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A week ago I made the mistake of using Packlink + Hermes to send a high value (to me) item which I sold on eBay. The item sold for £1500 but has not yet been delivered, despite me paying for next day delivery. 

 

I am going through the motions with Packlink and Hermes - speaking to their chat representatives who don't seem too bothered. However, I'm starting to fear they have lost the item. 

 

From reading through the posts here this seems a likely outcome. As soon as they confirm the parcel is lost, I plan to take them on in whatever way necessary due to the value of the item. 

 

Does anyone have any initial thoughts/ advice? Should I be going after Hermes rather than Packlink? 

 

Thanks 

 

 

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It's still very early days – but for the moment I would go through both of them.

Was the value correctly declared? Did you buy one of their so-called insurance covers?

What was the item in question?

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The item is a digital camera. I know it's relatively early but I have the buyer requesting a refund which I will of course have to process. 

 

I did not purchase any additional insurance, only the "signed for" option which entitles me to £25 compensation. 

 

As regards declaring the value, I was not asked for this at any point. However, I purchased the shipping through the eBay portal, which appears to automatically feed all the details to Packlink, including the value.

 

image.png.f9c48e0e529c99ab28f8f9a6810fe825.png

 

Of course, Hermes are saying I should pursue Packlink as my contract is with them. 

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Well it's absolutely correct that you will need to process a refund – and you should set about doing this as quickly as possible in order to reduce the number of problems you are having as a result of this.

Other than that, you will have to go through the claim process – with Packlink and with Hermes. I completely agree that they will decline liability and then you will have to consider further action.

Packlink are out of the jurisdiction and so therefore you will have to proceed against Hermes.

I'm sure that you have read around here enough to understand what your risk factors are.

Bringing a small claim for £1500 means that you will pay a claim fee of £80 and then if they push you to a hearing, you will have to pay a further fee of £115 or £170 if you want to add interest. The threshold between the two fees is £1500.

Once again, I hope you have read around enough to know that generally speaking Hermes would rather pay up then allow the matter to going to court. However you are claiming for a figure of £1500 and I'm pretty certain that this will prompt them to go all the way and to put you in court.

We will have to see the basis on which they decline liability – but I suppose that it will be the fact that you haven't paid any insurance. You better look around this website to see the arguments against that – I'm confident that it is unfair for them to require a further fee to insure themselves against their own negligence and I consider that it is unfair term. You have paid the contractual price for the carriage of your goods.

However, I'm not sure we have ever had a claim against Hermes for such an expensive item – and so this may be the first time that my particular theory has been tested in court and so this is a risk you will have to take.

If you win then you will get your money back, plus interest if it is claimed – plus your court fees of about £200. If you lose then you will lose the value of the camera and also the court fees.

This is something you will have to weigh up and you will have to decide.

I rate your chances of success in court is very high and of course we will support you all the way – but you have to understand that there is an element of risk. One factor will be whether you could have gone with a different courier in which insurance was already included or which operated a tariff fee system so that the fee became more in line with the value of the item being carried. The answer to this in fact is that it's not possible. All courier companies seem to operate in the same way that they have a standard delivery fee and then if you want additional insurance cover then you have to pay for it.

It's a simple matter for courier companies to restructure their system of fees so that they operate on a tariff base – but they don't – and it is their choice not to do so

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By the way, if you are going to bring this case then you are going to need to prepare your arguments very carefully. As I have already suggested, it is likely to be defended and it is very likely to come up before a judge.

You should be looking carefully at the consumer rights act – especially the sections dealing with unfair terms and restrictions on exclusion of liability.

This means that you should be looking particularly at section 47, section 48 and section 49 – which basically impose a duty to carry out services with reasonable skill and care.
You should then be looking at part two which deal specifically with unfair terms and also schedule two which gives a nonexhaustive list of examples of unfair terms – and I think that example number two is probably a reasonable starting point.
Don't forget that they are merely examples and you will need to persuade the court that your situation is capable of being unfair on the basis that you have paid the delivery fee and that it is unfair to expect you to insure Hermes against their own negligence because this effectively protects them from their statutory duty to exercise reasonable skill and care when carrying out the service that they have contracted with you to do.

