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Are these courier terms re. 'perishable items' unenforceable?

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I've used ParcelMonkey a few times recently; most recently I was arranging a return for the boss and PM came out cheapest on their bulk rate. No great surprise there, but what did pique my interest was the definition of 'perishable items' in their T&Cs -- as well as their no-compensation and prohibited items list.


In their T&Cs (parcelmonkey.co.uk/terms-and-conditions) it reads (emphasis added):


4.3. The Company will not, without its specific agreement with its Carriers, carry livestock, liquids, perishable goods, glass, guns, LCD screens, plasma screens, CRT screens, LED screens, china, porcelain, pots, vases, ceramics, un wrapped furniture, freestanding furniture, un packaged goods, damaged goods, gases, pyrotechnics, arms and ammunition or corrosive, toxic, flammable, explosive, oxidising or radioactive materials, toy guns or replica guns, weapons, toy weapons or replica weapons.

4.4. For the purpose of Section 4.3. above, perishable goods are classified by the Company as animals (including birds, fish, insects, larvae, pupae etc); animal products; antiques and art works; banderols/tax stickers;bullion (or any precious metal); cash-like negotiable instruments in bearer form (this would include but not be limited to cash, bank notes, currency, vouchers, securities, pre-paid phone cards, activated SIM cards and unused stamps); costume jewellery over £250 in value; food; jewellery and objects constructed of precious metals and/or stones, loose precious stones (including industrial diamonds); legal drugs and pharmaceutical products; medical samples (includes bodily fluids and tissue samples); micro processors, electronic components, mobile telephones and accessories over £250 in value; designer clothing, apparel and accessories over £250 in value; flowers and plant products; furs and garments trimmed with fur; hazardous goods; human remains or ashes; irreplaceable/unique items; perishable items that require a temperature controlled environment; personal data; This list of items is not exhaustive and may be amended by The Company from time to time as published on The Company's website at parcelmonkey.com.



I couldn't believe it when I read that they'd defined designer clothing, apparel and accessories - over £250 in value, no less - as a perishable item! How is this justifiable? Subsequent Googling of other couriers' T&Cs with regards to perishable items yielded only the standard fare; foodstuffs, livestock or stuffed animals, etc.


In addition, PM's "no-compensation carriage" list is bizarre (parcelmonkey.co.uk/prohibitedItems.php) and includes a mixture of reasonable and completely bizarre specifications with no promise of compensation should they be damaged. (Even if they're packaged correctly?!)


Apple IMac (carried on a no-compensation basis)

Apple IPad (carried on a no-compensation basis)

Apple IPhone (carried on a no-compensation basis)

Apple Macbook (carried on a no-compensation basis)

Apple Macbook Pro (carried on a no-compensation basis)

Apple Powermac (carried on a no-compensation basis)


Camera Lenses (SLR) (carried on a no-compensation basis)


Mobile Phones Valued Over £250 (carried on a no-compensation basis)

Personal Effects (carried on a no-compensation basis)



This all strikes me as overly optimistic on their behalf and vastly overreaching; of course you have to consent to the T&Cs before you book a courier - so should a complaint ever arise over an item damaged or nondelivered they can just fold their arms and say "well, as you agreed, we hereby refer you to the response in Arkell v. Pressdram" and subsequently ignore you.


Now whilst any company's entitled to state what it wishes or does not wish to carry on behalf of customers, if the individual couriers' own T&Cs are less restrictive than the third party broker (Parcel Monkey) would it not be arguable that their own T&Cs are unenforceable as the additional restrictions are arbitrary and, in some cases, punitive?


I can't afford to send a laptop hoping it'll get broken to then file a test case, so I'm interested to hear what people think of all this from a purely academic standpoint. Are there any relevant precedents?

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