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Damaged Goods while with a courier service


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Hi all

im after some advice, we run a small tile shop, we usually only get local customers but last week we had a customer fone from Fulham(we r in littlehampton in west sussex) so we took his order for 4 boxes of tiles and charged him for delivery,

we didnt have a courier service to deliver so we foned up a courier service who have approached us in the past, they sent out a rep to talk 2 us, one of the first things he said was all everythings insured up to £500 with the driver liable for the first £100 of it, so we paid £160 for a book of 20 tickets which allows us for 20 deliveries nationwide.


Fast forward 2 days and the customer rings us to tell us all 4 boxes of tiles r damaged, so i ring the courier service and they decide to tell me they dont insure against Tiles so we wont get money for it, these were thick tiles we sent and every single tile was cracked down the middle which tells me they have had a large impact on them for them to shatter like that.


Now my arguement is surely the rep should have told us they dont cover against tiles, i mean he came to our shop which is full of tiles, our business name has tiles in the name for god sake so i think its a pretty important issue to tell us, its £400 worth of tiles damaged which is £400 lost as the customer wanted a refund.

The company wont pay out so i dont know where we stand, they dont insure for tiles which is fair enough, but my problem is they didnt tell us this.

any help on the matter would be appriciated



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If you run a tile shop, and a sales rep from a courier firm came out and you entered into an agreement for them to transport your goods......what on earth did they think you would be asking them to transport??




If your business is tiles, and they offer a courier service, then it's an implied term that they would be carrying tiles and should have notified you of any exclusions or specific items (perishables, live animals etc) which they do not have a licence or insurance to carry.


Ask for a refund of the full amount you paid and also the value of the goods. Bear in mind you can only claim for the wholesale price of the goods, not the retail price. You can do this because of the contract you were [are] in has been breached.


Advise them that due to that nature of your business premises and your company name, it was an implied term of the contract that they would insure the goods which they agreed to carry for you. Ask them at what point they advised you of limitations or exceptions (which they didn't) and they will come unstuck.


So, the main articles to point out are that you hold them in breach of contract (this is known as a fundamental breach of contract - a breach which prevents the contract from continuing (i.e. they don't insure tiles in transit) and this case, they have breached an implied term, as this means it was an clause/condition so obvious, the other party had no choice but to know of this term) and request the wholesale value of the items (send an invoice) as well as a refund of the monies paid for their services, which were not as described or explained.


Persistance also helps :)


Hope this helps you!

  • Haha 1

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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Did they not give you any terms and conditions, or a contract which stated what was and was not covered?


Also, if every single tile was damaged in all four boxes then I would be interested to know how you packaged the items if they've managed to become so badly damaged?

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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Chesham thanks alot for the advice, i will do just that ;)


barracad. they did give me a terms and conditions which was as always in tiny writing on the back, it does state that glass and other delicate items r not covered which i except, but the arguement is surely when the sales rep came out and said they are insured up to the value of £500 with the driver being liable for the first £100 that he should have mentioned tiles were not covered, by time he gave the terms and conditions i had already handed over the cheque, the only thing i wanted to know was if my tiles r safe if they get damaged and he gave me the impression they would be.


as for packaging they were packaged correctly and they were well protected, but abit of common sense when handling items like that must come into play,all 4 boxes have taken a big impact to the middle of the tile(these were 50x25xm tiles) which has impacted all the way through the rest of the tiles.

Oh and also with the driver being liable for the first £100 of any damage if the driver feels its not packaged correctly then he wont take it, thats something else the rep said!

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