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2 Postmen each gave a Special Delivery parcel to people outside the properties in the street - i've now issued a court claim

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I sent a rolex watch to my customer by Royal Mail Special Delivery.

The parcel did not get delivered.

 

I reported it to the police and the postal delivery worker agreed in her statement that she gave the parcel to a person waiting outside the address.

Unfortunately, the contract for 9am delivery is limited to £50.

I feel the contract is null and void due to the negligence of the postman and I should therefore be free to claim to value of my loss rather than £50.

 

Any ideas gratefully received.


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I sent a rolex watch to my customer by Royal Mail Special Delivery. The parcel did not get delivered. I reported it to the police and the postal delivery worker agreed in her statement that she gave the parcel to a person waiting outside the address. Unfortunately, the contract for 9am delivery is limited to £50. I feel the contract is null and void due to the negligence of the postman and I should therefore be free to claim to value of my loss rather than £50. Any ideas gratefully received.

 

http://www.royalmail.com/business/services/sending/parcels-uk/next-day-delivery

To protect against loss or damage, Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am has inclusive compensation cover of £50 while Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm has inclusive compensation cover of £500.

 

Both services give you the option to increase your cover up to the value of £2,500. You can also purchase tiered consequential loss cover up to the value of £10,000.

 

You don't want "the contract null and void". You want the £50 compensation limit ruled unfair and void.

 

However, as you could have paid more and got a higher compensation limit, I doubt that strategy will work.

(The test of "reasonableness" includes, amongst other factors, if there were different options available or if the contentious option was "imposed" as the only option).

 

Given you had the option to pay more and get a higher compensation limit, you will find it hard to claim the £50 limit is unfair / unreasonable.

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heres the thing, did the person at the post office when you were sending the item advise you of the compensation limit, because if they did and you still didnt up the costs to cover for loss it will then be your fault for not covering it.

 

yes its unfortunate that some random person signed for it, but then again its a major flaw in the signature process since NOBODY when doign a delivery withr its royalmail or dpd do they ever ask for ID to prove who you are.

 

So the only chance you have of getting a legal fight in court (as thats the ONLY way the delivery courier will allow you to fight this or them give you anyting) is to prove tht the post office person messed up

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I will have to check regarding whether my staff member was advised of other values. However, my contention is that regardless of the value insured, the item was lost due to negligent and careless activity by the postman. I wish to claim for my losses and not be limited by a contract which the post office issue. I consider their contract should only be useful in limiting their liability if they had performed it fully, but as they failed to perform it through negligence, I should be free to simply claim my loss.


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what you dont seem to understand or that you dont wish to acknowledge, in the eye of the court, as you have stated the cover of compensation for the delivery was just £50. so it really doesnt matter if the delivery driver was careless or not by gaining a signature which wasnt who it was supposed to be, the fact is the compensation amount doesnt cover the rolex by any stretch and by you saying it doesnt matter and your argument is the courtiers carelessness wont matter in court.

 

HOWEVER as stated, IF you can PROVE the post office staff did not advise on compensation amount or ask what the contents were, THAT is where you will be able to retrieve the full amount in compensation but only via legal means as thats the likely route the delivery service will go through as i can bet all they will do is say sorry and give you a measly amount.

 

Oh, and like i said EVERY delivery courier accepts a signature and NEVER asks for ID, which of course you would expect they would do.

 

also do you have cctv at this place.

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I will have to check regarding whether my staff member was advised of other values. However, my contention is that regardless of the value insured, the item was lost due to negligent and careless activity by the postman. I wish to claim for my losses and not be limited by a contract which the post office issue. I consider their contract should only be useful in limiting their liability if they had performed it fully, but as they failed to perform it through negligence, I should be free to simply claim my loss.

 

I think you'll still fail.

 

Limitation / exclusion clauses can still limit (or exclude) negligence (though cannot do so for personal injury / death).

 

http://www.out-law.com/en/topics/projects--construction/construction-claims/exclusion-and-limitation-clauses/

 

For example, a clause purporting to limit or exclude a party's liability for negligence – other than negligence which causes personal injury or death, which cannot be limited in any way – will only be effective if it is reasonable. A clause purporting to limit or exclude a party's liability for breach of contract will be subject to the reasonableness test if the other party is a consumer or if the other party is a business and the parties have contracted on one of the parties' written standard terms and conditions.

