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ParcelForce destroy £750 computer, but won't pay my insurance claim


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Does anybody know if this unfair 'protection' against prosecution also applies to ParcelForce? I'm not too sure if they're considered part of Royal Mail any more, or a seperate business entity.

 

I'm just starting a claim for compensation with them - basically a brand new very high specification gaming PC base unit I built and sold for £750 on Ebay got very damaged in transit. The casing is smashed to bits, and the PC doesn't work. It must've taken a heavy blow or been dropped to receive such damage - even the hard drives were shifted in their cages!

 

I paid £26.99 for 48hr delivery, plus £22 extra for insurance to cover up to £1000 value.

 

The buyer is being really good about it, and realises there's nothing I can do until the claim is processed - PF state that the item & packaging needs to be made available for inspection at the recipients address, and until I know what PF intend to do I can't really refund him.

 

I'm just worried that PF might take ages to process it and then not honour the claim and say it was inadequately packed. I sent it off in the original packaging of the PC case (an Antec P182 for those in the know) which was very sturdy with very good styrofoam inserts, plus I added a lot of extra heavy duty packing tape and stuffed it full of bubblewrap. The case would've been sent from the manufacturers overseas in this box to their distributors, then to my supplier, then to me, without getting damaged. Then I gave it to ParcelForce. The PC case on its own weighed 14kg (its a biggy!) and with the PC built it weighed 20kg. But I've sent one of these before without problems.

 

The normal bumps and rattles of transit could not have caused the extensive damage. It definitely seems to have been mishandled in some way - either not secured and fallen off a pile, or dropped, thrown or otherwise treated without care!

 

I really could do without any further undue hassle beyond trying to sort it out with the buyer and putting in a claim - I only sold the PC to pay off the debts of building it when I realised I couldn't really afford it, and even then at a £100+ loss.

 

Someone please put my mind to rest that if (God forbid) it came to having to take ParcelFarce to court they won't try to weasel out of it using any potential get-out-of-prosecution card.

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The exemption only applies to Royal Mail. And more specifically, only to certain products and services Royal Mail offer - i.e. those they are required to provide by law (which is why they have the protection in the first place). No Parcelforce services have this protection.

 

Just a couple of points though - if the item was as badly damaged as you say, then there must have been visible signs of damage to the packaging - and if so, then why on earth did the buyer accept the item from Parcelforce?

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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The exemption only applies to Royal Mail. And more specifically, only to certain products and services Royal Mail offer - i.e. those they are required to provide by law (which is why they have the protection in the first place). No Parcelforce services have this protection.

 

Just a couple of points though - if the item was as badly damaged as you say, then there must have been visible signs of damage to the packaging - and if so, then why on earth did the buyer accept the item from Parcelforce?

 

Many thanks for the info about the exemption not applying to ParcelForce.

 

Well, I wondered about him signing for it, but he said it only had one slightly dented bottom corner and a minor crease, which he only noticed afterwards. Nothing that could really cause concern even if he had seen it at the time.

 

I think it is possible to damage an item without obvious damage to its packaging, if something is shunted hard enough to cause internal damage, especially in something as susceptible to mistreatment and forces as a PC - like I said, the hard drives had shifted in their cages, so there must have been some considerable force.

 

Little short of dismantling the whole PC and shipping the components in their individual boxes, I couldn't see what else I could do, apart from maybe putting the already large box inside another much larger box with some kind of elaborate shock absorbing system between the two!

 

Perhaps the front panel & door of the PC case was weaker than the rest of the case, but it would still need considerable force to cause the damage it did, and possibly undue care and attention on the part of ParcelForce (who you entrust your expensive items to whilst paying through the nose for extra insurance options!).

 

ParcelForce do state in the T&Cs that items should be adequtely packed according to their guidelines, and if they are not found to have been so in the event of a claim, they can turn down that claim. Then there is the issue you have raised of if something is signed for at the delivery end, then the recipient has accepted it as being okay.

 

But by the same reckoning, does that not also mean that by them taking my item away, and signing my receipt, that they have checked it out and accept it as being suitable for transit by them? If not, then they should refuse to take away an item at the point of collection if they believe it to not be adequately packaged (which it was anyway!)

 

All this is academic really, as I am just starting the claim, but I just want to prepare myself for the worst, which invariably does happen to me!

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But by the same reckoning, does that not also mean that by them taking my item away, and signing my receipt, that they have checked it out and accept it as being suitable for transit by them?

