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Parcel Force Negligence : Assistance Required

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Following a six month battle with a supplier concerning the purchase of a faulty item which resulted in the submission of a case to money claims on-line & mediation,

an agreed settlement was reached & part of the settlement involved me having to arrange, return & pay the necessary charges to return the faulty item to the supplier/manufacturer. On receipt of the item they would within seven days refund the agreed settlement figure together with the costs of the postal/courier fees.  

 

A contract was taken out with Parcel Force on line,

24 hour express delivery

according to the information that is given when entering into this contract,

the customer will receive up to date tracking of their parcel together with a message alert when the parcel reaches its destination.  

Parcel was picked up as promised

 

when checking the tracking some 24 hours later the parcel had still not been delivered nor had the tracking.  

A number of telephone calls were made to Parcel Force where I was told that my Parcel was at the National Hub but had been delayed due to a malfunction & could I check back later that evening.  

 

Following morning I checked the tracking & it still read the same.  

Following several telephone calls I have been informed that they are unable to confirm whether the parcel has been lost,  

the exact location of the parcel & whether it will be delivered.  

 

I submitted a claim on line to Parcel Force on the morning of 19th June & to my astonishment when checking the status of the claim a number of hours later have discovered that they have closed my claim.  

 

Status says rejected

- claim passed to online team.  

 

Due to the situation of this parcel having to reach its destination as soon as possible I want to pursue this matter via a money claim online process.  

I would also like to add that I did not take out an insurance with Parcel Force as I naturally & genuinely assumed that they would fulfil their contract & deliver the parcel as promised.  

 

I feel that I am being given the runaround every time I speak to them

 

am very keen to commence action against them as soon as possible.  

 

Any advice would be gratefully received & sorry for the long winded post.  

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I think we would be interested to receive more detail about the initial problem – who was the supplier, what was a fault, how quickly did it develop and what was the value of the item.

Although this is not strictly dealing with your question, a retailer who supplies a faulty item is under a legal duty to accept it back and I don't understand why there was even need for any mediation or compromise on this. Would like to know more.

In terms of dealing with parcel force, one of the problems with this company is that they are exempted for some reason rather from the usual liability rules. Still, we have had successful claims against them because they generally speaking put their hands up.

You need to tell us what the item was and what was the value.


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Morning BankFodder, thank you for your response.  

 

With relation to the faulty item, with all due respect I think I have to be a bit careful here as the settlement papers that I have been sent from the Court with relation to this say that this is all confidential so am not sure if I am able to divulge who the company are.

 

 The item, a bespoke amber LED light bar developed a fault after three months which was rectified.  

Unfortunately the same fault reoccurred some three months later which resulted in the supplier/manufacturer refusing to rectify other than us driving up to Leeds (which was not feasible) or removing the light bar ourselves to send to their depot for inspection (which we refused as we were concerned that it might invalidate the warranty, not that the warranty meant anything!).  

 

Following a very lengthy exchange of emails & their continuous arrogance of not accepting liability, we decided to go down the route of the small claims court whereby we were awarded, following mediation, the cost of the original ite, approx £982.00.

 

£982.00 is therefore the cost of the item that we contracted Parcel Force to deliver which unfortunately would appear at present, that they have mislaid/lost.  If somebody takes something off of you, doesn’t deliver it nor do they return it, in my book this equates to theft?

 

BankFodder, hope this answers any questions & that there is scope for me to pursue this via an initial letter to Parcel Force & then a MCOL.  Thank you for your assistance to date.

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Well obviously it's far too late but I have no idea why you agreed to the settlement which you have outlined above.

On the basis of what you have told us. You are hundred percent in the right and you would have won completely at a court hearing and the supplier would have been responsible for the cost and the safe return of the object to them if in fact they had wanted it.
On the basis of what you say, after the first failed repaired you were entitled to a complete refund or a replacement of the item. These are your rights under the Consumer Rights Act and there was no need to trade them away in some compromise settlement. I'm actually trying to rack my brains to see how far your settlement my actually be binding but I suppose it is.

 

On second thoughts, it crosses my mind that may be you are operating as a small business and maybe this wasn't a consumer purchase after all. Maybe you can clarify. Despite this, there was still no need to give up any of your contractual rights in a mediation settlement. Sorry, but it was nonsense.

It would be a good idea if you posted up a copy of the settlement here – suitably redacted.

 

I'm afraid that you got suckered into mediation. Many people seem to think that if they don't agree to mediation then it will be held against them in court. This is not true.

It's a shame that you didn't come to us first.

