Courier Competition

It’s no surprise to us that the increase in demand for online shopping has resulted in the need for companies to undercut Royal Mail at delivery services and that the result is a less than professional and reliable service. Here at Xen reliability is our USP, but then we’ve been a Manchester Courier Service for a long time and so we’re able to deliver quality on a smaller scale business to business market. Looking at the Courier industry as a whole, however, it’s a complicated picture.

The Observer told a sad story the  other week of customers not getting the courier service they need.

And there is some truth to it. The ending of Royal Mail’s monopoly on parcel delivery, has meant that numerous courier companies have shot up and that they are unregulated. It’s a fierce market.

Money Saving Expert argued that companies such as Hermes and Yodel specifically had the worst parcel delivery service, saying more than half of Yodel customers had a bad experience. It’s still used, however, by the big guns such as Amazon, Argos and Tesco Direct. And they deliver on such mass scale that they could argue the majority of deliveries get there on time in tact.

Legally, couriers don’t carry the entire burden of responsibility when it comes to delivering goods. The Sale of Good Act says it’s the sellers responsibility to ensure things get their on time, in good condition. And so you hear all kinds of stories about things being flung over walls and left in doorways in the rain. Stories that give couriers a bad name.

The problem is that if the company takes on self-employed drivers it’s likely they are paid per parcel rather than day rate, which doesn’t leave much room for incentive to go above and beyond the call of duty. So maybe there’s something to be looked at there.
Meanwhile customers can rest assured that they can rely on more couriers. And if not, everyone is  guarded by what’s called the Distance Selling Regulations which allow customers to cancel an order within seven working days of receiving most types of goods provided they were ordered online or over the phone. If the goods don’t show, or arrive damaged, you can demand a refund from the seller.

One thing is clear, that as online customer demand and expectation grows, so will the courier industry. Hopefully one we can be proud of.

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