Thank you very much for this site. A long story short, we sent 14 boxes abroad and 12 of them were lost. They rejected our “claims” even before we actually made claims, because we were trying to ship prohibited items, which are “personal belongings”. The courier was DPD Local. I want to share my experience here. And I want to get this right for the next consumers like me.
I am a foreign national, who had lived in the U.K. for 3 years and moved to France in October 2021. My wife and I put our personal belongings into 14 boxes and dropped them in 2 batches at several drop points of DPD Local on 11th of October. Several days later, all the boxes started going back to our old address in the U.K., where we did not live any more. We were told that one of tariff cords we declared for the custom control was incorrect.
One of the boxes has actually arrived at our old address on 19th of October, and the new tenant received it. Later, my friend visited there and picked it up. The box was damaged and half opened. Another box has somehow arrived in France and did not move neither forward nor backward. The rest of the boxes were indicated as returning in the tracking system that we can access through their website. The status of the boxes stayed the same since then without giving us where exactly they are and when they were expected to return to us. When talking with the customer service of DPD Local, they always say that 1) “please just wait because the return journey usually takes 2 to 8 weeks”, and 2) “we will get back to you to tell where exactly the boxes are within 3 working days (which varied sometimes to the next 24 to 48 hours and sometimes to 1 week), because we need to raise an inquiry”. They have never come back to us.
On 5th of December, we suddenly received email from DPD Local saying that “we (DPD Local) could not approve your claim”. Although it sounded as if we had claimed for boxes lost, we had not made any claims at that time because we still believed that our boxes were on their return journey as they explained. According to them, the reason for the rejection was because we tried to send prohibited items, which were “personal items” and “personal belongings”. These two are actually in their long list of prohibited items, which they showed us through a link they shared by the email.
After the email, we started a bit of research and found that DPD Local and DPD are different companies and DPD seemed to be actually handling the parcel. Therefore, I called a local depot of DPD and talked with a lady on the phone. She looked for one of our boxes in their system as a trial and found it in their lost property area. She declined to help us further on the phone as it was beyond her responsibility and suggested to talk to the “platinum team”, giving us their email address.
On 16th of December, we sent a request by email to look for our boxes retained in the lost property and send them back to us. It was followed by a series of painstaking email exchanges making the same explanations, answering to the same questions and receiving incomplete answers with different people in the same and in different teams. Now, after three months, what we learnt were;
All our boxes have turned back to our old address in the U.K. because of an “IT issue” with DPD, not by an incorrect tariff code.
All the boxes seemed to have arrived at the lost property area of their hub in Birmingham around late October to early November time.
DPD is reluctant to look for our boxes in the lost property area because they usually hold properties lost only for 6 weeks and then dispose if a claim was not made.
We had a small hope because initially we were told that the lost property holds things for about 6 months, not 6 weeks. But now we need to move on.
We want to get this right. I was looking for information how to make a court claim and accidentally found this site. Therefore, I am sharing my story here. And, at the same time, I would like to have advices for me to make the best course of action. I have to admit that I have not gone through all relevant threads yet, as English is not my first language and terms and expressions in the posts are very specialistic and not easy for me to understand.
Now, I understand that I have to make a claim to DPD formally in any way. Could you advise if there are things that I have to know before making a claim please? My concern is the “personal items” and “personal belongings” in their prohibited items list. We did check the list when making our parcel. But, because the list was long and contained a lot of irrelevant things, we did not go through the list top to bottom line by line. Instead, we looked for suspicious items in the list, such as aerosols, liquids and knives, and excluded such items from our parcel. On the other hand, we put the same name as the sender and the recipient on the consignments openly declaring that the contents are our personal belongings for the custom declaration purpose. And they accepted it. Another concern is that DPD is now saying that they cannot make a claim for us because 21 days of their claim period is already over. I do not know if they want to say that they do not accept our claim if we made it because of the same reason. We did not make claim because they were saying the boxes were on their return journey or were in the lost property area. We have records of chats with DPD Local customer service and all the email with DPD customer service.
By the way, the box retained in France was eventually returned to us. We talked to Chronopost, which is their French partner, as DPD Local suggested. Chronopost required “handling fee” to take it out from the French custom to let it continue its forward journey, and we paid for it. Then they started saying that they could not find the box. But, after we started talking DPD directly in December, the box finally started moving but in backwards unfortunately. During Christmas, it was delivered to a DPD Local shop near by our old address in the U.K and my friend pick it up later.
Thank you in advance.