BBC News visits Hermes hub but fails to ask important questions

The BBC morning news has today spent a lot of time at a Hermes parcel sortation hub but failed to ask some important questions about the controversial operation.

A simple Google search will reveal a mass of complaints about the company and even in the last few days an internet post went viral – where a delivery driver for Hermes had seemingly thrown a parcel onto a roof – leaving the recipient facing a perilous ascent on a ladder to retrieve his package. This is just the latest of a long list of embarrassing revelations posted online about the company.

A spokesman for a group of London based courier companies said, “The piece chose to give a positive slant on what are euphemistically described as ‘lifestyle couriers’. It completely failed to even touch on both the questions of the employment status of their drivers and what checks are made by Hermes about drivers’ insurance and if they have ‘Hire & Reward’ cover, an essential requirement for anybody delivering a third party’s goods”.

A common complaint within the courier and transport industry about Hermes is that they are able to get away with paying their drivers very low rates because the driver has chosen not to pay many thousands of pounds for the correct insurance. This has a knock-on effect of allowing Hermes to keep offering artificially low prices through what many believe to be illegal operations by their delivery drivers.

Despite the concerns of many about Hermes and other parcel companies employing self-employed ‘lifestyle couriers’ without adequate insurance, they still seem to be attracting a host of well known high street names as customers. These brands may not be aware of the concerns and the BBC’s report will be seen by many as further proof that the corporation is being used as a promotional vehicle by large organisations and failing in its duty to deliver unbiased editorial coverage.

Bizworldonline would like to hear from anyone with information about companies utilising lifestyle couriers and what checks are done to ensure adequate insurance exists for the tasks they are being asked to undertake. is a B2B online publication for the UK business community.
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