 

No, they place the onus on the sender to adequately protect their items.

 

I hope your claim is successful, however...

 

he said it only had one slightly dented bottom corner and a minor crease, which he only noticed afterwards. Nothing that could really cause concern even if he had seen it at the time.

 

usually if an item is damaged but there is little or no visible signs of damage to the packaging then it means the internal packaging was insufficient.

 

Obviously I haven't seen your item or packaging so I am generalising and can't comment on your individual item, but 99% of the time that is why damage occurs.

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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No, they place the onus on the sender to adequately protect their items.

 

I hope your claim is successful, however...

 

 

 

usually if an item is damaged but there is little or no visible signs of damage to the packaging then it means the internal packaging was insufficient.

 

Obviously I haven't seen your item or packaging so I am generalising and can't comment on your individual item, but 99% of the time that is why damage occurs.

 

Cheers. Like I said, it was packed in the original packaging of the PC case that was shipped to me without problem. This is a thick heavy duty cardboard box, and the internals was that thick sort of dense slightly flexible styrofoam-thats-not-styrofoam packing thoroughly surruonding and protecting both ends.

 

Heres some pics on a review site if you're interested :)

 

Overclock3D.Net :: Review :: Antec P182 Advanced Super Mid Tower :: Introduction

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

Recently I built a brand new very high specification gaming PC base unit but then sold it for £750 on Ebay as I decided I needed the money to pay off some credit card debt.

 

I sent it by ParcelForce 48hour service, but it got very badly damaged in transit. The casing is smashed to bits, and the PC doesn't work. It must've taken a heavy blow or been dropped to receive such damage - even the hard drives were shifted in their cages!

 

I paid £26.99 for delivery, plus an £22 extra for insurance to cover up to £1000 value.

 

The normal bumps and rattles of transit could not have caused the extensive damage. It definitely seems to have been mishandled in some way - either not secured and fallen off a pile, or dropped, thrown or otherwise treated without care!

 

However, ParcelForce have now inspected the PC at the buyers house and have come back to me and said that though the PC was so obviosuly badly damaged there was no damage to the external packaging and that the damage to the PC could not have been caused in transit. So my claim is rendered invalid, and they are not going to compensate me anything.

 

I find this ludicrous, as the PC left me shiney, new and functioning, carefully packaged in the strong sturdy packaging that the PC case came all the way from China in... and it turned up at my buyer's house smashed to bits and non-functioning.

 

It must have been hit with some force, or dropped, right on a flat end which didn't cause packaging damage (shows how sturdy it was!) but the force of which damaged the PC inside.

 

They are basically implying that I (or my buyer) are liars.

 

What's the point of paying extra insurance if they don't honour a claim against it when an item has so obviously been damaged during tranist in their system? It just amounts to thievery in my eyes.

 

I will refund my customer and take the PC off his hands. But what can I do about forcing ParcelForce to pay my compensation claim?

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I hate to say it but from the information given it sounds like you didn't package your item anywhere near sufficiently - for an item to be so badly damaged you would expect severe damage to the external packaging (and then the recipient would have obviously commented on delivery, and possibly refused to accept the item). If the item arrived with no visible signs of damage but the item had been damaged as much as you state then that would usually indicate poor internal packaging.

 

Perhaps you can clarify and give some detail on how the item was packaged?

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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I have a few questions;

1 - Obviously the packaging must have been opened for the buyer to inspect the product - thus how can parcelforce conclude that the packaging was ok prior to the shipment being opened?

2 - Is it possible that parcelforce could have repackaged the shipment during transit? Do they have records of these events?

3 - How was the unit packaged for transit? Was it sufficient? I assume that, like most PC towers, it probably weighed in the region of 5 - 10 kgs and the weight wasn't evenly distributed - was the packaging marked accordingly, i.e. with Fragile stickers? or handling instructions?

 

Without this, I'm afraid you're pretty stuck.

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I hate to say it but from the information given it sounds like you didn't package your item anywhere near sufficiently - for an item to be so badly damaged you would expect severe damage to the external packaging (and then the recipient would have obviously commented on delivery, and possibly refused to accept the item). If the item arrived with no visible signs of damage but the item had been damaged as much as you state then that would usually indicate poor internal packaging.

 

Perhaps you can clarify and give some detail on how the item was packaged?

