think there is stories about everyone, they can all be as bad as each other.

      I thought the show was pretty poor really, didn’t show the full facts and certainly did not show all the bad things that RM do as they can be just as bad.

      Sadly I think all the delivery services will be bad at some point as they are employing people at such a high rate of turnover, please people in general don’t have respect for other people’s property anymore.

  • 8 years ago

    The stat regarding claims of damage is very crafty. Most remotely fragile things you cannot claim for so obviously the number of claims is going to be low, lower if this is approved claims and even lower if it is granted claims where the carrier accepts liability.

    As for as any carrier is concerned a certain amount of negligence is expected, the scale of it in the UK Mail depot however was a bit of an eye opener to past events!

    • davelovesebay
      8 years ago

      Yeah, really. Ignorant for saying those stats, every business seller knows your more likely to win the lottery than make a claim with a carrier so no one bothers.
      Even if they do pay its hardly nothing. Most business sellers are happy to get the carrier charge back.

      We are at the mercy of these carriers. Its a good job competition is fierce or they walk all over us.

  • 8 years ago

    If you missed the programme (and do not have access to it in any other way) then remember that it is repeated at 02-15 Friday Morning on Channel 4. Just think you can come home from the Celebration of the huge number of Tory Councillors who have lost their seats and the consequent huge number of UKIP Councillors who have been Elected and then sit down and watch this TV programme. Its almost a perfect way to end Local Council Election Day(and start the next day).

  • Darren
    8 years ago

    We will all suffer when Royal Mail is sold. All the people who constantly moan about Royal Mail will soon be regretting their words. God Help Us.

    UK Mail, I would never use them anyway – I have a few items delivered from them, and the boxes are always battered.

    • Jimbo
      8 years ago

      “We will all suffer when Royal Mail is sold. All the people who constantly moan about Royal Mail will soon be regretting their words. God Help Us.”

      Absolutely true.

    • Gary
      8 years ago

      What will happen to the Post Office when Royal Mail are sold? Can’t be good news for them.

      I have seen Post Office staff drop parcels from great heights. They are not Royal Mail.

  • 8 years ago

    The problem is lies on the cost.

    Everyone wants Excellent Service at Cheap price. Lets face it ! its not going to happen. Look what happened with “horsemeat” scandal and Recently what happened in Bangladesh.

    All of these events tells one thing Simply PUTTING PRESSURE on COST DOES NOT DO GOOD. If we do, somebody has to suffer one way or the other.

    There is not simple solution to this however, we need to be aware WE GET WHAT WE PAY FOR !

    • Gary
      8 years ago

      ebay pile on the cost pressure to the point of misery and win every time. Not everybody looses. They take money without considering or taking responsibility.

    • davelovesbeay
      8 years ago

      As long as they make their 15% cut thats all they care about. They pretend to care like the report bad buyer thing.

      How many buyers been banned, I bet 0

  • Steve
    8 years ago

    The last parcel I sent with ParcelForce was booked at the Post Office late Friday. It was delivered Wednesday by yodel. Next door. Parcel Force still have a statuary obligation to deliver to the address , unlike Royal Mail and most of the couriers; no reply to my complaint yet.

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