 

As noted previously by me, the Royal Mail will state their limitation can be applied to negligence as this is not regarding personal injury, nor death ; they'll also state it is "reasonable" as they gave you options to pay more for greater cover & you chose the inducement (to take lower cover) of paying a lesser fee.

 

Is it a "reasonable" limitation? Only a court can decide, but Schedule 2 of UCTA 1977 sets out guidelines for the court.

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/50/schedule/2

 

including:

(b) whether the customer received an inducement to agree to the term,

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These are useful replies and give me a few hurdles to jump. However, they are all based on Royal Mails contract which is limiting their liability and (according to the earlier replies most of you consider their contract will successfully defend any claim). Is there anything out there which can actually be help me?

 

I am a business and therefore unfair terms in consumer contracts are not that helpful.

 

The majority of my loss (trade cost price) was covered by my insurers.......I am seeking to claim for unisured loss......ie the excess and other costs.

 

I must say, that when the parcel was sent (costing hugely more than usuall because of the 9am delivery time), it did not occur to us that cover was reduced from £500 to only £50. We were all shocked to find that out......so there might be a case that we were never advised at the point of sending.

 

ALSO. The postman was intercepted outside the address in London. BUT, a second Rolex also went missing the day before outside an address in Manchester.

 

We have actually lost two watches in two seperate but identical incidents in two days.........both postmen were intercepted by a person claiming to be the addressee who was in a hurry and on their way to work.

 

This is a huge security weakness, but I wonder if the Royal Mail were aware of it and this is why they reduce the cover for pre 9am delivery? I wonder also, if they have rules which require identification to be produced when delivering to a person but who is not at the address? or, if they have rules which forbid delivering unless it is at the address.

 

I do accept the weakness of my position is made so, because of their contract. But I would hope any judge will see that in these two claims, the post office have been so lapse that it can be shown to be unfair that I should suffer for their negligence.


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Twice in different areas, in exactly the same manner

 

Something smells here

 

Do you employ other staff?

 

Is this an inside job?

 

Are the "buyers linked"


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Not particularly fishy. Simple credit card transactions, posting to cardholders authorised and registerered address. The fraudster waits for the postman and convinces him to hand over the package. I guess nothing lost if the postman refuses to handover in the street and correctly delivers to the address......in which case the cardholder gets a surprise when they open the post and find a Rolex.......until they eventually read their card statement and find out they bought it. But, they get their money back and I get the watch back. In this case it appears the fraudster is the same person.

 

It seems wrong that we have to buy security. We expect the postmen to do their job right. We pay them to deliver to the address and they didnt do it. They should be liable for their failure. Yet, still so far, their contract limits their liability to £50.

 

I need something else to attack them with rather than defending against their contract.


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Not particularly fishy. Simple credit card transactions, posting to cardholders authorised and registerered address. The fraudster waits for the postman and convinces him to hand over the package. I guess nothing lost if the postman refuses to handover in the street and correctly delivers to the address......in which case the cardholder gets a surprise when they open the post and find a Rolex.......until they eventually read their card statement and find out they bought it. But, they get their money back and I get the watch back. In this case it appears the fraudster is the same person.

 

It seems wrong that we have to buy security. We expect the postmen to do their job right. We pay them to deliver to the address and they didnt do it. They should be liable for their failure. Yet, still so far, their contract limits their liability to £50.

 

I need something else to attack them with rather than defending against their contract.

 

"I need something else to attack them with rather than defending against their contract"

 

Fair enough. (Common law) Contract law in England & Wales goes back to at least 1602 (Pinnel's case).

Sorry that you don't like my interpretation of the situation including current law.

 

Give me a decade or so to get elected Prime Minister & I'll see what statute law I can get introduced, or I can just (currently) invent an answer you'll prefer more (until you discover you can't rely on it in court .......

 

You asked for advice. You don't like the advice you have received. That doesn't mean

a) the advice you have had is wrong

b) something else (valid) "to attack them with" exists.

