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syd16

Packlink/Hermes lost ebay parcel

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Posted (edited)

As a private seller on ebay, I sold a premium perfume for £320 using Hermes through Packlink which they then subsequently lost in transit. I didn't take out extra insurance since I had no issues with posting similar sold bottles of it previously.

 

I had to go through the stress of trying to speak to someone and waiting hours on Packlink's webchat. I also had to refund the buyer since they never received the item.

 

After weeks of investigating with Hermes, Packlink eventually declared the item lost and sent me a claim form hoping they would maybe refund me. After I sent the completed form they came back and said that alcohol based items are on their prohibited list (which I had no idea about since I see so many perfumes sold on ebay) and so I cannot make any claim at all and so I stand to lose my money.

 

I spoke with ebay but they declared they have no affiliation with Packlink and Hermes also didn't want to hear anything of it and said I had to deal with Packlink. I thought ebay would take some responsibility since they advertise Packlink on their site and provides greater convenience for sellers. They should also inform me I cannot post the item being on some prohibited list.

 

I have used the resolver site to open cases against Packlink and Hermer but don't think that is going anywhere. I have read elsewhere on similar instances in this forum that users should open a small claims case against Hermes.

 

Is that be something I should consider or the fact that the item is supposedly prohibited and I did not pay for extra insurance it would not be a good idea?

Edited by slick132
Use paragraph spacing when posting please. Post edited accordingly

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Welcome to the forum. We get lots of Hermes cases here – and you should read around and you will see the stories. We will be pleased to help you.

However, you have posted your story in a solid block of text and that makes it very difficult for people to follow and to give you the kind of support that you would otherwise get.

Please will you make sure that you post your comments well spaced and well punctuated so that it is easy for people to read.


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You can start here:-

 

 


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On 12/06/2020 at 13:58, BankFodder said:

Welcome to the forum. We get lots of Hermes cases here – and you should read around and you will see the stories. We will be pleased to help you.

However, you have posted your story in a solid block of text and that makes it very difficult for people to follow and to give you the kind of support that you would otherwise get.

Please will you make sure that you post your comments well spaced and well punctuated so that it is easy for people to read.

 

Sure, will do!

 

On 12/06/2020 at 14:01, BankFodder said:

You can start here:-

 

 

 

Thanks this is very useful. I did go through Resolver to raise a case against Hermes. They said this:

 

Quote

 

"Dear XXX,

 
Thanks for getting in touch with us about parcel number XXX
 
We’re so sorry that there’s been a delay to your delivery; we can see that there hasn’t been an update on your parcel since 18/05/2020. The last tracked point was at the ParcelShop please contact your reseller and inform them of your query so that they can contact the appropriate team at Hermes and chase the delivery.
 
Your reseller likes to ensure their customers have the most efficient resolution when there is a delay in your parcel’s movement so I would advise that you make contact with them and they will be able to help you get this resolved.
 
We understand, however your reseller has their own policies to follow for these scenarios. This is why you’re best speaking directly with them so they can make any further arrangements they feel necessary which may include a replacement or a refund.
 
Kind Regards,
 
XXX
Customer Service Advisor
Hermes Customer Services"

 

 
 
 
So effectively they pushed me towards Packlink. Packlink last said to me:
 
Quote

"Dear XXX,

We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the carrier.

Unfortunately, our terms and conditions are very clear regarding prohibited items.

Also, the item was not fully insured.

Im Afraid there is no appeal process at this point.

Best regards."

 

 

 

 

So from your advice I take it that I should try to claim compensation from Hermes.

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Well presumably you have read enough to understand that it is our view that it is not the customer who should insure against Hermes and poor handling of the goods which are placed in their care. It is Hermes themselves who should insure against their own inadequacy.
Our view is that once you have paid the price that they have asked to transport your goods, then with that comes an obligation to deliver them safely and not to lose them.

It seems grossly unfair that they could effectively have a clause in the contract which says that we undertake to deliver your goods – but if we fail then we are not liable.

So that's the first part.

The second part – as you should understand by now – is that they say that you are not covered for the loss of your goods because there was some element of alcohol contained in them – it was perfume.

 

It is inconceivable that the contents of your parcel had any effect on the risk of their loss. Clearly the loss was caused by Hermes own negligent handling of your goods and the fact that the perfume contain alcohol could not possibly have affected this.
Presumably the perfume was encased in a glass bottle – so it's quite amazing that they didn't say that glass was on the list of prohibited items – and maybe they will bring that one up later.