In terms of an action against Parcelforce, as I have already indicated they have certain protections from normal liabilities. It's really quite unfair but we have helped people make claims and Parcelforce have put their hands up. However here we are talking about a claim for £980 and they may decide to go the distance.

I'd like to start off by seeing the settlement document please.


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I'm trying to find the relevant legislation which exempts Parcelforce from normal liability. Would you mind finding the terms and conditions on the online service that you used and posting a link here please.


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Yes, I saw those already but I was looking for some legislation. I had an idea that may be The Post Office Act referred to the fact that the services provided by the post office were exempt in some way.


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In fact it is here – although it is such convoluted language that I can scarcely understand it https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/26/part/VI/crossheading/schemes-and-limitation-of-liability

 

Postal Services Act 2000


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I'm trying to understand the effect of this

 

Quote

89(4)Subject to section 92(5) and (6), no provision may be made in any scheme under this section—

(a)for limiting the liability of [F6the postal operator] for loss or damage, or

(b)for amending the rules of law relating to evidence.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/26/part/VI/crossheading/schemes-and-limitation-of-liability

 

Quote

92(5)The amount recoverable in any proceedings under section 91 in relation to a packet of any description shall not exceed—

(a)the market value of the packet at the time when the cause of action arises, or

(b)the maximum amount payable under a scheme made under section 89 for compensating the person aggrieved in respect of a packet of that description.

 

 

Does this mean that they cannot restrict liability for loss unless they have scheme in place which specifically makes it clear what the limits of any claim might be?


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And 92 (7)

 

(7)For the purposes of any proceedings under section 91, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that loss of, or damage to, the packet was due to such conduct as is mentioned in subsection (2) of that section.

 

Section 91

 

91 Limited liability for [F1postal packets].

(1)Proceedings shall lie or, in Scotland, be competent against [F2a postal operator] under this section, but not otherwise, in respect of relevant loss of, or relevant damage to, [F3a postal packet] in respect of which [F4the operator] accepts liability under this section in pursuance of a scheme made under section 89.

(2)The references in subsection (1) to relevant loss or damage are to loss or damage so far as it is due to any wrongful act of, or any neglect or default by, an officer, servant, employee, agent or sub-contractor of [F5the postal operator] while performing or purporting to perform in that capacity his functions in relation to the receipt, conveyance, delivery or other dealing with the packet.

(3)No proceedings shall lie or, in Scotland, be competent under this section in relation to a packet unless they are begun within the period of twelve months starting with the day on which the packet was posted.

(4)[F6postal operator] shall not be liable under this section in respect of a packet of any description unless such conditions (if any) as are required by a scheme under section 89 to be complied with in relation to packets of that description at the time when they are posted have been complied with in the case of the packet.

(5)For the purposes of this section and section 92 a scheme under section 89 may define a description of packet by reference to any circumstances whatever (including, in particular, the amount of any fee paid in respect of the packet in pursuance of the scheme).


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Dear BankFodder, thank you for your responses. 

 

Yes we are a small business but as there does not appear to be any information/advice/guidance relating to b2b contracts where courier services have been utilised I found this site hence my post. 

 

I apologise for not having mentioned this earlier in my posts but just needed some guidance with the mess that we seem to currently be in due to Parcel Force's negligence and there due not appear to be any separate Parcel Force T&C's where a B2B contract is concerned

 

although I am aware that there is a difference to your rights where a faulty item is concerned but at the moment I feel that I need to be concentrating on the whereabouts of the parcel and the lack of admission from Parcel Force as to whether it has been lost, stolen or otherwise.

 

With relation to the mediation settlement agreement, is there any guarantee that there will be no detriment as a result of me posting the contents of the agreement on a public forum.

 

With relation to an update on the parcel. 

I have spent over an hour on the telephone this morning trying to obtain an update but Parcel Force are unable to confirm

it's whereabouts,

where it was last seen,

where it was last scanned and

have suggested I log an online claim,

which by the way I already did yesterday but they have closed it down.

 

Thanks for your assistance to date.

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Andyorch said:

And 92 (7)

 

(7)For the purposes of any proceedings under section 91, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that loss of, or damage to, the packet was due to such conduct as is mentioned in subsection (2) of that section.

 

Section 91

 

91 Limited liability for [F1postal packets].

(1)Proceedings shall lie or, in Scotland, be competent against [F2a postal operator] under this section, but not otherwise, in respect of relevant loss of, or relevant damage to, [F3a postal packet] in respect of which [F4the operator] accepts liability under this section in pursuance of a scheme made under section 89.