I think the arguments are very powerful and I think you have an excellent chance of success

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Thank you for the detailed replies. Based on your assessment of the risk and chances I will be proceeding against Hermes once it is confirmed that they have lost the item and will not be compensating. 

 

In the meantime I will study the abovementioned consumer rights act sections. 

 

Should I let them know of my intentions to take further action? 


Has anyone found an customer services email address so that I can bypass the painful chat operators? 

 

 

 

 

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Just an update:  Packlink have now replied confirming the parcel as lost. I have completed the loss claim form. 

 

"The investigation regarding shipment GB2020EBAY0020985351 has now been completed. The parcel has been confirmed by the carrier lost.
In order to process your claim please complete the claim form the link below:"

 

I would like a similar statement from Hermes and would also like to know what this "investigation" consisted of.  

 

 

 

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Packlink are now processing my claim (I entered the full amount), they can take up to 28 days to process. 

 

A thought crossed my mind - is it possible that Packlink claims the full £1500 from Hermes only to pass on £25 to me? 

 

In the meantime I'm struggling to get through to Hermes. They keep on directing me to Packlink. 

 

 

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Firstly, the image which you have put up in your post is so small as to be illegible – and I use a reasonably large screen.

Please would you repost it and then I suggest that you actually check it to see if it is legible to you. The easy thing to do course would be to post it up in PDF format because then it can be enlarged and read easily by anybody with any kind of screen.

 

 

Secondly, it seems to me that you are now in a difficult position. If you proceed to threaten Hermes and to bring an action against them while there is apparently a formal investigation underway by Packlink, then they could easily accuse you later on of being too precipitative and not trying some mediative/out-of-court process.

Of course I'm completely certain that Packlink will come back and refuse you anything – but I'm afraid that they have put you in a position where if you issue proceedings before the expiry of the 28 days then they will have gained a certain moral high ground.

So I suggest that you send a letter of claim to Hermes but instead of the normal 14 days, you give 29 days. It's very frustrating – but I think that this is in your best interests. Also, I suppose that there is an outside chance that they may decide to compensate you the full amount and in that case if you have already issued the claim papers then you will have lost your claim fee.

 

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Incidentally, this will also give you an opportunity to send Hermes an SAR – which you should do today.

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I had confused this Hermes story with another Hermes story. There are so many of them.

I think that you should also begin a formal complaint and claim to Hermes. They will knock you back – but at least you will establish a paper trail that you have tried to use their complaints process and exhausted all possibilities.

Do this separately from the SAR. Send the SAR now

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Since posting earlier, Packlink have responded to my claim and will pay £25 to settle, as expected. See attached PDF. 

 

Should I refuse this? 

 

packlink claim and settlement_edit.pdf

 

I will continue trying to lodge a formal complaint with Hermes and send an SAR before bringing further action. 

 

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I can scarcely believe that you are asking this question.

They have lost an item worth £1500 and you are debating whether or not to accept £25 and you want our advice on it.

I think I'll leave this difficult decision to you.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi again

 

Just wanted to update as it has been over a calendar month now.

 

- I declined compensation but Packlink made the transfer anyway

- Sent an SAR to Hermes on 01/07 but I'm not sure it was acknowledged as such, because I received another generic reply on 02/07. Are they in breach of their obligation? 

 

I guess the next step is to send a claim letter to Hermes giving them 14 days?


Thanks


 

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If they have not made their data disclosure in response to an SAR which was properly submitted and which they acknowledged, then yes they are in breach of their obligation.

I would suggest that you make an immediate complaint to the ICO – even though that will amount to nothing but at least it will add to your paper trail.

The only chance you have of getting your money back is by suing them. I think I've already explained your risk factors – the fees you might lose if you lose this case. Hopefully by now you have read around the forum and you have read about the steps required to take a small claim in the County Court. If you are prepared to go ahead then yes now is the time to send the letter of claim. In the intervening 14 days register with the County Court Moneyclaim service and start preparing your claim.

I suggest that you post the draft of your letter of claim here and also the particulars of claim so that we can comment before you actually send them off.

If you look around other Hermes threads, you will find that the preferred style – meaning my preferred style – is pretty short and to the point. Particularly in the particulars of claim, you should provide the minimum amount of information to explain what your cause of action is, how much you are claiming – and nothing else.

However, as they are apparently in breach of the SAR, then frankly you may as well take this opportunity to add that to the claim as well. I think you may as well add £50 for distress.

