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Annadina

Paclink Hermes 'missing' parcel scandal

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Hello,

I am a victim, probably like many others, of Hermes and Paclink 'losing' items of high value and only compensating £25 which is akin to theft.

 

As we prepare for our baby's arrival we've been clearing out and selling stuff on ebay. I had sold a few items and used Hermes no problems. When we sold a higher value item, a Burlington Shower, (rrp £700) for £522, I again selected Hermes next day delivery for £6.94 via Ebay's own delivery platform, paclink. 

 

This was 9th March 2020. 

By 26th March 2020, the item had not arrived and I had to refund the buyer. 

 

Paclink tracking number: GB2020EBAY0004909689 

Hermes tracking number: 5641 2587 5736 9215

 

Paclink and Hermes freely admitted they'd lost the item and offered me a refund of the £6.94 delivery fee, plus £25 standard compensation, leaving me nearly £500 out of pocket. Paclink sent me £25 and closed the case.  I never spoke to a real person. 

 

I used the European Resolver body to contact Hermes who responded that 

 

Unfortunately Hermes and Paclink are two separate companies and we cannot get involved with Paclink regarding any claims. I can confirm we have no reason to suspect foul play regarding your parcel. 

 

Kind regards, 

 

Amanda Hutchinson, Hermes Escalations Department, Hermes, 1 Capitol Close, Moreley, Leeds, LS27 0WH T: 0344 522 7341.

 

I don't know what to do in this situation, feel exploited and powerless. Its a terrible state of affairs and feels like it could even be criminal. Someone somewhere is using a loophole to not care about the service being sold and profiteering from other people's losses.  I saw the Channel 4 program 'Joe Lycett's got your back' and saw van loads of well labelled packages being sold off to an auction house in Birmingham. What happens to the proceeds of those sales? It all seems very strange and nefarious and I would love some help to get my money back please!

 

Thank you,

Annadina 

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What value did you declare for the item?

Did you get one of their so-called "compensation" packages?


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I declared £522 (the sold price on ebay) and asked for the postage back too £6.94. 

 

Yes, I was offered the standard £25 'compensation'.

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I've got a feeling that you think I'm asking you about the value which you declared when you made your claim for the lost parcel.

Just to confirm – I'm asking you what value did you declare when you made the delivery arrangements?

Also, you say that you were offered the standard £25 compensation. Did you accept that?

I'm a bit concerned because £6.94 seems slightly on the cheap side for a next day delivery.

It's very important that we know exactly what information you gave to them when you made the delivery arrangements


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Oh, I checked again the details are as follows: I declared £522 as the value. I attach the Paclink shipment note and it looks like a 3 day delivery rather than next day. 

Paclink delivery Hermes shower.pdf

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Thank you – and I understand that you didn't take out any compensation cover.

You should read around some of the Hermes threads on this forum. I have always taken the view that once you pay for the delivery costs, then you are entitled to have the item delivered safely and if not then the delivery company is in breach – and in fact the delivery broker – Paclink is also in breach.
I think it should be unnecessary for you to insure yourself against the breach of their service provider. It is the service provider who should insure themselves against any incidents of lost  parcels.

The Joe Lycett's got your back programme on Hermes was extremely useful. I notice that there are a couple of instances of it on YouTube. Of course they are in breach of copyright and it wouldn't at all surprise me if they are taken down at some point. I suggest that you make fairly urgent arrangements to get a copy of this programme onto your computer because you may need it. It would not be a breach of copyright to produce it before a court – although the judge may already have seen it or have heard it.

Have you actually began a claim against Hermes? I think you should begin their claims process immediately – but I certainly think that you should download a copy of the programme immediately as well.

Of course Hermes will try to say that you are not their customer and that  their client is Paclink. Of course that is true. On that basis Hermes will try to say that they are out of your reach in terms of bringing a legal action because you are not party to their contract with Paclink. However, Under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act, where the contract is clearly intended to address you as a beneficiary and where your interests are not specifically excluded by the contract, then you inherit all of the rights of the contracting parties – as if you were a party to the contract.

So I suggest that you begin the claims process against Hermes, download the programme so that you have got that safely stored away in your armoury and then come back here with the results of your Hermes complaint.

I can predict fairly confidently now that you will have to threaten a legal action – and probably you will have to issue the papers. There is then a chance that Hermes may put their hands up – but on the other hand they may decide to test your resolve by forcing you onto the next step where you have to pay hearing fee. If you do that then they will start to take you more seriously and then they may put their hands up – but they may decide to go all the way and see you in court.
Because you are a litigant in person – even though you would be the claimant, the case would be transferred to your local court. That would produce logistical problems for Hermes who would have to instruct a local legal representative and they would incur costs there. These costs will not be recoverable under the small claims rules because your claim would be for less than £10,000.

