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Hi, looking for some help here as to how I can get Hermes to cough up and refund me my money after losing my parcel.


On the 7th January 2019 I sold a circular saw on eBay for £150.00, because of the weight I decided a courier was the best and cheapest way to send it to the buyer. It was dropped off at my local pick up point on Friday the 9th January for next day delivery. It was over a week before the buyer got in touch to ask me what was happening with the package, I was of the understanding it should’ve been with him by now. It was saying on Hermes website the parcel was at a local depot. I sent Hermes a couple of tweets asking for someone to get in touch with me, no one ever got back to me. I finally got in touch via email where I was told my parcel has been lost. Hermes then claimed that as it was a saw it was classed as a sharp object therefore it was classed as a prohibited item, I argued that I took the blade out before I sent it (not true). They then said that despite it not having a blade it still falls under dangerous items and so they wouldn’t be refunding. I’ve since sent them 2 emails asking further questions and have had no reply.


can anyone advise me where to go from here, my last email I told them if they didn’t refund my money in the next week I would be taking it to small claims court, is this the right route to go down? Or maybe there’s another method I should be taking?


thanks in advance for any help and advice.



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I argued that I took the blade out before I sent it (not true). They then said that despite it not having a blade it still falls under dangerous items and so they wouldn’t be refunding. I’ve since sent them 2 emails asking further questions and have had no reply.


thanks in advance for any help and advice.




I know that Hermes do look at this forum so I am not sure why you have advised above that you told them you took the blade out and us that it was still attached !.


I guess in a way, if the blade was not in the package then I too would argue that item was no longer a sharp object !! I am not sure where you go from here.

Edited by Andyorch
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Sorry - you are wrong to lie about the blade - especially as it is not relevant. By lying about it you are effectively accepting Hermes' rules of the game.


You can win this if you play straight with everybody.


I'll give you a fuller response later

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It is clear from what you say that the fact that the item that you sent might or might not have had a blade on it had absolutely no relevance to the fact that the parcel has been lost.


Therefore, for Hermes to attempt to rely on this in order to deny liability means that the because they are relying on in the contract is an unfair term.


Have a look at the consumer rights act on our forum and look at the terms relating to unfair terms.


We have had this kind of thing very often with Hermes and I have no idea why they seem to be so anxious to sacrifice their reputation in return for saving a very small amount of money – but that's up to them. They clearly value their reputation as very low.

It's a shame that you are being put all this trouble. As a matter of interest, when you sent the item, did you declare what it was?


If the packaging had been damaged because a blade on the item had somehow worked its way through the interior wrapping and outwards, then we may well have had to have a different discussion here. I can imagine that it is for this kind of reason that Hermes doesn't want to carry these items. I can imagine that some bladed item might work its way through and damage the parcels belonging to other people. However this has not happened here. They have lost the parcel and they would have lost it whether or not it had a blade – or whether or not it would have been some completely different item.


Frankly we have so much of the stuff about Hermes I don't really understand why anybody bothers to go to them. I suppose they must have lots of satisfied clients – but our experience is that when things go wrong and they get pretty nasty.


The usual story with Hermes is that you have to issue the court papers and then once they have the court papers they may back down immediately or they may file a defence up to 32 pages in length – and then eventually back down. You never know, they may decide to go the distance this time – but I think that from their point of view it would be an extremely dangerous thing to do because if they had a judgement against them which confirmed my analysis of the unfairness of the term, then this would cause serious problems for them. I have no doubt that I could get the story into the papers and then I would imagine that they would be bombarded by other customers who they have betrayed by the use of unfair terms. It is a lot cheaper then simply to pay up and hope that the word doesn't get out.


I've got a feeling that Hermes follow this forum – so here's a message to Hermes – settle this one now because otherwise we will take it as far as we need to get you to honour your proper obligations. In fact here's another message for Hermes – whenever a story involving you gets onto this forum and we advise the complainant to take court action – you're best off settling it without any further trouble. It only costs you more in lost court fees.


