A delivery company has been forced to apologise after shocking videos surfaced showing staff kick and punch parcels.
One former employee, who did not wish to be named, said as many as 200 packages a day ended up smashed up, opened or damaged at the Hermes depot in Bridgwater, Somerset.
In the videos, workers pay no heed to the potentially sensitive contents of customers' orders as they throw them around.
The staff can even be seen running over the parcels with trolleys and punching the boxes as they travel along a conveyor belt.
Boxes are also regularly hurled into the air to be roughly caught by other staff members while others played football with them.
Companies like Amazon, Next and QVC are among well-known brands that use Hermes to get online orders to customers.
The ex-employee, who worked at the delivery service's west country branch for 15 months, said parcels were routinely hit, bashed and thrown, with hundreds damaged every day.
He added that orders would come in from Hermes' main distribution centre in Rugby, Warwickshire, with 20 members of sorting staff expected to process 30,000 parcels every single day.
The Bridgwater sub depot covers the entire south west and sorts parcels before they are sent out to smaller distribution hubs.
Self-employed couriers then pick them up from there and send them out to individual customers.
The former employee said: 'The same level of contempt is shown for parcels every day.
'It's done by bulk. The more we process the more money Hermes get. They would just chuck them.
'The idea was to get parcels out, without worrying about how they were handled. It was throw them over here, throw them over there.
'Some people hit parcels, kick them, throw them. It doesn't really matter what the parcel is - I've seen it many, many times.
'They don't really care. It was a daily occurrence.
'Probably about 200 parcels a day were damaged and if they're damaged they go out anyway. The customer has to complain to the people they bought it from.
'I've seen people playing football with them. Sometimes there would even be a football in a parcel and all the lads would kick it around.'
Online shopping has surged in the last decade, but according to research carried out in December 2016 by Citizens Advice, 69 per cent of people have had parcels lost or damaged.
Thirty-eight per cent had had a parcel arrive late and one in ten have received damaged items.
Security is also an issue with one in five admitting that have had a parcel go missing and 28 per cent saying their order had been left in an unsecure location.
A spokesman for Hermes said: 'The behaviour of the agency staff featured in this video is totally unacceptable and we have launched a full investigation.
'We can confirm that those involved no longer work at the depot which has undergone a number of positive changes since this was filmed in January.'
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.