 

Cheers. Like I said, it was packed in the original packaging of the PC case that was shipped to me without problem. This is a thick heavy duty cardboard box, and the internals was that thick sort of dense slightly flexible styrofoam-thats-not-styrofoam packing, 2 to 3 inches thick for the most part, thoroughly surrounding and protecting both ends.

 

Heres some pics of the product and its packaging on a review site if you're interested...

 

Overclock3D.Net :: Review :: Antec P182 Advanced Super Mid Tower :: Introduction

 

The PC case (probably) came all the way from China in this packaging, via my e-tailer supplier, without any issues.

 

I think the lack of damage to the packaging indicates that it must've received a heavy shunt and/or drop on the end - I think the packaging is strong enough to not get damaged, and even with the sufficient internal packaging, the PC case got badly damaged - the front end was effectively smashed to bits, and the force must've damaged some internal components as the PC doesn't work.

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I have a few questions;

1 - Obviously the packaging must have been opened for the buyer to inspect the product - thus how can parcelforce conclude that the packaging was ok prior to the shipment being opened?

2 - Is it possible that parcelforce could have repackaged the shipment during transit? Do they have records of these events?

3 - How was the unit packaged for transit? Was it sufficient? I assume that, like most PC towers, it probably weighed in the region of 5 - 10 kgs and the weight wasn't evenly distributed - was the packaging marked accordingly, i.e. with Fragile stickers? or handling instructions?

 

Without this, I'm afraid you're pretty stuck.

 

To answer your questions:

 

1 - Not sure I get your point here. If you are wondering how ParcefForce know the condition of the packaging, they went to the buyers house to inspect the package and PC after I reported the damage and submitted a claim.

 

2 - Unless they had the exact same retail packaging they couldn't have replaced it. even though it was fancy retail packaging it was designed for transit as-is - it should not need any further outer packaging, and how I sent it was how it was sent to me.

 

3 - See my previous post for a review of the product featuring pics of its packaging. I wrote 'Handle With Care' and 'Fragile' in big red letters on the large label I put on it, which was place on the top of the packaging across the join of the flaps. The packaging has images and text on it denoting which way up, plus cutout handles at both ends.

 

The buyer is returning the PC and packaging to me sometime over the next few days (personally by car I hasten to add!) and I'm going to have to refund him his £750.

 

Does anybody think I have a hope-in-hell of getting anywhere if I follow this up with Parcelforce? And how I should go about doing this and how I could word my appeal/demand for compensation?

 

I really don't want to let them get away with their negligence - not to mention the 'theft' of the extra money I paid to them as cover in the event of this sort of thing happening!

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Hmmm a dificult one to call really. Firstly, the retail packaging as detailed on that site I would say would be just about sufficient to protect the case. However, that is all it will protect - an empty case. If the package gets knocked a bit (as it will) in transit, then it's not likely to do much damage to the case.

 

You were sending more than just a case - you were sending a complete PC - full of delicate parts. Not only would this have been heavier than the case, but also a lot more fragile. If you pick up an empty case and shake it about it won't do any harm, if you do the same with a PC it could cause some damage. If you packed it exactly as it shows on those pictures then I would say you're probably stuck. There appears to be styrofoam/polystyrene protecting two ends, but the other four sides seem to have little protection, if any. I would suggest - and this is just my personal opinion - that a PC should have at least 10cm of cushioning material around the entire item, and then this should be packed in some kind of rigid container - something stronger than just a bog standard cardboard box (which of course was re-used so will be weaker than a new cardboard box). The ideal packaging would probably be a double-wall corrugated fibreboard box with a good quality outer wrapping.

 

From what you have stated it does appear that the damage is down to poor internal packaging - if the item had been mistreated in some way - for example somebody had trod on it, or a heavy, bulky item placed on top of it, there would be obvious signs of damage to the external packaging.

 

Good luck with pursuing your claim, but I'm not confident that you will have any success with it I'm afraid.

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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I think he means he bought the case, which was shipped to him from China. He then used the case to build the PC, which he then packaged back into the same box as the case was shipped from China in.

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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Its really is a shame that this delivery hasn't been performed as to ur requirements, as the earlier posts point out, claiming for such a item will prove hard, this could/should prove to other persons thinking of sending items, to possiblely take photos of the item and packaging, perior to dispatching in the event of such claims. Or better still to arrange personnel collection (buyer collects) or delivery (seller delivers) to lesson such damage to both seller and buyer.

Yes parcelforce have means to insure items of great value, however looking it from there point of view, without such proof from the sender, showing the item wasn't damaged before been packaged, how do parcelforce know that the item wasn't sent damaged?

