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Hermes lost parcel - no compensation

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Hi, hope you can advice.


I had received an metal ceiling light fitting from retailer Bothy Blue but I wanted to return it as it didn't fit the description. I had to return myself and for this I chose Hermes.


The value of the item is £89 and the service from Hermes which cost £8.99 included cover. The parcel which was securely packaged in the original packaging was collected and scanned on 6th May.


I made contact with  the retailer on 19th May expecting it to have been received but they confirmed they hadn't. I checked the tracking which said it should move within 24hours. A few days later I contacted the retailer again as on 21st May tracking said it was out with the recipients local courier for delivery. I asked the retailer if people are at the address to sign for the item. The retailer said for some reason Hermes won't deliver parcels to our address at the moment but if they send it back to you we'll send you a returns label.


Since then there has been no update to the tracking and the parcel as of today shows as active.


I have email the complaints department and attach the email history to this post. Firstly Hermes say they have it scanned as delivered. At that point I checked again with the retailer who said they still haven't received it. Hermes closed the case. I reopened it to say the retailer hadn't got it and asking for compensation for lost package. At that point I got the message to say sorry but they get millions of parcels and they can't sweep for mine and it's not eligible for compensation as it is on their excluded from cover list! As far as they're concerned that's the end of it.


As far as I'm concerned, they are liable for both the cost of the lost package and the cost of the undelivered service. 


how do I proceed?

Hermes parcel details.pdf Hermes email enquiry transcript.pdf Re_ NC Lost parcel Barcode 9474871246670081 [Incident_ 200612-022011].pdf

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Welcome to the forum. I know that you have come here from the Facebook group and so it will be very helpful if you would feedback to that group from time to time any progress that you are making here.

There are over 10,000 people in the Facebook group and as far as I can tell very few of them are bothering to pursue their lost items and it seems to me that most of them give up.

The enquiry transcript you have posted up is very helpful. Thank you. However, the dates at the top of each entry are rather squashed together – but I take it that the latest exchanges at the top. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

We know enough about Hermes by now to know that it's not worth beating about the bush.

You've lost £89 plus about £9 delivery fee and although it's not a huge chunk of cash – it's better in your pocket than anyone else's.

I'm afraid that you will have to threaten Hermes with a small claim in the County Court. This is very straightforward – and you should read around on this forum about the steps that you take. It's not difficult but it's worth knowing what comes next so that you have confidence.

Let me tell you that in respect of this kind of sum, Hermes will very likely put their hands up – although they will probably test you to see if you are actually prepared to spend the claim fee.

In order to bring a small claim, you have to you first of all give them a warning – a letter of claim. That will give them 14 days after which you issue the papers. Only send the letter of claim if you intend to go through with your threat. Don't bluff. You lose credibility and it only brings comfort to Hermes.

I can almost guarantee you that you will have to issue the claim on day 15. After that, it's highly likely that Hermes will put their hands up – although they may force you to a hearing – or at least they will force you to pay the hearing fee which I think is about £50 or £60 for a claim of this value. However, if you win then you will get all this money back plus the value of your claim plus interest. If you lose then of course these are your risk factors and you will lose this money.

Because the exchange with Hermes seems to indicate that first of all they have been changing their position – they claim that there was a delivery – then they claim that there was not. They have eventually agreed that the parcel is lost but they are now saying that because your item is on their prohibited items list, you are unable to claim.

We consider that this is complete nonsense. The fact that an item is made of glass or contains alcohol or in some other way is prohibited, as not affected the risk of loss. This is all fully explained a

you may have seen these already if you have been reading around this sub- forum.

If you want to bring a claim against Hermes then tell us and we will help you all the way. It's not complicated and you don't need any particular form of words. Also, if they force you to a hearing, it is likely to be a video or telephone hearing because of today's virus crisis.

I rate your chances of success is better than 95%. I rate the chances of Hermes putting their hands up at better than 90%.

There are two reasons why Hermes would want to put their hands up. Firstly, because the amount of money you are claiming is so negligible as far as they're concerned, it's not worth their while defending it. You will be one of the very few people of all the victims that has broken through and taken some direct action. They can't be bothered to defend when they are simply dealing with "stragglers" – which in a way is what you are!

The second reason they wouldn't want to defend is because you will be challenging the principle of the "prohibited items list". Hermes will be well aware that if there are court judgements which say that these lists are unenforceable – especially in relation to lost items, that the flood doors will open and they will have claims all over the place.
Hermes absolutely will not want this to happen.