 

"Something to attack them with" might exist. However, nothing springs to mind in tort (negligence) unless Royal Mail made a negligent MIS-statement (Hedley Burne v Hedder), which no-one has suggested in the facts stated so far. Thus you are left with contract law, a non-starter for the reasons stated.

 

BTW

a) as a business, and

b) with (other) insurance makes it even less likely you would succeed in claiming the limitation clause was unreasonable & thus unfair.

Again, this may not be what you want to hear, but it as my understanding of how the law stands (UCTA 1977)

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If you do not mind me saying, if the postman does not personally know the addressee then they would not hand over a special delivery in the street. It is against the Royal Mail delivery security standards. It will be classed as Gross Misconduct and a dismissal offence

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I would have thought the same. Are you saying there are Delivery Security Standards? It would be good to review these to see if the postman are trained or not in such scenarios and whether he followed procedure.

 

I guess though, from the other posts, the contract allows the RM to be as negligent as heck as long as they are happy to pay out £50.


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The normal compensation is a book of first class stamps

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Posties are not allowed to deliver to someone outside an address unless the door is open. It could be an interception. No requirement for seeing Id on getting a signature from someone at an address. But there is a new deliver to neighbour procedure. Stickers are available to put on your door to opt out. Or the sender can address the packet with a note not to do this. So if the postie delivered to someone waiting outside and the door wasn't open they were in the wrong. But compensation is limited to the amount stated to RM by the vendor or less, depending on how it's sent. Special delivery mail can be insured to higher levels. Regular mail has a low compensation level.

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I can't believe you are sending rolexs via royal mail without first checking the insurance options. I'm sorry, but that stinks of trying to save a penny and then throwing you toys out of the pram when it goes wrong.

 

As a business, I think you need to review your security arrangements and shipping handling methods.

 

A judge is going to laugh at you if you try this in court.

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The OP had his own insurance to cover the trade cost of the watches. He is looking to recover his uninsured losses (excess, etc).

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But there is a new deliver to neighbour procedure.

 

Delivery to Neighbour excludes Special Delivery items. See: http://www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/delivery-to-neighbour#faq-19350918-19350909

 

The following are excluded from Delivery to Neighbour, so there would be no attempt to deliver to a neighbour, even if you have not opted out:

  • Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®
  • Inbound international requiring a signature
  • Do Not Redirect items
  • Citations (which carry the appropriate instruction on the envelope) sent Royal Mail Signed For® by the Scottish Courts


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Just re visiting this problem. Eventually, my insurers settled the cost price of the goods. So I am left with the uninsured losses. I accept the points mentioned above will form an argument RM will use against me.

 

My defence might well have to rest on not being advised at the post office counter that the compensation limits were reduced. In fact, because we are daily visitors to the post office, they rarely ask us whats in the parcel or values anymore (although that depends on who is behind the counter). £500 compensation was understood, not £50.

 

It seems to me that both posties failed to abide by any training policy. Is there a training policy which is taught to the posties regarding how they should conduct the delivery of these parcels? If so, can I get a copy of these instructions? Or, if they are not instructed, do they rely on a pep talk from their trainer or supervisor? Is it a couple weeks of seminars at the office or on the job, ad hoc?

 

I am trying to add weight to my argument that such careless behaviour, so far removed from solid written training policy, will allow me to make RM seem so negligent a judge will support my claim. Afterall, this is not a matter of insuring against a parcel being damaged as it passes through the machinery or lost in the bottom of a sack, or even stolen by the postie. It happened twice at two different locations.

 

Why is the compensation level for pre 9am reduced to £50? Is it because RM recognise the risk of a postie being intercepted is higher? If not, does anybody know?

 

I am expecting to make a court case over the next few months so any help would be great. Now, I know many points suggested above are not what I want to hear. They explain why I don't have much of a chance. I would like to hear of ideas that will give me a chance, please.


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I didnt realise that there was a reduced compensation for special delivery before 9.00 am - especially as you pay double the cost of the before 1pm service for which there is £500.00 compensation ?

