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Subject: UKNM: RE: ParcelForce & Couriers
From: Ian Tester
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 11:44:33 GMT

Martin Phillips wrote :
"I work for a mail order company that sends out thousands of packets
and parcels a day, and we use the Royal Mail and Parcelforce because
no-one else can touch them on price across the whole country. As for
service, I'm not sure that others are much better than Parcelforce on
packets lost and damaged - there are lots who claim to be, but the
only ones who have better loss rates also charge so much more that
it's not economic."

The trouble with Parcel force is that their audit trail is absolutely
farcical - have you ever tried their "web based track & trace facility"? It
seems to update about a week after the delivery has been made - great use of
systems and the web . . .not. Their phone facility isn't much better - if
their customer services can't track a parcel around the country (the last
time i tried to track down a delivery, they managed to tell me it was in
London - in a sorting office with no parcel handling capacity), what chance
have the online store got? They may be fine for offline retailers, but not
for online.

Another problem seems to be that the quality of the delivery seems to depend
on who is driving your van - I just don't get the impression that they've
developed the consistently high standards of companies like UPS & DHL and
tried to enforce them across the company. I'm sure UPS & the other big
internationals have got their eyes very firmly on the e-commerce game, and
something up their sleeve which will leave the others standing . . .they
haven't been spending all that money on online tracking for nothing . . .


Ian Tester, Business Development, boo.com
5-7 Carnaby Street, London W1V 1PG, UK
T + 44 (0)20 7950 4445 M +44 (0)7880 557692 F +44 (0)20 7950 0951 E
ian [dot] testeratuk [dot] boo [dot] com

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