Having said that, of course it's up to you. You can simply accept what they say. You can far off angry letters and empty threats. You can issue a letter before claim and give them 14 days or else you will begin a small claim in the county court. If you do this then you must intend to go ahead with it. Don't bother the bluff. You will simply lose credibility and you will make it more difficult for others who try to do the same thing in the future.


So the question is, what you want to do about it?

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Thanks for the reply.


Yes it was listed clearly when paying for courier what was going to be sent and there was no mention of prohibited items, I wasn’t even aware there were certain things you couldn’t send (apart from the obvious).


I have full intentions of doing everything to be fully reimbursed for the money I’ve lost here.


They haven’t replied to my last 3 emails so I’d like to get the wheels moving ASAP they’ve had plenty warning and are refusing to even communicate now.


You seem a lot more clued up about this than I am so I’ll follow your advice. I am thinking skip the letter before claim and go ahead and put this to the county court ASAP. I’m assuming there will be several fees involved throughout this whole process, are Hermes made to cover these costs also if/when found to be in the wrong?


Thanks again for your help.



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You are required by the pre-action protocol to send a letter of claim. In your case you have to give them at least 14 days.


If you are determined to go ahead with this – and once again don't bluff – then send them a letter telling them that if they will not give you your full refund within 14 days that you will start a county court action against them for the value of the last item, plus any associated losses – delivery costs, packaging et cetera, plus court fees – and without further notice.


Send a letter tomorrow by first class recorded delivery. Spend the rest of the 14 days registering on the free moneyclaim online county court website so that you understand how it works. We will help you put together your particulars of claim. It will be very straightforward. Also spend the time reading up on this website how to go ahead with a county court claim. It's very easy but it helps your confidence if you understand the steps.


Don't forget that there is always a chance of losing – but in this case I think that it is extremely low – but you need to be aware. If you do lose then you will not get your refund and also you will lose your claim fee. If it went to a hearing then you will also lose the hearing fee. You probably ought to factor in about £150 as potential risk – but once again I think that your chances of success are extremely high.


Incidentally, you sold this saw on eBay. Are you an eBay trader? Was this a private sale?

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Ok, so the letter of claim has to be in writing? I will get it written up straight away. What information do I need to include in this letter? Just dates, prices and tracking numbers etc? I understand there is a chance of losing but I just can’t see how they can duck the blame here so I’ll be going ahead with this 100%.


Yes it was sold on eBay, just a regular sale selling some old stuff to make a bit money (or try to make a bit money).

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Draft your letter of claim and put it up here.


It doesn't need to be fancy. Obviously you need a reference number so that everybody knows what you are going on about and then point out to them that so far they have refused to give you a refund even though by their own admission they have lost the parcel. You are now giving them notice that if they don't provide you with a refund of the value of the item plus associated costs – delivery and packing which equal £XXX by such and such a date that you will begin a claim against them in the county court and without any further notice.


A letter before claim really doesn't need much more than about five or six lines on a very simple case like this.

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If you read the list of prohibited items you'd find that everything is there, including packaging, so clearly an unfair term.

It would be funny to ask Hermes and the other couriers what they can transport, considering their list.

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Ok here is my letter of claim so far.


Dear sirs,


*reference number*


As you have already informed me via email recently you have failed to deliver my parcel as it has been lost while in your possession. So far you have failed to provide a refund even though by your own admission you have lost the parcel.


The cost of the contents of the parcel was £150.00 and the price for your services was £6.49, amounting to £156.49.


If I do not receive reimbursement in full within 14 days then I shall begin a small claim in the county court to recover the money, plus interest and without any further notice.


Yours faithfully



If there is anything I’ve forgot or should add please let me know and I will before sending.


Thanks a lot

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I think that says it all. If there is something about that which they don't get then they are in a bigger mess than we ever imagined.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been really busy moving house, just getting round to sending this letter to Hermes but I’m unsure where to send it as I can’t seem to find a main depot or address for complaints, does anyone know what address I should be sending to?

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