(2)The references in subsection (1) to relevant loss or damage are to loss or damage so far as it is due to any wrongful act of, or any neglect or default by, an officer, servant, employee, agent or sub-contractor of [F5the postal operator] while performing or purporting to perform in that capacity his functions in relation to the receipt, conveyance, delivery or other dealing with the packet.

(3)No proceedings shall lie or, in Scotland, be competent under this section in relation to a packet unless they are begun within the period of twelve months starting with the day on which the packet was posted.

(4)[F6postal operator] shall not be liable under this section in respect of a packet of any description unless such conditions (if any) as are required by a scheme under section 89 to be complied with in relation to packets of that description at the time when they are posted have been complied with in the case of the packet.

(5)For the purposes of this section and section 92 a scheme under section 89 may define a description of packet by reference to any circumstances whatever (including, in particular, the amount of any fee paid in respect of the packet in pursuance of the scheme).

 

Yes, – but what does it all mean? I really can scarcely understand it. In desperation I decided to put it into Google translate and I got:

 

Quote

And 92 (7)

 

(7) For the purposes of any section 91, it is presumed, unless it is shown, that the loss of, or damage to, the packaging of such section (2) of that section .

 

Section 91

 

91 Limited liability for [F1postal packets].


(1) Proceedings shall be allowed in Scotland, under the heading of this article, but not otherwise, in respect of the subject of [F3a postal packet] in respect of which [F4the operator] accepts liability under this section of a scheme made under section 89.


(2) The references in subsection (1) to a loss or loss of service, or an officer, a servant, an employee, an agent or contractor of [F5the postal operator] while performing or delivering to the customer.


(3) No proceedings shall be held in Scotland, but they are in the process of being negotiated.


(4) A [F6postal operator] shall not be bound by this section in respect of a package of any description with such conditions (if any) at the time when they are posted in the box of the packet.


(5) For the purposes of this section and the definition of a package under section 89 scheme).

 

So much for Google being my learnéd-friend


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Dear BankFodder, with relation to your earlier comment about why we agreed to a settlement. 

 

Unfortunately at the time whilst this was all going on there was a lot going on in my personal life,

ie caring for my cancer stricken Mum which obviously took priority and had a bearing on my thought process etc.

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3 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

 

Yes, – but what does it all mean? I really can scarcely understand it. In desperation I decided to put it into Google translate and I got:

 

 

So much for Google being my learnéd-friend

 

It's all legalese gobbledygook which they will hide behind to off put any attempted litigation.I doubt many Judges would follow it either and would apply common sense on the basis of probability and find in the claimant's favour :biggrin:  


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54 minutes ago, unluckylady87 said:

Dear BankFodder, thank you for your responses.  Yes we are a small business but as there does not appear to be any information/advice/guidance relating to b2b contracts where courier services have been utilised I found this site hence my post.  I apologise for not having mentioned this earlier in my posts but just needed some guidance with the mess that we seem to currently be in due to Parcel Force's negligence and there due not appear to be any separate Parcel Force T&C's where a B2B contract is concerned although I am aware that there is a difference to your rights where a faulty item is concerned but at the moment I feel that I need to be concentrating on the whereabouts of the parcel and the lack of admission from Parcel Force as to whether it has been lost, stolen or otherwise.

 

With relation to the mediation settlement agreement, is there any guarantee that there will be no detriment as a result of me posting the contents of the agreement on a public forum.

 

With relation to an update on the parcel.  I have spent over an hour on the telephone this morning trying to obtain an update but Parcel Force are unable to confirm it's whereabouts, where it was last seen, where it was last scanned and have suggested I log an online claim, which by the way I already did yesterday but they have closed it down.

 

Thanks for your assistance to date.

 

 

 

 

 

This is what I gather: the post office has a universal service obligation. This means that they are obliged to deliver everywhere in the country and they're not entitled to refuse on the basis that it's not economically viable. This sets them apart from all other couriers which can decline provide a service or can charge extra depending on where the delivery is intended to go et cetera.

In return for the universal service obligation, my understanding is that the post office is protected from various claims – and my vague understanding of the Post Office Act 2000 is that if they put some kind of scheme in place limiting their liability then to a great extent they are protected from claims.

What this means is that you either have to pay for their compensation schemes or else you should use a different courier that doesn't have these protections. DPD and Hermes are two which spring to mind – although Hermes is generally speaking dreadful. Also, these two companies and all of the rest of the courier companies need wild horses to force them to accept any liability – but we are succeeding quite routinely.
The post office is a different matter and although in the past we have successfully challenged them by starting a legal action against them and then being prepared to go to the hearing whereupon they have always put their hands up, the sums which are being chased are substantially less than the 900 odd quid which you are looking for. It could well be that that kind of figure will motivate the post office to go to court. It would be interesting to see.

