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Hermes, lost parcel, legalities ***Settlement agreed ADR***

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Can someone help and advise please.

 

I arranged for Hermes to collect from me a large(ish) parcel, and deliver to a friend over 200 miles away. The parcel contained some soft furnishing items I had made. I opted for a higher ‘value’ (£50), and paid the extra for insurance.

 

Hermes lost the parcel.

 

I’ve now spent over 6 weeks trying to get the matter resolved satisfactorily, but to no avail. They keep telling me they have done a ‘sweep’ of their depot/hub but haven’t found my parcel. It’s around 20” square, so too big to slip behind something and get lost, but according to Hermes, it has simply disappeared!

 

So we get to compensation (Although i’d rather they actually put some real effort in to finding the parcel and delivering it.

 

They are offering the £50 (which they now say was the ‘compensation’ I opted for (wrong, I gave £50 as the commercial value), plus the fee I paid, and £15 goodwill gesture as compensation, saying that is all they are ‘obliged’ to pay!

 

They certainly know how to add insult to injury! I spent around 16 hours making the items; have emailed and telephoned probably about 2 dozen times, which all adds to the considerable amount of time I have also spent in trying to get the matter sorted.

 

I’d like to fight this further, but would like to know more about the legalities involved, etc.

 

Can someone help please?

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Hi and Welcome to CAG

 

 

I have moved your thread to a more appropriate forum...please continue to post here. Have a read of the similar threads here with regards to the same problems and how other posters have dealt with similar situations...although I would imagine your only option now is to instigate a court claim.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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What is the value of the lost item?

 

Do you have photographs etc?


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What is the value of the lost item?

 

Do you have photographs etc?

 

Thank you for the replies, although not sure where I should be looking.

 

It’s difficult to put a value on the items, as I made them. However, sundry items used in their making cost approximately £55, and I could buy those items again for the same amount. But what I can’t put a value on is my time, and the inconvenience their negligence has caused me.

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I’ve found where I should be looking though!

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I’ve responded to their message, explaining they seem to be confused between ‘insured value’ and compensation. Surely, the insured value should be paid without question, as that is what I paid extra for; compensation for their negligence is a different issue,

 

Incidentally? I went through the process of booking a parcel delivery again, just to remind myself, and £50 insured value was the only option, other than the £20 value, which was ‘free’.

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A side issue but which could be helpful is that are they really describing themselves as providing "insurance".

Are they regulated by the FCA for this activity?

 

Please could you post a link to their site where they use the word "insurance"


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Thanks Bankfodder

 

I’ve just looked again; the site doesn’t use the word insurance, but asks ‘what cover do you require’. I’ve also realised that I must have put the value in as £50 (which isn’t wrong), and the next question is ‘what cover do you require’, and then gives you two options, either “up to £20” which doesn’t require an extra fee, or “full cover up to £50” which was an additional 90p. The ‘up to’ amount changes according to what you put in the ‘value’ box.

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One thing which I realised you haven't told us yet is how much you want to receive in compensation.


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In all honesty, I don’t really know, I just feel (strongly) that the compensation they are offering (which is just £15, as the value and refund of fee, should be recovered anyway), is derisory. I guess it doesn’t apply, but i’m Thinking along the lines of being put back into the position I would be in if their negligence hadn’t occurred - they can’t give me back my time, but they can compensate for it. I’m a believer in punitive damages, after all, with any issue involving a multi million £ company, £15 is hardly a disincentive to doing the job properly.

 

I’ve been reading the Consumer Rights Act, which although confirms what I should expect from a company regarding care and skill, doesn’t really help about what to expect when things go wrong.

 

My absolute preference though is they find the parcel and deliver it! From what i’ve seen, they must have a very large warehouse full of ‘lost’ parcels. Wish I knew where, as I would go there and identify mine!

 

What would you think it a ‘reasonable’ level of compensation, on top of the ‘value’?

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I'm afraid that there is no basis for punitive damages.

 

You can only claim for the value of the lost item. It's up to you to calculate the cost of the materials and allocate a suitable value in respect of the time that you spent adding value to those materials by making the object.

How much money did you spend for the delivery service? And also the additional cover?

 

I understand from you that they have offered you £50 + £15 + your fee which I suppose means the delivery charge. How much is that?


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They have offered £58.75 for the items (which is the total of the receipts which I have provided), although there was 2 additional items made from fabric I cannot provide a receipt for,), the total fee paid of £8.69 which includes an extra 90p for ‘cover’ and £15 as a ‘goodwill gesture’. It’s this ‘goodwill gesture’ that’s annoyed me.

 

It’s not goodwill, it’s compensation for their negligence. As I said to them in one of the various communications i’ve Had: the parcel cannot simply disappear, it was handed to their staff, it’s either on their premises somewhere, or it’s been pinched, there is no other explanation.

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This is unclear.

Are you saying that they have offered you

58.75

8.69

15.00

=======

82.44


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Yes, that’s right.

 

I cannot prove a value of the additional items in the parcel, which would be in the region of £30, and I accept that.

