Here’s an irony for you. David Smith, who trades as Smith’s Corner Stores in Grimoldby, near Louth in Lincolnshire, took on the myHermes parcel service three years ago. It’s a busy service handling 100 or more parcels weekly. Last year Payzone did a deal with myHermes and David henceforth did his parcel service via Payzone.

As of 16 August, myHermes has withdrawn its parcel service from some 500 PZ agents, retaining the ones it wants or, as PZ puts it: “Hermes and Payzone remain close business partners, with 250 Payzone stores retaining the service that met the set service review criteria. The review focused on two criteria: compliance in providing the service; and the number of parcels processed. A number of Payzone stores did not meet that criteria and regrettably will have to have the service removed.”

The only problem with this criteria is that it’s wrong on both counts for David. “Drivers say we were one of the busiest and they’ve never had compliance problems.” One driver told him that a retailer doing only 40 parcels a week was being kept on.

David did apply to deal directly with Hermes again, but they are not having it. “Mutual decision is all they’ll say.”

He thinks it’s really to do with population density and the village of Grimoldby (pop. less than 1,000) is in no way dense. Payzone says it tried to keep the service for as many stores as possible and is looking for an alternative parcel service.

With the proliferation of parcel companies we both wondered how any of them make any money out of it.