In your letter of claim you should refer to the breach of the data protection rules – as well as their own breach of contract and inform them that you will be claiming for both. As I have suggested, post your letter of claim here so we can have a look.

Don't be under any illusions that your letter of claim is going to suddenly persuade them to pay you. They will probably just ignore it completely and in respect of the breached SAR, they probably wouldn't know what to do anyway. So don't bluff. If you don't intend to go ahead with your thread on day 15 then don't send the letter of claim

 

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By the way, you sold this camera on eBay. Are you an eBay trader? In other words are you operating as a business? This could make a difference as to where the case is transferred in the unlikely event that it actually goes to a face-to-face hearing rather than a video hearing

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I'm not a trader, just have a normal personal account. 

 

Please see my letter in the next post, I'd be grateful for any feedback. A couple of points:

 

- I have not mentioned Packlink or that I did not purchase from Hermes directly. Is this OK? 

- I never got further than the first line of customer services agents, as they keep deflecting me towards Packlink.

 

Thanks again for your help!

 

 

 

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Quote

 

Dear Sir or Madam

 

Parcel ID:

Enquiry ref:

 

On 16 June 2020 I purchased your next day delivery service to send a parcel sold on eBay.

 

After several exchanges with your customer services, on 02 July 2020 it was confirmed that the parcel has been lost in your network. I have been repeatedly denied the right to escalate/ make a formal complaint to Hermes.

 

Furthermore, you have failed to address my Subject Access Request sent on 01 July 2020 within the required timeframe, causing me additional distress which I should be compensated for.  

 

The contents of my parcel were valued at £1500 plus the delivery fee of £4.96. The compensation requested for the ignored Subject Access Request is £50.

 

I hereby inform you, that unless you reimburse me the abovementioned amounts within 14 days, I shall issue a claim in the County court to recover this money from you, plus interest without any further notice.

 

Yours Faithfully

 


 

 

Particulars of Claim

Quote


The claimant used the courier service provided by the defendant courier company to send a digital camera to a third party. The defendant company has admitted that they have lost the item and refuse to compensate the claimant.


The value of the item sent was £1500. The delivery fee was £4.96.

The defendant company failed to provide access to the claimant’s personal data, made via a Subject Access Request on 01 July 2020. The claimant claims compensation of £50 for the distress caused.


The claimant claims full reimbursement of £1554.96 (item value plus delivery fee plus compensation for ignored Subject Access Request) plus interest pursuant to section 69, County Courts Act 1984.

 

 

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the letter of claim is ok. The particulars of claim need some changes and some refinement. I will have to deal with this in the next 2 or 3 days but there is no hurry.

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No, I said that the letter of claim is ok and you can send it now if you are happy. The particulars can wait a little bit

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Thanks - I posted the letter this morning. I'll spend the next few days getting familiar with the consumer rights act and the MCOL service. 

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I received an unexpected reply to my letter before action. It came in the form of an email, regurgitating standard answers and referring me yet again to the 3rd party reseller (packlink). No acknowledgement of my intentions to take them to court. 

 

I have attached their response.  In their copying and pasting spree, they seem to have included an unrelated message to "carol wright" (not me!)

 

I'm not planning on replying to this, I'll just wait for day 15. 

 

Any thoughts? 

Hermes Reply 20.02.20 - Copy.pdf

 

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I haven't looked at your attachment – but if there is any thing in there to give you a clue as to who this Carol Wright might be then I would suggest that you contact and let her know that this happened. Also, you can go to the Hermes Facebook page which has over 11,000 or 12,000 people complaining and you could post a message there as well and say that if there is a Carol right then maybe she should contact you.

If in their letter they seem merely to be referring to Packlink and not giving you any other reason for rejecting you then we may use a slightly modified particulars of claim to reflect that because when they eventually put in a defence, I'm sure that they will use a different reason and it will be helpful to demonstrate the court that they are ducking and diving and changing their position all the time.

Have you drafted a particulars of claim yet?

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On 05/08/2020 at 11:49, BankFodder said:

the letter of claim is ok. The particulars of claim need some changes and some refinement. I will have to deal with this in the next 2 or 3 days but there is no hurry.

Hi, would it be possible to get some guidance on the particulars? Thanks 

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