 

Sorry, I forgot to say that I realise we don’t have punitive damages, but given the amount of large companies that flout laws (i’ve Experience of a couple not following employment law), we should have, as a stronger incentive to abide by them.

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Yes, but we aren't here to debate the jurisprudence of the matter.

 

We are here to exploit the existing law and existing procedure as much as we can to give people like Hermes a slap. We've done it before but on this occasion I'm a bit concerned because you aren't even able to tell us the value of your loss. And also, unusually they appear to have already offered you more than the £50 "cover" which you asked for.


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I can only prove fabric and bits to the value of £58.75; in addition to that there was two items in the parcel which I cannot prove the value of, as the fabric used had been supplied to me by said friend, it was a good quality, and I would conservatively give a value of £30. However, I do accept that the ‘cover’ I elected was just £50.

 

To make these things again, will take another 16 hours of my time; even at national minimum wage, that’s over £100 worth of time. Plus, these items have been missing since mid/end of November, since then, i’ve made countless phone calls and emails (including emailing the ceo).

 

Like most people, given Hermes failure to act with the skill and care they should, i’d Like to give as big a ‘slap’ as possible. But that’s not out of greed or wishing to exploit the situation, but the belief that businesses like this need to learn lessons, and the only thing they understand is money.

 

I hope that helps,

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It’s just dawned on me - I think. The value of my loss isn’t necessarily the same as the value of the lost items, so although they’ve agreed to pay for the lost items to the value of £58.75, my loss is greater than that, and should be compensated too. It’s very difficult to put things in the typed word sometimes, and i’m not the most eloquent person anyway. But am I making sense, and am I right?

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Bankfodder - May I ask a question please?

 

Given that Hermes are now trying to limit their liability on the basis of the amount of ‘cover’ that I paid for, and they are now saying that was the amount of compensation I chose, would you say that was an ‘unfair term’ as a), it’s not transparent, and, b), it is to the detriment of the consumer?

 

Unfortunately, the CRA doesn’t really give any indication of what to expect when as a result of lack of care and skill actually results in the loss of items, only that the ‘service’ should be carried out again, or the payment made should be reduced/repaid.

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We often have problems with Hermes here and other parcel delivery services as well. It's generally speaking about lost or possibly damaged items and then the company trying to wriggle out of it. They generally say that it should have been insured for the correct amount.

 

I think all the cases here are where people haven't chosen any insurance figure at all so they haven't made any representation as to the value of the item.

 

My view is that if you pay for something to be delivered then the price that you pay is the price that should ensure that the item is delivered. It seems amazing to me that the culture has developed that one has to pay for the delivery and then pay something extra in case the delivery doesn't occur. I've made the point before that this is like ordering a meal in a restaurant for £10 and then when it arrives cold or it's the wrong item, you are then told will you should have paid extra to make sure that it was done correctly.

 

Paying for cover to make sure that the delivery is done correctly is like purchasing an extended warranty.

 

The only thing that troubles me in your case is that they could say that you misrepresented the value. This causes me little difficulty. The principle is still there you paid for a delivery and the delivery hasn't occurred. In ordinary circumstances I would say that your chances of success in the County Court on the basis of those facts would be better than 90%. By going ahead and purchasing some extra cover it seems to me that there is a faint possibility that it could be taken as having accepted the principle that you are only entrusting to them an item of a certain value.

 

Personally I would still want to challenge them on the basis that you paid for delivery and the delivery hasn't occurred and that it is unfair to expect you to insure against their breach. In my view it is for them to insure items against their own breach. Otherwise it's a bit like saying that I have to insure the third party driver in case he runs into me. It's nonsense.

 

As I say, I'm slightly less comfortable about the situation but I still reckon your chances of success in the County Court are better than 80%-85%.

 

Given the value of what you are trying to claim, I would simply threaten them with a letter before claim and then issue. It scarcely worth their while and of course if they did lose then the principle which I have outlined above would be pretty well established and then they would be in big trouble for any future losses or damage deliveries – and they certainly wouldn't want that.


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Posted (edited)

Thanks for that Bankfodder. I started putting together a letter before action letter this afternoon, and also looking through info online here, which then made me look into the ‘unfair terms’ section on the CRA.

 

Having now read Hermes T&C’s (like most, I didn’t at the time, and also wasn’t aware what a bad rep they had), I think there’s much that I believe would be classed as unfair.

 

Also, i’m guessing they will hide behind T&C’s, which, of course, do not replace their statutory duty.

 

I’ll keep you informed.

Edited by Andyorch
Edited

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Update:

I issued a MCOL at the beginning of this month, date of ‘deemed’ service was 6th February, and i’ve heard nothing since. So, this morning I logged on to MCOL to request judgment, only to find that Hermes issued Acknowledgment of service on 11th February. So, i’ll sit and wait another 14 days. 🙄

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They have 33 days from date of issuance... if they intend to defend.


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Thank you Andyorch; I thought it was 28 days?

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Thanks again Andyorch. I just need to clarify, that is 28 days after service of the original claim, not 28 days after their acknowledgement? The 5 days has already been taken into consideration I think, as 6th February was the ‘official’ date of service, despite it being actually served on 1st February. Or have I misunderstood?

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