Sad as it is to you, and the loss of the money that you now need to refund to the buyer, once you get the damaged item back, you might be able to use some or most of the parts to rebuild the computer, and in time resell to another buyer.

!2 years Tesco distribution supervisor

7 years Sainsburys Transport Manager

 

4 Years housing officer ( Lettings )

Partner... 23 Years social services depts

 

All advice is given through own opition, also by seeking/searching info on behalf of poster, and own personnel dealings.

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I've got such deja vu on this thread - I swear that this exact same problem had been posted before. Or maybe it's just me getting my wires crossed... *extremely puzzled*

 

Edit: Well, I've searched, and come to the conclusion that I need new mad-pills. Sorry for any inconvenience caused. Could've sworn...

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HEHEhehe Demon sent you some mad pills mine are stronger.

You most likly got mixed with one posted

Parcel delivered. Not here and someone forged my signature posting found under parcelforce threads.

!2 years Tesco distribution supervisor

7 years Sainsburys Transport Manager

 

4 Years housing officer ( Lettings )

Partner... 23 Years social services depts

 

All advice is given through own opition, also by seeking/searching info on behalf of poster, and own personnel dealings.

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I think he means he bought the case, which was shipped to him from China. He then used the case to build the PC, which he then packaged back into the same box as the case was shipped from China in.

 

Thats it exactly (except I never personally ordered the PC case from China, it's just that thats where it probably came from originally as supplied to my e-tailer)

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Its really is a shame that this delivery hasn't been performed as to ur requirements, as the earlier posts point out, claiming for such a item will prove hard, this could/should prove to other persons thinking of sending items, to possiblely take photos of the item and packaging, perior to dispatching in the event of such claims. Or better still to arrange personnel collection (buyer collects) or delivery (seller delivers) to lesson such damage to both seller and buyer.

 

Yes parcelforce have means to insure items of great value, however looking it from there point of view, without such proof from the sender, showing the item wasn't damaged before been packaged, how do parcelforce know that the item wasn't sent damaged?

Sad as it is to you, and the loss of the money that you now need to refund to the buyer, once you get the damaged item back, you might be able to use some or most of the parts to rebuild the computer, and in time resell to another buyer.

 

I was going to suggest to the buyer that I would take it to them, but it was over 100 miles away and the brakes on my car needing fixing which I couldn't sort out for a week. So I took the next day off work and arranged for ParcelForce to 'collect and destroy'. Er, I mean 'deliver'.

 

(oh, and it gets better... some of the money from the sale of this PC went towards fixing my brakes and renewing my car tax... and then a week later my car got stolen and trashed... and I'm still waiting on the outcome of that insurance claim too...)

 

I have got pictures of the PC before it was sent - these were the pics I used to sell it on ebay. But I think its ridiculous that the onus should be on me to prove it was damaged before I sent it. Why on earth would I carefully pack up a broken computer and then have to deal with all the hassle of claiming for it? The implication if ParcelForce thinks that way is that I am somehow a [problem] merchant.

 

I take on board a previous posters point that when I received the case it was empty, and when I sent it the PC was fully built, thereby making it more heavy. Well, the case was actually a high end, tall, solid and sturdy thing that weighed 14kg. Building the PC into it made it weigh about than 19kg. The weight was fairly evenly distributed, but probably a bit bottom heavy as it was a non-standard design and the heavy duty powersupply and drives are situated on the bottom of the case.

 

But I still think the packaging was more than adequate, and I sold another PC built into the same style case early last year and that got to the buyer without a problem or any damage - that was sent by ParcelForce too. Perhaps this is a pertinent fact I should mention if I appeal?

 

I've thought that maybe I should just leave it be and, like you said shywazz, just try and salvage what I can. It may be that although the case is damaged beyond use or easy repair, the problem of the PC not working might be a relatively minor thing, perhaps just one component loose or damaged but repairable or something.

 

Maybe I haven't got the time, energy or money to fight for this, but I just really feel that ParcelForce have been negligent, and they should be made to pay for that negligence.

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I've got such deja vu on this thread - I swear that this exact same problem had been posted before. Or maybe it's just me getting my wires crossed... *extremely puzzled*

 

Edit: Well, I've searched, and come to the conclusion that I need new mad-pills. Sorry for any inconvenience caused. Could've sworn...

