United Kingdom

Fed-up customers threaten staff at a Melbourne face mask company after their deliveries were lost

Angry customers tracked down staff members and threatened them with violence after face masks they ordered online failed to show up.

Melbourne Manufacturing firm Floatpac has been bombarded with complaints after a 'freight issue' left customers waiting for parcels.

The company told customers in an email almost 8,000 masks in 1,893 parcels had been lost for orders dating up until the end of July.

Due to the high volume of products mysteriously vanishing Floatpac told customers it would be rushing through production to get the orders replaced, reported 7News.  

When thousands of face masks failed to show up in the mail angry customers tracked down staff at the Melbourne manufacturer online to abuse them and threaten violence (Pictured: Melboure residents walk through the CBD in face masks after the government made it mandatory to wear the protective covering)

'We're keeping the pressure on freight partners to find the lost orders,' one email read.

'But rather than wait for that to happen we've doubled-down on production so that we can get masks to you as soon as humanly possible.

'Once again, we would like to apologise for the freight issues.'

In an update to customers the company revealed its hardworking staff were being tracked down on social media and attacked over the incident. 

In an update to customers online the company revealed its hardworking staff were being tracked down on social media and attacked over the incident

'We are also aware of customers who are looking for other means to contact our staff and management,' the company wrote.

'This has happened on numerous occasions and has involved our staff being messaged privately on social media, as well as some clients trawling Google for staff members mobile phone numbers and harassing them about their orders.

'In two instances, there have been threats of violence.'

The company said the entire Floatpac collective was working 24/7 to get orders replaced and the behaviour would not be tolerated. 

The business made the decision to begin manufacturing face masks after their live fish export operation was decimated when COVID-19 hit.

But the company was able to keep its staff of eight employed after making the switch to a new product.

The manufacturer reported an almost 200 per cent increase in demand for their protective cotton masks at the end of June ahead of Victoria's second wave of COVID-19. 

The manufacturer reported an almost 200 per cent increase in demand for their protective cotton masks at the end of June ahead of Victoria's second wave of COVID-19

Floatpac Group CEO Gavin Hodgins previously told Daily Mail Australia it was a direct response to growing case numbers.

'Particularly in the last week or so as Victoria's numbers have started to spike again, and with New South Wales numbers starting to spike again we saw a big uptick in our online traffic happen really quickly,' he said.

'It's in the thousands.'

The manufacturer put a call out to employ an additional five or six people with sewing expertise on Facebook on July 13, in response to another spike in demand. 

Orders then surged by 350 per cent after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced face masks would become mandatory across Victoria from 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August.  

 Melbourne Manufacturer Floatpac's face mask sales surged 350 per cent after the announcement masks would become mandatory in Victoria (Pictured: people wear face masks on Sydney's streets)

Mr Hodgins said it was a lifesaver for the company. 

'Initially, we sold enough masks to be able to keep our employees, but when the second lockdown happened and the government recommended using masks, our website crashed in minutes,' Mr Hodgins told the Herald Sun.

'We will have to hire more people, invest in more machinery and consider the longer-term business potential around face masks for the Australian and international market for at least the next two to three years, or until a successful vaccine is developed.' 

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