Generally speaking for low value items we find that Hermes put up their hands and pay out. There must be some threshold at which they decide that they won't pay out and that they will take it to court. We don't know what that threshold is.
£320 is not a huge amount it might be enough to cause Hermes to take you into court and to get a judgement.

Of course if you won – then Hermes would have a great deal of difficulty because first of all the game would be up as far as their "prohibited items list" was concerned. And it would also be up as far as the necessity for their customers to take out insurance against Hermes own carelessness.
So these two elements add considerably to Hermes risk factor. They stand the possibility of losing £320 plus costs – plus their contractual terms exposed as unenforceable.

On the other hand they may be so confident that they decide to take it to court – not so much for the £320 – but to get a judgement in their favour which confirms the enforceability of the terms and conditions.

I'm afraid that it is you who has to make the choice.

You certainly aren't going to get anything back if you don't. Don't imagine that simply firing off a warning to Hermes and even a threat of legal action giving them 14 days will produce any result.

They will test you all the way. So if you issue the claim, you will have to factor in the cost of the claim – which might be about 50 quid you have to check it out. If they then decide to go court then you will have to factor in the allocation fee which will be about £80.
At each step you will be showing to Hermes that you are serious and you are prepared to spend the money. At each step Hermes will take you more seriously and realise that this one might go the distance – and at some point they will have to decide whether to get their lawyers involved and to attend the court and to make the arguments and hope to win – but possibly they could lose.

The cost of losing to Hermes in the value of your case is negligible – even if they spend several thousands on their lawyers. However the cost of losing in terms of a judgement against them where a judge expresses the view that there terms are unenforceable – would be very significant, for Hermes and also for the entire courier industry.

So I hope I've explained it all to you. You won't get your money back if you don't issue the court claim and you may well have to take them to court.

If you decide to claim then you need to send them a letter of claim giving them 14 days or else you will sue them. Don't send this letter unless you really mean to go through with it. Don't bluff because you will lose credibility.
If you decide to make a claim then look through this forum about how to bring a small claim in the County Court. It's very easy – but it is better to be aware of the steps in advance so that you will have more confidence. You will need to register with the court service Moneyclaim website and open an account there in order to issue the papers


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Incidentally, what did Resolver say? We get lots of people saying that they are going to Resolver about problems – but we never hear about any outcome.

Also, I'm afraid that I'm going to dissolution you as to a few things.

Companies like Packlink are simply a sort of broker. They make their money by doing the absolute minimum. They put you in contact with the company which is meant to do the real work. They have no interest after they have clinched the deal. They take their commission and that's it.
There's no reason why they should invest any more in some kind of customer service operation. The easier that they make it for you to reach somebody to make your complaint, the more money it costs them. I'm sure that they predicate their customer service function to a great extent on the fact that if they make it difficult and more people give up and they will be less troubled.

So you had to go through the hoop of waiting a long time on the telephone – to make your complaint. Then they spent weeks apparently investigating – and then eventually came back to you with a claim form.

Hurdles, hurdles, hurdles.
I wonder what percentage of complainants drop out by this stage?

You spoke with eBay – who of course distance himself from the whole thing. You thought the eBay would take some responsibility because they advertise Packlink – Bless!
You don't seem to realise that you have been encouraged into a multilayered service where you are effectively in a maze and everybody is able to decline responsibility because the problem is always somebody else's.

EBay told you that you had to deal with Packlink. Packlink is in Spain so if you really wanted to attack them, you would have a lot of difficulty because they are out of the jurisdiction. Coincidence…?
Hurdles, hurdles, hurdles.

EBay have told you that they have no affiliation with Packlink – but I'll bet you that they are pretty closely involved – and I'll bet you that eBay find it extremely convenient to have the extra layer available with which to frustrate people whose parcel delivery has gone wrong.


An irrelevant prohibited items list – hurdles, hurdles, hurdles. I wonder what percentage of people take the "prohibited items" list at face value when their property is lost and drop out at that stage.

He then opened a case with Resolver. Of course Resolver is independent – but I'm afraid I have a strong sense that Resolver is pretty limp wristed and certainly is not sufficiently aggressive or assertive enough to do anything other than to attempt some kind of negotiation and basically feedback to you what Hermes said.
The problem is that people who go to Resolver, tend to feel that they've gone to an authoritative source of help and that whatever Resolver says, is the end of the matter. I'm afraid that I think that an organisation like Resolver, although it probably produces some good results, where there is a tricky situation, then they simply tend to perpetuate the status quo – and the status quo with the courier industry is that you need to get insurance and you need to make sure your items aren't on the prohibited items list – regardless of what has happened.

