Flight delays, telephone outages, and changes in the processes relating to Her Majesty’s Customs are to blame for the recent poor service displayed by courier agent TortolaExpress.

This is according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TortolaExpress Colin Rathbun who made the disclosure in a statement sent out to Aeropost customers via email on Wednesday,

He said the purpose of the statement was to update the company’s consumers on what has been taking place behind the scenes over the past week.

“We had numerous flight delays.  The airline we use to move cargo MIA-SJU has had a nasty combination of pilot shortages and AOGs (Grounded Aircraft) resulting in transit times changing from mostly overnight, to mostly two nights (and in some cases several more nights),” Rathbun stated.

He added, “Unfortunately, the situation continues this week.  We’ve explored switching airlines but that will not end up with a better result since everyone is congested due to the shortage of this main cargo airline.  We anticipate them to be in better shape next week.”

Customer service response time slow

In addressing the reason behind the now poor customer service, the CEO said that response times have been slower than usual due to telephone provider issues.

“Our telephone provider had several outages during the week and for two days our remote teams were unable to access phone calls.  This compounded with a uniquely short-staffed week meant we were really on the back foot.  Our team worked as hard as they could with late hours trying to catch up, but the volume was simply more than we could handle.  Unfortunately, we still have a backlog to work through,” he explained.

HM Customs issues

Rathbun also pointed to issues within Her Majesty’s Customs that stem from major changes which he said were made without notifying the organisation.

He said, “On Friday, June 24th we were verbally informed by HM Customs Officers of a major change in the process being in effect immediately and with no notice period. Currently, some of our clearances are being rejected.  We are in discussions with Customs on how to proceed swiftly but anticipate some delays here.”

The statement from CEO Rathbun follows numerous complaints raised by Aeropost customers over the last week.

Many comments were posted on social media sites, including Facebook’s ‘The Real BVI Community Board’ page.