A UNIVERSITY student and his mum are on a quest to find a windsurf mast he bought online following the collapse of a national parcel service business.

Tom Cooke, a 20-year-old student at Exeter University, residing in Petersfield, purchased the £300 windsurf mast online from an independent seller in Norwich.

Unfortunately, Tuffnells Parcels Express, which he entrusted to deliver the mast, became entangled in a financial turmoil that led to its collapse.

The mast was last tracked at the Basingstoke depot in May this year, coinciding with the administration period of Tuffnells.

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The subsequent intermediation by Interpath Advisory and the depot's acquisition by Shift Group only deepened the mystery surrounding the missing delivery.

Neither Interpath nor Shift can provide any information on the whereabouts of the windsurf mast.

Tom's mother, Charlotte Cooke-Priest, has now taken it upon herself to unravel the mystery and locate the missing parcel.

In her pursuit, she visited the Basingstoke depot in May, only to find it inaccessible with chains barring entry.

She said: “I contacted Interpath and they said customers could not go to the depot and collect the goods. But they said they would try to clear anything within their network and gave me a number for Tuffnells in Basingstoke. But obviously, by then, there was no one answering the phone. So they said the only thing they would do was give me a £20 compensation parcel, while the mast was worth more than £300."

Charlotte continued: "For my son, who is a university student, £300 is quite a big deal.

“Having tracked it to Basingstoke, in theory, the mast should still be in Basingstoke. But it isn't there.

"I just want to highlight what's happened to us and if it's happened to other people. It would just be fascinating to know whether other people are in the same boat," she said.

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A Shift Group spokesperson said: "Tuffnells Parcels Express Limited went into administration and ceased trading on June 12. All orders in the system at this stage fell under the control of the appointed administrators Interpath Advisory. Unfortunately, we do not have any records of any historical deliveries and their statuses so are unable to help track down these goods for you."

A spokesperson for Interpath Advisory said: "We’ve checked our records and unfortunately, based on the information available to us, there is no record of the item in the Tuffnells system beyond the date of May 30, which was 13 days prior to the appointment of the administrators on June 12. Unfortunately, we believe it may have been ‘lost’ prior to our appointment, and we are therefore sorry to say that we have been unable to locate it for her."

Tuffnells was not available for a comment.