If you won the case then you would get your money, plus interest – presently at 8% (a nice earner) plus your costs. Your risk factors are that if you lost, then you would come away empty-handed but also you will be out of pocket to the tune of your fees and you would probably have to pay for the reasonable costs of travel for the Hermes legal representative – but that would be it.
On the basis of what you have told us, I consider that your eventual chances of success at about 85%.

Hermes risk factors include having to pay you back the value of your item, having to refund you your court costs and your reasonable costs of travel – but more significantly for Hermes, a defeat in court where they try to rely on the fact that you hadn't bought a compensation package would send a good message across an industry which seems to have produced a culture going back there are 30 or 40 years where customers who pay their money now believe that they must also pay to insure against the negligence of their own service providers – two home have they have already paid the contractual price of performance.

How this ever happened is a mystery to me.
 

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By the way, the reason that you wouldn't proceed against Paclink is because they are out of the jurisdiction – in Spain


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Thank you for your helpful advice here. I have just emailed hermes with the following email and look forward to a swift conclusion to this case.o whom it may concern,

 
Quote

 

1st June 2020. 
 
I am writing to complain about a ‘lost’ package that has left me over £500 out of pocket. I will not let this go or be fobbed off with a £25 payout.
 
I am expecting a baby and clearing out items we don’t need. On 9th March 2020, I sold a shower on eBay for £522 and selected Hermes as the delivery service provider. I paid £6.94 for the delivery and did not opt for extra insurance as I do not think it should be necessary to insure myself against a breach of service, including incidents of lost parcels. By 26th March 2020, the item was declared lost by yourselves and Paclink and I had to refund my buyer, leaving me out of pocket. I opened a case with Paclink who offered me £25 ’standard compensation’. I do not accept this as a reasonable conclusion or offer that I will accept. 
 

 

Paclink tracking number: GB2020EBAY0004909689 
Hermes tracking number: 5641 2587 5736 9215
 
Under the Contracts (Right of Third Parties) Act, where the contract between Packlink and Hermes is clearly intended to address me as a beneficiary and where my interests are not specifically excluded by the contract, then I inherit all of the rights of the contracting parties, as if I, the customer, were party to the contract. 
 
I have a copy of the Joe Lycett’s Got your back TV program aired on Channel 4 recently which I am happy to show to a judge in a court of law, if they have not seen it already by now.
 
I would like to request the full value of my sent item is refunded to me immediately, £522, so as to avoid further action. Should I claim this back through a small claims court, this figure would require you to pay an additional 8% interest plus my costs to bring the case to court. 
 
Thank you for your prompt treatment of this matter. I am happy to provide bank details for BACS transfer or my address should you prefer to send a cheque.
 
 
Best wishes,
 

 

 

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Thank you – but have you actually gone through the Hermes standard claims process?


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No I've written direct to customer services and copied in the CEO.

 

Actually, I had complained to Hermes via Resolver previously so I guess I have been through a standard process already yes. 

 

They just said 'Paclink issue nothing to do with us' so trying a more direct approach now. 

 

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Well I think you are rushing at it like a bull in a china shop.

You should begin their complaints process so that you can show that you have gone through the proper procedures and exhausted them. Because you are claiming third party contractual rights, it is part of the contract that if there is a problem then you should follow certain procedures.

Also, your letter is far too detailed. You shouldn't be disclosing this kind of thing that this point.

I suggest that if you want to send any more letters, you post them here first so we can have a look.

Also you are already threatening court action – well that's fine – but have you ever issued a county court claim before? Have you any idea of the steps that you need to take?

I think you ought to be more careful, more steady – and more subtle and understated in your approach


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I am very pregnant and very frustrated and want a quick resolution. I thought I had followed your advice, but do accept bull in a china shop analogy. Thank you for offering to review further letters.

 

By the way, why is it too detailed at this stage? Won't that just save a lot of back and forth communications?

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There won't be a quick solution – and you probably had better get used to that idea.

You certainly weren't following my advice. I specifically said that you should begin their complaints process immediately - and I think that you should do that. If you think that I didn't advise this then I would suggest that you start reading my posts – and the other threads on this forum rather more carefully.

I think that your correspondence should keep to a minimum the amount of information which is necessary to be communicated to achieve your ends.

Unfortunately is too late to re-call the email which you have sent – but it looks like a load of bluster and it will simply bring comfort to Hermes who are well used to this kind of thing. You don't seem to realise that they probably receive hundreds of ranting emails every week – and they all get consigned to the bin. The more it blusters – the less seriously they take it.

I suggest that you start reading up about the pre-action protocol and how to bring a small claims in the County Court. That would put your time to good use


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When I go through Hermes customer services it offers to chat with a virtual bot, Holly, or call them or email with your complaint. What do you mean by standard procedure? I've been through this with both Paclink and Resolver so have evidence of the 'loss' being admitted and the £25 being offered, which I refused. I thought that would be sufficient back up?

 

I will also now read up on country court applications. 

