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Parcelforce website cold-shoulders Linux lovers

Fanboys advised to pick up phone

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Blighty's national parcel service has no online facility for Linux fans because its website only supports some Microsoft Windows operating systems and Apple's Mac OS X.

Many have complained that Royal Mail's Parcelforce.com site freezes out anyone using a Linux distro. One reader told us: "When you try and ship a parcel [on Parcelforce's website] it checks the browser user agent and refuses to proceed if you are running Linux."

We asked the firm whether it was aware of the issue and whether it was working to resolve the problem so that openistas could also order parcels online.

It gave us this bullet-dodging statement: "Parcelforce Worldwide advises customers on its website of the browsers and operating systems it accommodates, including Windows and Internet Explorer. However, customers can also ring our contact centre on 08708 501150 and they will be happy to book a collection."

El Reg asked a company spokesman to clarify exactly what this meant for Linux users after we pointed out that some customers would be unsatisfied with Parcelforce's advice that they should use the telephone instead.

He agreed that not everyone would be satisfied with the statement, before saying: "I'm sorry, but that is our response."

The spokesman added that the website supports 90 per cent of operating systems and internet browser users. He also pointed us to the firm's out-of-date FAQ webpage that details the OSes and browsers its collections systems do support.

It currently lists Mac OS X, Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems, Mozilla Firefox 1.0 (or later) and Internet Explorer 6.0 (or later) browsers. But there is no mention of Windows Vista support.

We asked Parcelforce to confirm that its FAQ page has simply been gathering dust and that the website does indeed support Vista, but it has not come back to us at time of writing. ®

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