At the end, you should avoid these brokers. You should make your own arrangements and deal with courier companies directly. They were still trying to wriggle out of their proper obligations by saying that you need some kind of insurance or saying that your items on the prohibited list – but at least you know exactly who you are dealing with and you won't be led round by the nose – as you have been so far.

Finally, you should avoid Hermes at all costs. Although they have many satisfied customers – they have a huge problem both with their couriers and with their so-called customer support.

There are several Hermes complaints groups on Facebook. Here is one https://www.facebook.com/groups/hermessuck which has about 10,500 members at the moment. A week ago there was barely 9000.

That shows you the extent of the problem – but the sad thing is that as far as I can make out most of the people on this Facebook group and others are not achieving any resolution. There simply spending their time asking each other what is the best telephone number to call and how can they avoid waiting is too long et cetera blah blah.

Hermes is well aware of these groups and is probably very comfortable with the fact that they exist because those people are all corralled together not getting anywhere and not making trouble at the open.

Of course what is really needed is a revolution of these 10,000 people ought to start bringing their own legal actions – but of course like most reasonable people, they want to lead their lives quietly and legitimately – and pay their money for a service – and in return get the service that they paid for. It seems that it doesn't happen all the time with Hermes.

 

 


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I've suddenly realised that maybe Hermes attempt to decline liability or to restrict your right of action in respect of items which are on a "prohibited goods" list – or because you haven't bought an "insurance" is contrary to statute law.

If I'm right on this then this is the killer argument.
 

it seems to me that section 49 – Consumer Rights Act requires a service to be carried out with reasonable care and skill. No issues there.

Then section 57 Consumer Rights Act Specifically says

 

Quote

1 A term of a contract to supply services is not binding on the consumer to the extent that it would exclude the trader’s liability arising under section 49 (service to be performed with reasonable care and skill).

 

Which to my mind addresses precisely what Hermes and the other courier companies are trying to do.

I haven't had a lot of time to look through the rest of the part of the Act dealing with supply of services – and it may be that somewhere in there is something which excludes the kind of behaviour that you are getting from the courier companies – but somehow I doubt it.

If I'm right, then if you were to take this to court, your chances of success would rise from about 80% too much better than 95%


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I've had a slightly closer look at the provision of services sections in the Consumer Rights Act together with the section on unfair terms and also appendix 2 which gives a nonexhaustive list of examples of unfair terms – and I see nothing to change my opinion that Hermes and all the other courier companies are acting in breach of these statutory requirements.

I would suggest that you go for it


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Thanks for your assistance!

 

Just to check, it is Packlink who refused my claim for loss.

 

My only contact with Hermes has been through Resolver (their reply above). It's impossible to speak to someone over the phone, the only method of contact with Hermer I can see is through their automated chatbot 'Holly'. I still have 12 days before I can escalate the case to Customer Relations.

 

I take on board what you have stated and from what you have mentioned on the Consumer Rights Act I am prepared to go through the court route. Should I wait to escalate the case first and try to make a claim against Hermes through Resolver?

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Forget Resolver.

 

Begin the claim through Hermes using the normal complaints mechanism and then when they come back to you having refused your claim then come back here and we will help you begin a legal action.

Meanwhile you should look through this website to find out more about bringing a small claim in the county court. It's very easy but it is worth while knowing the steps in advance because this will give you more confidence


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OK I have tried Hermes but not able to get anywhere with them. I can only raise it to them through their chat system and they came back saying I need to deal with the reseller i.e. Packlink.

 

I am just waiting on ebay in the meantime - I raised the issue with them on the weekend and they have sent a 'white glove' request for a refund and I should hear back in 7-10 working days. I don't think that will go through successfully so if that fails then I will proceed with making a small claim against Hermes. Would appreciate your assistance with that.

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No problem.

Let us know what you hear and then we will go through it all and help you produce a letter of claim and also a draft particulars of claim.

In the meantime please read up about how to bring a small claim in the County Court. We have lots of information on this site. It's very easy but you need to know the steps.

Register on the court service Moneyclaim online website and have a look round and get used to it.


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Ok thanks I will definitely read up on that. Will get back to you here once ebay confirm.

 

I just read about the others who have had a similar experience with even more expensive items! (guitar and digital camera)

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Yes, you are just insignificant small fry – but Hermes will still spend far more than the compensation is worth to avoid their responsibilities. Just watch


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