James Spokoini 0

Harry French Residents Against UNITE Stopping Our Parcel Service

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This petition is signed by residents of UNITE run hall - Harry French, Loughborough, in response to UNITE's decision to cease providing a parcel collection service for its residents. The service stopped on the 19th of December 2008 with an appauling 2 weeks notice provided to the residents at the end of a busy term. This situation also affects the other two UNITE run halls in loughborough - THE HOLT and WILLIAM MORRIS. All other halls at Loughborough, continue to have, and rightly expect, a full parcel collection service. It is ONLY the UNITE halls which have taken this incredible decision to cease collecting parcels on their residents' behalf. 1 term of this lack of service, has proved beyond doubt that the situation is unacceptable. When taking delivery of books, essential study items, online purchases and items sent from home, it is now crucial that you are available in hall for the time of delivery, and ready and waiting at reception to intercept the delivery man. Being that it is often impossible to determine the exact delivery date with most couriers, you can be forced to wait in between 7am and 7pm just to ensure safe receipt of your items, and still be left disappointed. Is this a productive use of a day which could otherwise be spent on campus in study for instance And this inconvenient situation is only even possible where you can leave special delivery information for the end courier (such as a phone number to be alerted to their arrival), which in many cases isn't a possibility when ordering online etc. So in many cases, the resident expecting a parcel is left completely unaware as to what is happening with their parcel. We, the residents of Harry French, demand the full restoration of our parcel delivery service with immediate effect. Having agreed to the service level at the agreed weekly rent before the start of the academic year, we believe that under absolutely no circumstances should our BASIC service level have been altered without our full and direct consultation. Action which UNITE has completely failed to take. The area manager of UNITE is quoted by the IMAGO Head of Customer Services as having said that "the decision was taken by the company which provides accommodation for 38,000 students nationwide and to date they have only received 4 formal complaints". We ask first to be considered as a hall in our own right, since every hall has different circumstances (...perhaps other halls live within a 5 minute walk of a UPS, DHL, FEDEX, CITILINK, sorting office! Harry French certainly does not!). Our hall is of such a size and layout, that it is impossible in most cases for the delivery courier to find individual blocks/flats/rooms even where detailed instructions can be left. Indeed it is of considerable security threat to the residents if indeed couriers are allowed to walk around the premises 'looking lost'. Secondly, what 'excuse' is 4 formal complaints, we feel that if indeed UNITE have received 4 formal (assumed) written complaints, then this is a very strong sign that there is a wider general feeling of discontent, since very few have the time to take out of their schedule to make a formal written complaint. Especially when you consider that many UNITE hall committees across the country have most likely placated the residents of their respective halls by promising to take action on their behalf, just as our own Harry French Committee have promised to do on its students behalf, that which has resulted in the 'no further action' reply from IMAGO Head of Customer Services (already quoted). Furthermore, a quick search on the popular student website, Facebook, will show that there is significant discontent with the cessation of UNITE parcel service across halls nationwide, in the form of groups and online petitions. Indeed we draw attention to the fact that UNITE hall "Concept Place" for the University of Leeds is still provided with its parcel service after complaint from its residents and the University. WE, THE RESIDENTS OF HARRY FRENCH DEMAND THE SAME TREATMENT NOW THAT OUR DISCONTENT HAS BEEN FORMALLY REGISTERED. The limited reasons stated by UNITE for ceasing the service, such as insufficient storage room for parcels, insufficient insurance for parcels and insufficient staffing for parcel sorting, seem of a mere cost-cutting nature to UNITE alone and not of any concern what so ever for its paying customers. Finally, we remind UNITE and IMAGO of the conclusion (to date) of the discussions held between the two organisations on this matter, "UNITE have taken on [IMAGO's] views that if they make changes to any service levels, this shouldn't be done part way through the year and will bear this in mind for future" .... well, I implore UNITE to please "bear this in mind" .....TODAY. If BOTH organisations agree that it is unacceptable to change service level part way through the year, then why should this be allowed to continue PLEASE ACCEPT THIS PETITION AS A FORMAL COMPLAINT FROM ALL THE UNDERSIGNED, AND RESUME OUR PARCEL COLLECTION SERVICE IMMEDIATELY.


James Spokoini
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