 

Er, I did post an abbreviated version of this story before, as a reply to someone elses post about taking the Post Office to court, and how you can't because of their get-out-of-jail-free card... I was asking whether the same legislation applied to ParcelForce.

 

I just thought the further developments of my claim required a new posting as it was a different situation to the original posting and needed more depth. Hope this was ok!

 

Mad pills? I recommend you take the blue ones... You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. All that red pill and rabbit hole to Wonderland stuff is for suckers who give a monkeys!

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...about taking the Post Office to court, and how you can't because of their get-out-of-jail-free card... I was asking whether the same legislation applied to ParcelForce.

 

No. Some Royal Mail products are provided under the Postal Services Act 2000. Parcelforce 48 is not, and will be covered by normal contract law.

 

I have got pictures of the PC before it was sent - these were the pics I used to sell it on ebay. But I think its ridiculous that the onus should be on me to prove it was damaged before I sent it. Why on earth would I carefully pack up a broken computer and then have to deal with all the hassle of claiming for it? The implication if ParcelForce thinks that way is that I am somehow a [problem] merchant.

 

I don't think that is what is being suggested at all. I imagine your claim has been refused on the grounds of insufficient packaging, not because they think you are dodgy.

 

I take on board a previous posters point that when I received the case it was empty, and when I sent it the PC was fully built, thereby making it more heavy. Well, the case was actually a high end, tall, solid and sturdy thing that weighed 14kg. Building the PC into it made it weigh about than 19kg. The weight was fairly evenly distributed...But I still think the packaging was more than adequate

 

From what I have seen I would disagree. As I said, the packaging in my opinion would just about suffice for an empty case, but a complete PC is a different matter. Whilst the extra weight is one of the issues, it's not the only issue - the packaging would be weaker due to it being reused for a start. Furthermore, you have to consider that the contents you were sending were a lot more fragile than what you received in the packaging originally. As a (rather extreme) example, if you sent a crate with some feathers in, it would be fine to transport them. If you then take the crate with the feathers and throw a few wine glasses in, it would make little difference to the overall weight, but the packaging is now clearly no longer sufficient.

 

I just really feel that ParcelForce have been negligent, and they should be made to pay for that negligence.

 

This is the problem - there is no evidence to suggest negligence - i.e. visible damage to the exterior packaging which would suggest the item had been mishandled in some way.

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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Er, I did post an abbreviated version of this story before, as a reply to someone elses post about taking the Post Office to court, and how you can't because of their get-out-of-jail-free card... I was asking whether the same legislation applied to ParcelForce.

 

I just thought the further developments of my claim required a new posting as it was a different situation to the original posting and needed more depth. Hope this was ok!

 

Aha, so I had read it before! *does a little dance* I was doubting my reading memory then (which is practically a paradigm shift for me, I almost always remember everything I've read), but you've soothed my worry :D

 

It's no problem to post an expansion :)

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  • 1 year later...

I know the post is old but ther is very simple explanation to the problem.

 

If the computer was damaged in transit there would be a visible sign on the packaging, even if only a scuff mark.

 

What probably happened was that when the buyer opened the packaging and lifted the computer out of the box it may have been heavier than expected or got caught. Either way it is most likely the buyer dropped it after opening the box. Personally I would have gone with the post office as they were the sellers witness that the packaging was intact when delivered.

 

Buyers are the most honest of people when it suits them to lie.

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I think you've hit the nail on the head the damage was probably caused by the buyer.

 

I've got exactly the same case and it weighs about 15kg on its own. Add a good quality toughpower psu and a couple of hard drives etc. and I'd say my tower weighs well over 30kg well above what you would normally expect a pc to weigh. Part of the reason is that the hdd bays are metal boxes which slide in position and are retained with a screw. I see no way these could have shifted short of the case being dropped which would probably also smash the plastic below the door.

 

FWIW I am not overly impressed with the P182 it falls far short of what you'd expect for a £100 case. When it arrived the button that adjust the fan speed on the back was pushed into the case and I found it's held in place by sticky tape. All four feet have fallen off as has the door because the hinge is actually no more than a tiny nipple of plastic. It looks very nice and is amazingly cool considering whats inside but they've used plastic in the wrong places (feet and hinge) and it spoils the case.

 

I think the OP was had over by an ebay buyer looking to get out of damage from dropping. If the pc was dropped in the packaging the packaging would be very severely damaged indeed.

You have the right to food money.

If you don't mind a little investigation, humiliation, and if you cross your fingers rehabilitation..............

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