The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue May 2012

DHLs dirty tricks

From Greasy Barker – HMP Wealstun

I’m writing in response to the mailbag by Freddy Archer in the March issue where he mentions DHLs tactics to further rip off its captive customer base. I too witnessed DHLs dirty tricks to increase its profits, theft and the general mistreatment of some of its prisoner workforce. I worked in the high value room with one other prisoner who was a lifer also at HMP Lindholme. One particular day the tobacco order came in from Booker, which is generally a big order considering the amount supplied to the various prisons on a weekly basis. But this one week the order was absolutely huge, at least 5 times the normal order and we’re talking 10s of thousands of pounds worth. I’d been working in the high value room for 10 months and had never seen an order so big. Later that week I saw the budget speech and the penny dropped. DHL had ordered loads of extra tobacco at pre-budget prices and were selling it to prisoners at post budget prices! I’ve witnessed DHL civvie staff help themselves tobacco and other goods with no intention of paying for them and I’ve seen multi-packs of goods split up for sale at higher prices even though the labels say they are not to be sold like that. But speaking out would have got any prisoner the sack for ‘suspicion of stealing’. Prisoners did not want to lose their £30 a week jobs and others, mainly lifers and long termers couldn’t risk having negative entries being written about them on their records. What Freddy Archer describes is typical of DHL and will no doubt continue.

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Comments about this letter

2/5/2012 Shippy -

whilst serving my time at her majestys pleasure (16 yrs in total), DHL taking over the prison canteen was a godsend, as at the beginning it was a lot better than the pre prison own. then of course, their heels where firmly dug in, everything changed. Apparently when the contract is up for renewal, other companies (over the years Asda,Lidl and even Netto) are allowed to put there bids in, but DHL always comes out on top. its always the same though, prices go up, but the wages don't, and it is a horrid sight when you see an advert for Asda where 1000s of products are £1, and you have to pay three times that at DHL, how much is the Prison making out of it as some one some where at PHQ, has a healthy bank account

15/5/2012 laura hood -

not right DHL should be in jail for robby it makes me laugh how can they get away with it NOT FAIR

23/5/2012 kelly

I agree they are charging what they want because these prisoners just cant goto there local store I was told for tobacco anyway its 3 times the outside price maybe more now with budget...DHL should be taken to trading standards about this robbery.

2/7/2012 steven townsend -

Why oh why is DHL allowed to charge the prices they do? . they are well above the shop prices the figures they hand in are not from the region near the prison they supply them to. It is getting well out of control when DHL are charging £1.25 for imperial leather shampoo when in asda, tesco and sainsburys to name but a few! It is not only shampoo but loads of items and there is no cheaper alternative!!. I had copies of minutes from monthly meetings where by DHL dodged the questions being put to them! how are they getting the contract? the only way I see it is that there must be some sort of kickback in place for the prison service!!! as they are far more expensive than their competitors so something is a miss.

Editorial Comment:
The Prison Service sets the prices for prison canteen goods not DHL; all DHL do is provide a packing & delivery service.

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Summary of letters in the Mailbag for May 2012
Drug dealers as bad as child abusers
Drowning in debt
Sports Relief needed
34 years in solitary
SCCRC and the Cadder ruling
SOTP making people worse
All this will not end well
Silly Rules
No parole on anti-depressants’
What happened to common sense
IPPs not the only ones over tariff
3 years over Tariff and stuck in limbo
Prisoners fighting back
Thanks to the library staff at HMP Manchester
Worried about leaving prison
Give us a chance
The Plot Thickens
Writing to Leveson
Why no handkerchiefs
Give us toilet roll and scrap psychology
Robbed blind by canteen prices
Cockroach city
Enhanced not worth a light
Current page: DHLs dirty tricks
Not human, just a statistic
Get a grip
You do not understand
Very cross


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