Vultures appear to be circling over the remains of the former West Midland-based Amtrak parcel distribution business, which has gone into administration, threatening 900 jobs.
Former Amtrak customers said they had begun receiving emails from rival companies vying for their business.
One former client said the timing of the emails had made him suspicious, as had the fact that the company which had contacted him, Birmingham-based Business Post, had his personal details.
“Has Amtrak sold the customer list to Business Post? I’d be curious to know,” said the former customer. “The fact that they [Business Post] have my details is disturbing – has some kind of a deal been done."
Joint administrators at Ernst & Young are currently assessing the health of the Amtrak business, which was operated by a company called Netfold.
They have spent the past few days at the company’s base in Northgate Way, Aldridge, trying to see how much of the business can be salvaged.
As part of their administration they have arranged for all the outstanding parcels stuck in the hub or at the firm’s 36 other locations around the country to be delivered. It is thought that they have arranged for Business Post to complete the deliveries.
This is supported by a message on the Amtrak website, which states: “Netfold Limited t/a Amtrak went into administration on 22 August 2008 and has ceased trading. Should you have any parcel collection or delivery requirements, you may contact Business Post Limited, which will be happy to provide an alternative service.”
The Business Post email to customers echoes this, stating: “Business Post is delighted to be able to offer you an immediate parcel collection and delivery solution for your parcel requirements.
“We will be able to collect parcels from you as from Tuesday 26th August for overnight despatch.”
It continues: “If your Company was using Amtrak’s electronic dispatch systems such as In Touch and Net Despatch you will be able to make use of Business Post’s compatible system without the need for complex IT development.
“Those customers using manual consignment notes and labels should contact the nearest Business Post location for a supply of these items.”
Business Post said it was able to offer customers a service at the same price as Amtrak rates providing suitable documentation could be provided.
The email goes on: “We’ll be delighted to handle your parcel collection and delivery requirements going forward and are confident that our systems and service levels will allow us to provide you with a service that you will find excellent so that the unfortunate situation surrounding Amtrak should not severely impact your business.”
It concludes by saying that sales staff from the firm will contact customers shortly to discuss their requirements.
The email is signed by Business Post’s sales and marketing director, Carl Hutber.
Business Post declined to comment on the situation.