By Jos Weale
An ornament maker feels his hard work could be ‘pointless’ after he filmed what he claims is a courier lobbing his fragile parcels into a van where he heard them smash – just moments after he dropped them off.
Grandad Tim Stephens, from Street, Somerset, has been selling hand-crafter stone garden ornament online for two years and uses courier service Hermes to send his wares around the country.
However after dropping off his latest batch of packages on July 20, Tim alleges he watched aghast from his car as days’ worth of hard work were hurled into the back of a transit van.
Footage filmed by Tim from his car shows the CitySprint representative chucking the parcels – sometimes two at a time – into the van with such abandon that many bounced off the roof.
Most shocking of all, the driver then nonchalantly lifts the bag itself into the van – meaning it might not have needed to be emptied in the first place.
Dad-of-two Tim, 54, said: “Excuse my language, but he just didn’t seem to be giving a sh*t.
“We were off to the drop off point at the shop and there’s very little parking. A van was already there.
“As we pulled in the courier came out with a big sack and just started chucking stuff in.
“We couldn’t believe it, he was just chucking it all in. My wife was saying you can hear smashing. You could actually hear it.
“I went into the shop to drop off my parcels, and then he came back in with his sack.
“I went back out and as we pulled off I thought, let’s just stay here a bit longer.
“We thought perhaps it was just a one off. But then he did it again, they were our parcels in that bag.”
Tim claims this kind of parcel handling could be damaging his business as he regularly has to fork out refunds for unhappy customers over broken products.
In the video, Tim can be heard laughing in utter disbelief with wife Carol, 50, and daughter Sophie, 22, as he watches his fragile parcels being thrown.
Tim said: “You probably hear my laughing in the video, but not because I find it funny, it’s because it’s unbelievable.
“That whole bag is full of our parcels and some other people’s things.
“What I find really annoying is that earlier this week all we have been doing is customer refunds because of damaged items. They might not ever come back to us.
“It’s awful to see the parcels being treated that way. It’s disheartening.”
And grandad Tim says his dreams of setting up a company to support his family’s future could potentially be totally destroyed as a result, making the hours of dedication and hard work he puts in ‘pointless’.
Tim, who also works nights in a courier service warehouse, said: “We make the ornaments from scratch, it takes four days before they go out to customers.
“The business is something I’ve been wanting to try to do for years. I’m quite knackered because I work nights and then work on the ornaments during the day.
“Seeing him doing that to the parcels makes me think, is there any point in me carrying on? It’s very disheartening.
“I didn’t get say anything to him because my temper was building up. If I could speak to him now I would just ask why he did what he did, and especially when we could hear something smashing.
“I may pay for a cheaper service but I expect good service.”
A spokesperson for CitySprint said: “We treat any item placed into our hands with great care and take any reports of mishandling very seriously.
“We have conducted a full investigation into the report of an incident in Somerset and will no longer be contracting with the courier involved. We will take any steps necessary to ensure our high standards are maintained.”
A Hermes spokesperson said: “We can confirm the driver in the video was working on behalf of a third-party supplier and that they have taken the necessary action to ensure this does not happen again.”