I hope you're having a good day
I need some advice about my situation and I can see that there has been a similar (successful) claim from Packlink, which makes me hopeful.
I am a private seller and sometimes use eBay to sell personal items. On 9th January, I sold a DSLR camera to a buyer in France. Payment was handled through PayPal. I purchased UPS shipping from UK to France through Packlink. Unfortunately I did not purchase enhanced cover as my item was eligible for PayPal seller protection and this normally includes claims relating to lost/undelivered/damaged goods. In retrospect, I should have been more wise as this was a time when Brexit was settling in and there were many teething issues across various couriers.
The service I received from UPS was of a very poor standard. I have attached the tracking details (with all confidential information received) which clearly reflects the haphazard manner in which UPS handled this delivery. I have highlighted some areas of interest.
I am no stranger to international shipping and completed all paperwork correctly prior to shipping, including the new customs declaring forms required for EU shipments. I retained a copy. The package moved from Tamworth to Stanford Le Hope, the last stop in UK prior to outbound departure.
UPS tracking suggested on 11th Jan that they needed additional information for clearance. Nobody contacted me at all, and I contacted them myself and learned that apparently that had no custom documents at all which was very strange. I sent copies of the documents I had previously submitted via email and they confirmed in their tracking details on 24th Jan that the hold was resolved. Throughout this time, the tracking kept showing Brexit related disruptions. I kept following them on telephone and they assured me that things were on track.
Meanwhile the buyer was getting impatient and started a claim for refund due to all this delay. eBay sided with him and I appealed because I had a valid tracking number and eBay put the case on hold. It then appeared on 3rd of February that the package moved backwards to Tamworth again, saying "this returned package requires an export invoice for duty relief". Again, this was something that was already provided and this was frustrating me and I was calling them everyday. The call centre staff are probably based outside the UK and were not well-versed in English (this is not a lie) and they struggled to understand my situation or provide any reasonable answers.
On 10th Feb, UPS tracking suggested that the package had been incorrectly sorted which may cause a delay. The buyer would wait no more and contacted eBay who refunded the money to him and debited my PayPal for the full amount. I called UPS and requested them to return the package to me. They said they would return the package to me (on my address) and the tracking information on the day was updated to reflect this.
Another month goes by and I did not receive the package back from UPS. I kept calling them on my own several times. I then called eBay on 6th March and explained the situation. eBay were unable to help but suggested I submit a claim to UPS as they may have lost the package. I submitted a claim online and also via telephone. I also submitted a claim on packlink. I kept chasing this up the whole month, calling UPS almost every other day. They then assured me that the package was not lost and would be returned to me in due course and that there were delays due to Brexit.
Then on 26th of March, I noticed that the package was now moving back to Stanford Le Hope rather than coming back to me in Wolverhampton. I kept chasing them up reminding them that this should be returned to me. They confirmed that it would be returned and for me to not worry.
On 9th April, the package departed UK and arrived in France. This infuriated me and I contacted UPS again and asked for them to return the package. I also lodged a formal complaint and tried to speak to someone higher up but was not given any satisfactory explanation as to why this was happening. They still assured me that they would get in touch with UPS France and have this returned to me. The status of the tracking then changed to "we've incorrectly sorted this item which may cause a delay", probably reflecting that the package should have been in UK and not in France.
Another couple of days and I speak to someone who said that to him, it appeared that the package was still going to the buyer. I asked for it to be returned and mentioned that I had requested this as early as February. They told me that the package was not returned to me initially because the shipping was purchased through eBay and it would be returned to an eBay "warehouse". I requested them to follow whatever process it was to get the package back to me. He told me he had done the necessary and asked me to look at the tracking which confirmed that a return was underway. A few days later, the tracking suggested that the package had been "abandoned by both buyer and sender", which was infuriating because I had been on their toes almost every single day.
UPS told me to contact eBay and ask them to request the package back. I contacted eBay again and they told me that there was no such thing as an eBay warehouse, and they normally don't engage with couriers but could check with their higher level staff and get back to me if they could help. Asked if Packlink had previously helped and I told them that Packlink had previously told me that the package was not lost and they confirmed that it was in France with UPS - therefore a lost claim was not applicable back then. I never heard from eBay again.
I got in touch with Packlink again and explained the situation. They assured me that the package would be returned - however, later they told me that the package was lost and would be investigated. They asked for proof of value which I provided. I asked if there was a possibility they would refund the full value if I did not have enhanced cover - recognising that I can't claim with PayPal if I have not claimed with couriers and received an outcome first. They provided no clear answer. I chased them up a few times but by this time, my PayPal Seller Protection had expired and I had no option but to wait for Packlink's outcome and keep fingers crossed.
Finally, on 9th September, they sent me an email saying that they would refund £60 and shipping and closed the email with the notorious statement "With this settlement letter, all future legal obligations against us are satisfied."
I replied to them and stated that I wanted a full refund as I was actually down £2050, from having lost the package as well as having to refund the buyer. I have to hear back from them.
What do you suggest I do? Should I start a small claims case or try to negotiate with Packlink as they have previously been amenable to someone.
eBay_ Order details - Copy.pdf