I suggest that you have a quick read around this forum about bringing a small claim in the County Court. If you are satisfied that this is what you want to do then we will help you with the letter of claim and then we will help you draft the claim form. You will have to register on the court service Moneyclaim website and you will start your claim online. It won't take more than about 20 minutes.


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Is there any way for the retailer to refund me in that they told me to return the goods which I have a right to do but they didn't specify a carrier etc they just said they would accept the return if I send it back to 'this' address.


Someone has said that either way I am entitled to a refund if I have proof of sending which I do. But I'm not sure if I do. But even then I feel it is the fault of Hermes not the retailer.

Edited by Wilbur Cat
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I'm afraid that would be very difficult. If they had provided the label et cetera and organise the return – in much the way that Amazon does, for instance, then it would certainly have been there responsibility.

I'm afraid that I don't see a way to make them liable where you have undertaken the return yourself – even though it is on their instruction to do so.

It's a very unfortunate set of circumstances. It's a nuisance and of course it shouldn't be necessary and of course it could have happened with any courier but I'm afraid that by picking Hermes, you have inadvertently picked the worst of the bunch – as you have seen from the stories on this forum – and of course the over 10,000 people on the Facebook group.

If you have never taken a small claim in the County Court before then the only positive thing I can say about it is that there will be a learning curve there and you will gain some transferable skills so you will feel more confident about seeing anybody else in the future!

I'm sure you would rather be doing different things with your time – but am afraid that this is the way things go at the moment with lots of companies – and the courier industry is particularly bad. They all rely on prohibited items and it should be stopped because the reliance is unfair and unenforceable but unfortunately most people see that it is a contractual term and they believe that they are bound by them. In fact they're not, or contractual terms are subject to the rules on fairness – which are contained in the Consumer Rights Act for consumers – and the Unfair Contracts Terms Act 1977 for businesses

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Okay. It sounds like you're a bit fired up and that's what it needs. It needs the grudge factor.

Hopefully you have read around the forum about bringing a small claim and you are aware of the steps. Also you are aware of the risk factors to you if you lose the case – which is the loss of your claim fee and possibly the allocation fee.
However, if you are certain that you are prepared to go ahead and you have done the reading which I have suggested – then the next step is to send them a letter of claim.
Here is a proposed draft:



Dear Sir/Mdm

Parcel reference number – X X X – claim reference number X X X
Letter of Claim


On X X X date I used your service to send a parcel under the above reference number.
The parcel did not arrive at the destination and after several exchanges with your customer service staff, I was told that the item was lost.
I was also told that I would not be entitled to make any compensation claim because the item was on your prohibited items list.

I'm quite sure that you are fully aware that an item being included on your prohibited items list does not affect the risk of loss at all. Any term you might have in your contract which relies on a prohibited items list to exclude liability towards your customers for your negligent handling of their items causing them to be lost is an unfair term and is unenforceable.

I notice that you systematically rely on your prohibited items list to deprive your customers of compensation and effectively to protect you from the consequences of your negligent handling of your customers business.
If you force this to a court hearing – you can be certain that I shall be producing evidence from many different sources to show that you systematically lose parcels and declined liability on spurious grounds which are unfair and unenforceable.

The contents of my parcel were valued at £X X X. There was also an insurance cover which cost an additional £X X X plus the delivery fee of £X X X.

If I do not have reimbursement in full within 14 days then I shall issue a claim in the County Court to recover this money from you plus interest and without any further notice.

Believe me

Wilbur Cat


Once you have sent this letter then you are committed. If you don't follow through with your threat on day 15 then you may as well give up because you would have lost credibility and Hermes would have won.


In the intervening 14 days you should register with the court service Moneyclaim website and start preparing your claim. Post up your particulars of claim here so that we can check them before you click it off on day 15.

Your particulars of claim does not need to be worded in any formal way. Here is a proposed draft:



The claimant used the courier service provided by the defendant courier company to send an item to a third party.
The defendant company has admitted that they have lost the item and yet they refuse to compensate the claimant.
The value of the item sent was £89. The delivery fee was £8.99.
The claimant claims full reimbursement of £97.99 plus interest pursuant to section 69, County Courts act 1984.


I'm afraid that if Hermes were sensible, they would simply buckle upon receiving your letter of claim. Unfortunately they prefer to spend more money than the value of the claim trying to avoid their responsibilities.

This is a really stupid company and clearly run by a very ineffective executive – including the CEO

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Please note that the particulars of claim contain a minimum of detail – sufficient only to identify the reason for your claim and the legitimate basis for saying that the defendants are liable. You should avoid giving any further information. Let Hermes come back with their defence. The less information they have from you to go on, then the more they will expose themselves.

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