Parcelforce Parcel Farce

It seems that Parceforce is also affected by the Royal Mail post worker strike. Probably not really suprising but what is annoying is that Parcelforce are specifically telling customers that they are not affected. To quote directly from Parcelforce's website:

"It's business as usual for all Parcelforce Worldwide services during the current Royal Mail industrial action, so
you can continue to despatch your parcels with confidence.

I'm not sure what you can have confidence in!

A colleague sent a time-sensitive package yesterday afternoon. Due for delivery today, anytime till 5:30pm. When it had failed to turn up, I punched the tracking number into their website expecting to see it was still out for delivery and that the driver was just a bit delayed meeting 5:30. But it was still "on route to hub" [sic], in that state since 19:15 the previous day. OK, so Cleveland to Coventry is not a five minute journey, but jeepers, was it going by canal?

A quick call & long wait to the Parcelfarce call centre and I was initially told it was a 'belt failure' then that it was due to the Royal Mail strike. When I queried how this could be the case, given the message on their website, I was told that actually Parcelforce were not on strike but in the Coventry hub (maybe others?) they share things with Royal Mail. And because Royal Mail is/was on strike, Parcelforce operations are affected. Hmm... So "Parcelforce is not on strike" might be correct, but the statement that they are not affected is incorrect.

So beware, it's probably best to avoid Parcelforce while Royal Mail is affected by strikes (which could be a long long time.....)

20:05 and things are now moving:

Date        Time  Location         Tracking Event
27-10-2009  20:21  National Hub     Scanned at Hub
26-10-2009  19:15  Cleveland Depot  On route to hub
26-10-2009  16:11  XXXXXXXXXXXX     Collected from Post Office Branch
26-10-2009  16:11  Cleveland Depot  Collected from customer

So thats a journey from Cleveland to Coventry of 173 miles (source:google) in 24hrs, 6 minutes... That's a speed of 7.2 miles per hour. Express delivery??
(and yes, it seems that it was logged as scanned before the time it was scanned!!)