Apologies for the late update, I've been a busy since my mediation yesterday; also I wanted to document how the mediation went.
So the mediation call was scheduled (rather early I thought) for between 08:00-10:00.
The mediator called me around 08:10 and after the preliminaries of introducing herself, and asking to confirm who I was and if I’d read the mediation email that I had been sent. Anyway, she briefly explained the mediation procedure, and asked what I was expecting from the mediation. I said that I was expecting to be compensated for the full amount set out in Claim, as the money was peanuts to EVRi but was a lot of money for me, she pointed out that whole point of mediation is that I had to be willing to be flexible and was able to compromise.
Thankfully the mediator had read through my claim notes and was familiar with the case, but I went through my notes and filled in some bits that weren’t included in my Claim. That is, the items were arranged via eBay’s broker Packlink, and that the EVRi was chosen as the courier to book the parcels. I also pointed out that the EVRi driver did not get the Proof of Delivery signatures for either item, when in fact I had paid extra for that. I think it was only a £1 or so each.
I also explained how the parcels were delivered empty of their contents (rather than showing delivered as it did for one delivery, where the EVRi driver had sped off without even getting a PoD signature).
Surprisingly the mediator asked me if I had taken out extra insurance at the time of booking my parcel! I'm not sure why she brought that up herself, as the extra insurance wasn’t mentioned in the deference’s response.
Anyway I explained about it being completely unfair and unenforceable, and also made her aware that there two recent judgements that I knew of where the judge had confirmed that the insurance requirement is unfair, and that, if necessary I will produce those judgements (thanks to @BankFodder for this useful bit of information).
After this she advised she would now go away and discuss this with EVRi. She then asked me if I could hold on or if she should call me back. I asked her to call me back.
A few minutes later she came back advising that EVRi were willing to settle this today and pay me back £275 for each item (minus £50 compensation which had already paid by Packlink); so they would be settling for £500. I can’t recall if they called this was a ‘goodwill gesture’ or not.
The mediator also said that EVRi were not aware of the two judgments.
She asked if I would accept, I insisted that I was still looking for the full amount, but the mediator again said I needed to be flexible and to compromise.
It was at this stage that the mediator mentioned that EVRi said it was Packlink that I should be looking to get recompense from, as my contract was with them and not EVRi.
EVRi were clearly ignoring my Complaint Letter, Letter of Claim and even my Court Claim where this had been repeatedly stated, that under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 I enjoy full contractual rights and I have the statutory right to sue EVRi.
I also said that if EVRi want to defend on that basis then they need to show me a copy of their contract with Packlink.
Mediator repeated that I needed to be flexible, and if it goes to court the decision could go against me. I felt a bit pressured so I said I’d share the court costs.
Mediator went away she came back a few minutes later with a settlement figure £994. Also, she said that Evri were not agreeing to sharing the court costs, as I guess if they did that then they would be admitting liability.
EVRi said were aware of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 and had seen cases were the judge had sided with the defendant. I was sure this wasn’t true, otherwise I’m sure the CAG team would have verified and documented it.
I see this as settlement as a success, as I recovered the costs of original items and also what I had paid for the court costs. I know I’ve lost out on the profits I made on the sales on eBay, but that was okay, it was never my intention to get compensation over and above my claim from Evri, I hadn’t even claimed any interest, or costs for time.
For the amount of time this has gone on (over 5 months), I was just happy to draw a line to the whole sad episode and to put it behind me.
In hindsight If I had stuck it out I definitely could have got a bit more or maybe the whole lot (apologies @BankFodder) for conceding, but I have several health issues and also suffer from high blood pressure so I agreed to this settlement after feeling flustered.
As for the whole mediation process - It was very straight forward, extremely easy, although I did feel a bit under pressure by the mediator who asked me to be flexible a number of times. The whole telephone calls from mediator to myself, to EVRi and back took all of 25-30 minutes.
Thank you to everyone on this site, especially @BankFodder for their help & advise. I hope my experience will helped someone. I would advise anyone thinking of taking action against EVRi not to hesitate, and to stick to their guns at the mediation stage. I would also recommend that they use the new MCOL site as that is very user friendly and easy to use.
I will definitely make my donation to this valuable site when the settlement comes through on or before 23rd June. I will definitely not forget, and have set myself a reminder to check regularly.