What does a courier do when a company goes bust and they’ve got thousands of their parcels in transit? That’s the conundrum CollectPlus faced when House of Fraser collapsed.
When a company goes bust, parcels destined for consumers are easy to handle – you just deliver them and queue up with other creditors for payment. Even the courier knows they’re unlikely to get paid it’s harder to extract the parcels from the network than it is just to deliver them.
The problem facing CollectPlus is they handled House of Fraser returns and some 5,000 parcels ended up in their network and they were unable to deliver them to House of Fraser’s outsourced warehouse. Doubtless the warehouse hardly wanted to process additional parcels that they wouldn’t be paid for leaving CollectPlus with the problem.
This left consumers without the product they paid for and without a refund and CollectPlus with a load of undeliverable packages. Following Sports Direct’s deal with the Administrator, it became clear that customers were never going to get refunds, so CollectPlus took the decision to return the returns to the customer.
It’s great PR for CollectPlus as they can shout about doing the right thing for customers and are working with Clipper Logistics to open all 5,000 parcels in a secure environment in order to identify the rightful owner via the returns note. Each order will then be repackaged and relabelled before being sent back to the customer. The operation is expected to take two weeks.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for CollectPlus and the situation they’ve ended up in. It’s going to cost a small fortune to process and get shot of the parcels and they’ve been left footing the bill. Bravo to them for not simply disposing of the parcels and doing the right thing by House of Fraser’s customers.
“Through no fault of their own, customers of House of Fraser have been caught in the middle of the retailer’s collapse, with items that they have bought and paid for being refused by the returns warehouse. The administrators have now confirmed that refunds are unlikely, and so CollectPlus has taken the decision to return items back to customers free of charge, so that they are not left empty handed. We believe we are doing the right thing by the customer.”
– Neil Ashworth, Chief Commercial Officer of Yodel and CEO of CollectPlus