 

 

 

Choose your options

 

Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm™

 

Looking for a service you can trust at a great price? Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm™ is the answer. We’ll deliver your item before 1:00 pm the next working day, guaranteed or we’ll refund your money. The benefits include:

 

money back guarantee if your item doesn't arrive on time

end to end tracking and signature on delivery online or via your mobile

compensation cover up to £500 for loss and damage

additional compensation available up to £2,500

ideal for sending valuable items such as money or jewellery

send items up to 20kg

guaranteed Saturday delivery for an additional fee

consequential loss cover up to a maximum of £10,000 (available for an additional fee)

 

Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am™ *

 

1pm not early enough? Choose Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am™*, and we’ll get your letter or parcel there by 9:00am* the next working day or we’ll refund your money. We offer:

 

money back guarantee if your item doesn’t arrive on time

end to end tracking and signature on delivery online or via your mobile

compensation cover up to £50 for loss and damage

additional compensation available up to £2,500

send items up to 2kg

Guaranteed Saturday deliver for an additional fee

consequential loss cover up to a maximum of £10,000 (available for an additional fee)

 

*Exceptions apply – please see terms and conditions Opens in new window .

 

http://www.royalmail.com/personal/uk-delivery/special-delivery


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PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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I didnt realise that there was a reduced compensation for special delivery before 9.00 am - especially as you pay double the cost of the before 1pm service for which there is £500.00 compensation ?

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.royalmail.com/personal/uk-delivery/special-delivery

 

You pay extra for the earlier delivery.

You can pay "extra extra" for £500 compensation, or even more for up to £2500 cover for value

 

Consequential loss cover would be another optional (chargeable) extra

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So RM have made a breach in contract by failing to deliver, plus failing to obtain signature, plus losing the parcel. Two posties , two addresses, two days. But they don't have any liability apart from £50 each ? Since when would any other business be able to sell off its liability to offer care. You could argue that if you pay a lower fee you will get a lesser service, but in fact the fee was nearly three times the cost of the standard fee. and I had no idea whatever that the service was reduced. In any case, a lower fee does not imply you can get away with such breaches in care.


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So RM have made a breach in contract by failing to deliver, plus failing to obtain signature, plus losing the parcel. Two posties , two addresses, two days. But they don't have any liability apart from £50 each ? Since when would any other business be able to sell off its liability to offer care. You could argue that if you pay a lower fee you will get a lesser service, but in fact the fee was nearly three times the cost of the standard fee. and I had no idea whatever that the service was reduced. In any case, a lower fee does not imply you can get away with such breaches in care.

 

See my previous replies from Sept 2015.

You (as a business) contracted with RM as a business.

You could have paid more for a higher level of insurance cover.

For the reasons cited in Sept 2015 : I doubt a court would find RM's limitation clause unfair, certainly not for a business to business contract.

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Yes you pay extra for earlier service, but why is the compensation level less? And at what point does a business get away with reducing their liability to basic levels of care. I am a retailer but cannot charge my customers less in order to remove my liability to them or their product.

 

We are not talking about whether I should have been paying more for higher level of compensation. We are talking about RM wheedling out of liability and being able to get away with it, despite appalling lack of care. Regardless of the price paid, RM breached the contract.

 

Still hoping to find out what (if any) guidlines or training is provided for their posties, anybody ?


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Yes you pay extra for earlier service, but why is the compensation level less? And at what point does a business get away with reducing their liability to basic levels of care. I am a retailer but cannot charge my customers less in order to remove my liability to them or their product.

 

We are not talking about whether I should have been paying more for higher level of compensation. We are talking about RM wheedling out of liability and being able to get away with it, despite appalling lack of care. Regardless of the price paid, RM breached the contract.

 

Still hoping to find out what (if any) guidlines or training is provided for their posties, anybody ?

 

Compensation is less because you are already paying more, for the 'earlier' service. You can restore the compensation to its previous level (or increase it), by paying more.

 

You could charge your customers more for a "less good" service, if you were offering them another advantage, like speedier delivery (or delivery by 9 am instead of by 1 pm........).

Yes RM breached the contract, that isn't in dispute. You seem unable to accept that they have a valid limitation clause.

So, they breached the contract, but their liability remains limited.

 

You seem to send quote a few items by Special Delivery : if you don't agree to the terms (as a business contracting with another bsuiness), negotiate a contract you are happier with, elsewhere!.

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