If you want to bring an action against them then we are happy to help you. The claim will be quite short. They will respond with a substantial document in defence – most of which we have seen before and runs to about 30 pages.
I don't know what your chances of success are – but you may consider that it will be worth the candle to recover that kind of money. The risks are fairly small because it is a small claim – but you will have to do fork out a claim fee which may be about £100 and then if it goes to a hearing you will have to pay out a hearing fee which might be about £150 – I'm not sure – and if you win you will get these back.

Of course there is always a possibility that they could put their hands up but for this kind of value it could be touch and go.

I'd like to see the redacted settlement agreement. If it is redacted to hide the claim number and the names of the parties and any other identifiers then frankly I don't see a problem.


I appreciate that you had difficult personal problems which distracted you from this – but let this be a lesson – mediation is never a good idea. A second lesson is that coming here first is always a good idea

40 minutes ago, Andyorch said:

 

It's all legalese gobbledygook which they will hide behind to off put any attempted litigation.I doubt many Judges would follow it either and would apply common sense on the basis of probability and find in the claimant's favour :biggrin:  

 

I wonder if we can get Google to turn up as an expert witness?


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Dear BankFodder, thank you.  I have to say that I did also fall into the category of "if we didn't accept mediation it would go against us in court" and to be honest I was happy with what we were awarded despite the fact that at the moment there is a serious doubt as to whether we will actually receive the awarded sum as we are unable to return the faulty item??

 

Please accept my ignorance but I am confused as to why this is anything to do with the Post Office as the claim is again Parcel Force, based on their T&C's when the contract was taken out with them.

 

With relation to the settlement agreement it clearly states on there that " the parties will keep the information contained in this agreement confidential and not use it for any other purposes"??

 

Thank you
 

 

 

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Parcelforce is simply a trading name of the post office.

If you hadn't accepted the mediation then you could have had the matter properly tested in court against the retailer – although it is highly likely that the retailer would have put their hands up. They are responsible for the faulty item and for all delivery charges and liabilities related to its return to them and its subsequent safe return to you.

Can you please post up the document which says that if you didn't accept mediation it would go against you in court.

If you really are worried about the confidentiality of your settlement agreement then please email a copy of it to me at our admin email address.


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Dear BankFodder,

I am just about to email you over a copy of the mediation settlement agreement, just to be on the safe side, you never quite no. 

 

Just to confirm that there is no document which says that if you didn't accept mediation this goes against you in court, this was my own understanding/assumption. 

 

I would like to notify you of a further development now, I felt it necessary to alert the money claim online the current situation of the parcel and that I am "currently" defaulting on what was agreed. 

 

They have advised that the problem/any resolution of this now lies with the claimant and the defendant. 

 

So, what do I do now??

 

Thank you

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I will need to see the settlement agreement in order to understand your position.

I'm very pleased that there is no such document – at least official document in existence which claims that failure to agree to mediation would prejudice your chances in court. This would be highly improper.

I'm afraid that you have become victim to some kind of urban legend. I'm sorry if this sounds as if it is a direct criticism of you – but really it is a message for others who read the thread and that is that particularly if you are in business – but in any event, if you're contemplating legal action then you should take steps to discover what it is all about and the various options – before you launch into it.

County court actions – especially small claims actions are absurdly easy and fairly risk-free but for people who don't prepare themselves, the risk is always going to be higher.


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It was just unfortunate the timing of all of this coincided with the things going on in my personal life.  I am normally a very strong person who has no problem challenging people when I think that they have done or are doing wrong.  Bereavement affects us all in different ways and lessened what is normally my very strong and challenging character. 

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I have received the agreement. Thank you

I see that there is liberty to restore in certain circumstances.

I also see that the costs of the return to be borne by the defendant even though in your opening post you say that it was you who paid for it. Can you please clarify


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It was agreed that we would organise the return and bear the costs of the carrier charges initially and would then invoice the defendant for those associated costs.  

 

Thanks

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How as that agreement arrived at?


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Incidentally, I think you can tell us the name of the dealer. Although the name is contained in the settlement agreement, it is also contained in other documents and in your initial dispute and none of these are covered by confidentiality.

 


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The agreement of us returning and being reimbursed for the associated costs was put forward by the defendant and again, as a result of weakness on my part, I agreed to it.  Obviously another bad decision!?  I will email you the details of the supplier/manufacturer via email.

 

Thanks

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