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Hi,

 

This is an issue I'm having with Parcelforce at work. We had a package that we needed to ship from the UK to Belgium on a next day service. This was originally booked in for collection from our offices on 18th December last year, and the package didn't eventually arrive until 27th December (it may have been the 28th, but the tracking information is still not updated).

 

I complained to Parcelforce over the phone because I had performed due diligence in searching for the best shipping service and our parcel hadn't arrived next day. The tracking information hadn't been updated either, which was contrary to their statement that they offer a fully tracked service. The service I selected was Parcelforce Global Express service. I was told over the phone that it wasn't a next day service and that they only quote "from" next working day. If I'm honest I was quite shocked I'd been caught out like that, and amazed that it would appear as though a company the size of Parceforce would intimate they're offering a speedy service and use wording to absolve themselves of any responsibility if the shipment was delayed. They also confirmed that they had in fact farmed it out to Fedex - Personally I think that if a company is masquerading as a shipping company they should be upfront about using third parties as this would naturally play a part in altering my business decision to use them as a company or not. For instance had I known they were using a third party and the delivery date was not guaranteed at all, and that they don't in fact offer a fully tracked service I would have not chosen to use them.

 

I was advised to send a mail to parcelforce@parcelforce.co.uk (I don't even believe this is a true e-mail address as it sounds like something they would give out to get rid of customers). E-mailed it a couple of times with my complaint. Had no response, and finally settled on raising a dispute with Resolver.

 

To their credit, they did respond quite quickly. The first paragraph of their response outlined that "most" shipping companies describe their services as "from" but they offered me 50% refund. I went back to them to push our case for a full refund, and they then responded with the most astonishing thing I've ever heard - I disagreed with their earlier comment that most companies describe their shipping services as "from" and listed a few companies that did offer guaranteed services. Their response was that I was mistaken and confusing carriers and couriers.

 

I believe what Parceforce are saying is that they are a carrier and the other companies I used as examples are couriers.

 

My question would be - What is the difference? From looking on line, all I can find is that a carrier collects lots of parcels and delivers them all on one van. Whereas a courier collects your parcel on a given date and delivers direct to the delivery point?

 

That's where I get confused because if Parcelforce are saying they are a carrier, the delivery service I selected was a pickup service delivered to my delivery address. Surely that puts them half in the carrier camp?

 

Personally I find their response in arguing over semantics and terminologies to be quite laughable for such a company, because as a layman how am I supposed to be aware that they are a carrier, and what the difference is between the two? If someone selects a global fully tracked express service with collection from our door, surely it would be reasonable of me to expect that they would provide that sort of service?

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