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It's completely up to you. I'm giving you advice in your best interests. How much time is it going to take few simply to go through their bots or whatever their procedures and log the complaint/claim of a lost item? Hopefully you would also get a claims reference number from them which you will be able to quote in further correspondence and also in a court document.


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Okay I see your point. I have now obtained a reference number from Holly the bot and someone will email me apparently.. 200601-005728 

 

 

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Good. Now spend some time reading up on the other Hermes threads on this forum and also about bringing a small claim in the County Court. I can imagine that it will probably be about two weeks before you issue a letter of claim – giving 14 days so you would be issuing proceedings in about a month.
Give Hermes up to a month to put in a defence.
Then all the rest of the rigmarole – if it goes to a hearing you could be looking at six months.


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Posted (edited)

So as you predicted, Hermes have brushed me off saying this is a Paclink issue and they cannot assist further. At least I have a complaint ref number from this exchange. I am thinking to now send the formal Letter before small Claims court action and wonder if you could review the following:

 

 

 

Second part of letter: 

 

Edited by BankFodder
JPG images removed

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I think I've already suggested earlier in this thread that you should post these kinds of things in PDF format please


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Letter before small claims court claim.pdf

2 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

I think I've already suggested earlier in this thread that you should post these kinds of things in PDF format please

Sorry, I was copying and pasting from a word doc, not sure why it came up as an image. 

 

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Thank you. It's rather wordy.  In particular, your offering them 28 days. You are offering the mediation. You are disclosing evidence and generally giving away your position before you need to.

You need to think about giving them the minimum of information so that they will show you their hand before you show them yours. I also don't understand why you want to give them 28 days.
If you want to deal with this then you need to take control and be assertive about it.

 

Quote

Dear Sir/Mdm

Letter of Claim

your tracking number X X X and your claim reference number X X X

 

On X X X date you undertook you undertook to deliver a parcel containing a shower unit value of £522.

This item was properly declared and valued on your website as part of the delivery instruction.

The parcel has not been delivered and on X X X date you admitted that you had lost the parcel.

As you are aware, I submitted a claim under the above reference number and you have declined to reimburse me my loss.

I hold you liable for your negligent handling of my delivery and for your breach of the delivery contract.

If I do not receive full reimbursement of the value of this item within 14 days I shall issue a claim against you in the County Court for its value plus interest plus my court fees and without any further notice.

Yours faithfully

 

I would suggest that you model your letter of claim this proposed draft. – But before you send the letter, the absolute satisfied in your mind that you will issue the claim on day 15. Don't bluff because you will just lose even more credibility.

If you haven't read the steps about taking a small claim then I suggest that you do so before you start firing off letters of claim. Also I suggest that you open an account with the moneyclaim website and get to know your way around it.
Make sure that you have a plan. You can be certain that they won't respond to you or else they will simply repeat the same old stuff and that you will have to issue the claim.

I understand that you may shortly be having a baby. If you think that this is likely to get in the way of you conducting the claim through its various procedures then you should think twice about getting involved at this stage.


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In fact I just realised that the programme on YouTube is actually on Channel 4's own channel so it's not breach of copyright at all. Still, get a copy.

 

Quote

 

 


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Hello, 

 

I've just heard back from Hermes after going through their complaints department and writing directly. THey are fobbing me off with 'Paclink's contractual agreement'. 

 

I attach both the response from Hermes. 

 

Have you actually had cases won where the order was placed through Paclink broker rather than Hermes directly?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Anna

Hermes response to my email 02.06.2020.pdf

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I'm afraid we've had so many Hermes stories that I've lost track. We certainly had quite a few involving Paclink and of course because they are based in Spain it's very useful for eBay and Hermes to build in this kind of buffer so that for most people Hermes are untouchable – and I suppose they rely on people's ignorance.

Certainly quite a number of people have begun legal actions against Hermes regardless of Paclink on the basis of the Rights of Third Parties legislation and I seem to think that Hermes generally speaking put their hands up.

If they want to say that the Third Parties Act doesn't apply to them then they would have to produce a copy of the contract with Paclink – and so far I believe that they are unwilling to do so.

I notice that they don't even spell Paclink correctly Packlink! not that it's particularly important.

It's up to you. Hopefully you have understood by now the process of bringing a small claim. It's not difficult but you need to know the steps in advance to give you confidence. I made you aware of the risk factors – and of course if you win then Bravo. If you lose then I'm afraid it's your loss – we are simply trying to help you stand up against this company which habitually causes problems for its customers when its customers property are lost or broken.
You're going down a familiar path here.

I've already pointed out the risk factors for Hermes – but I think that their biggest risk factors are that if they lose, it will be because the court has recognised the rights of third parties – and also because the courts have recognised that it's ridiculous to ask customers to insure against breaches by the service provider.

If these 2 Points Find Their Way into a judgement then it will make a very serious difference to the entire courier industry – and I can guarantee that there will be press interest – I will make sure of it.


 


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