A delivery company has been forced to apologise after shocking videos surfaced showing staff kick and punch parcels. One former employee, who did not wish to be named, said as many as 200 packages a day ended up smashed up, opened or damaged at the Hermes depot in Bridgwater, Somerset.
In the videos, workers pay no heed to the potentially sensitive contents of customers’ orders as they throw them around. The staff can even be seen running over the parcels with trolleys and punching the boxes as they travel along a conveyor belt. Boxes are also regularly hurled into the air to be roughly caught by other staff members while others played football with them. Companies like Amazon, Next and QVC are among well-known brands that use Hermes to get online orders to customers.
The ex-employee, who worked at the delivery service’s west country branch for 15 months, said parcels were routinely hit, bashed and thrown, with hundreds damaged every day. He added that orders would come in from Hermes’ main distribution centre in Rugby, Warwickshire, with 20 members of sorting staff expected to process 30,000 parcels every single day. The Bridgwater sub depot covers the entire south west and sorts parcels before they are sent out to smaller distribution hubs. Self-employed couriers then pick them up from there and send them out to individual customers.
Online shopping has surged in the last decade, but according to research carried out in December 2016 by Citizens Advice, 69 per cent of people have had parcels lost or damaged. Thirty-eight per cent had had a parcel arrive late and one in ten have received damaged items.
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