16 Extra Parcels Vans Sought : Big Increase in Complaints
Page 39, 29th May 1959
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ATRAFFIC clerk employed by a Midlands parcels carrier told the West Midland Licensing Authority, Mr. W. P. James, at Birmingham last Friday, that his health was suffering as a result of complaints from customers about late collections.
Mr. Joseph Scragg, traffic clerk in the Birmingham office of Collins Express Parcels Service, Ltd., Walsall Wood, Staffs, said: “I felt so strongly about these complaints being made and my having to give reasons to the various customers that I’m afraid I stepped outside my province and became a nuisance to my boss.”
The company were applying for an addition of 16 vehicles on an A licence to their present fleet of 79 vehicles. The application was opposed by British Railways, British Road Services and Hunt’s. of Studley.
This was the second day of the hearing. The case for the applicants having been closed, it was stated that there were five witnesses to be called for the objectors and the application was adjourned.
Tremendous Increase In his evidence, Mr. Scragg agreed that, with this class of traffic, operators expected complaints from time to time, but there had been a tremendous increase in the number during the past two years. He had kept a record between last December and February. Customers were complaining that because Collins were late in collecting, they had to keep loading staffs on after 5.30 p.m. and pay them overtime.
Cross-examined by Mr. T. C. Oswald, for British Railways and B.R.S., Mr. Scragg said they were receiving 15 to 20 complaints a day, but not all of them were recorded. He agreed that the entries shown in the record varied between five and one on individual days.
Mr. Ivor Gardavel, traffic manager for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., Birmingham, and Mr. R. B. Wilson, traffic manager for Typhoo Teas, both gave evidence that they had to keep loading staffs late while waiting for Collins’ vans to collect.
Small, Frequent Orders
Mr. J. R. Packer, in charge of transport for Wilkinson and Ridell, wholesale drapers, said that because so many people were buying on credit, customers, instead of building up large stocks, were ordering one article—a pair of trousers—or a coat –at a time—for delivery next day. Collins’ vans frequently called too early for all these orders to be made up, he said, and consequently next-day delivery
When Mr. Oswald suggested that on the applicants’ figures of increased business, it was evident that these could be met with, say, half the number of extra vehicles applied for, Mr. Carl Collins said that the physical running of a parcels service could not be related to statistics. So much depended on the points to which the vehicles were required to go to pick up and deliver consignments.