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hullman

Hermes and Packlink- Lost item

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Hi there, 

I will try and make this as straight and to the point as possible. I sold an electric guitar on eBay on the 14th of June with a final sale value of 1100 GBP. I organized a courier delivery via eBay's Packlink service where I chose Hermes as the courier. I securely packaged the guitar inside of a cardbox with the dimensions of 110 H x 50 W x 15 H, so a large parcel, and dropped it off at a Hermes collection point on the 15th of June where I received a reciept of upon handing it over. According to the tracking information, the parcel was collected from the drop off point at 3.54pm on the 15th of June and the last update was at 3.50am on the 16th of June where it has been stuck at 'at the national sorting hub Northern'. So less than 12 hours after it was collected it has gone missing. I can understand if it was perhaps a small letter but we are talking a very large parcel here.

 

I was informed by the buyer on the 21st of June that the parcel has still not arrived and that is when I started to make investigations into it's whereabouts. I quickly realized that it was impossible to source a contact number to speak to an employee at Hermes so I have had to resort to correspondance via Resolver where I have opened up a case with both Hermes and PackLink. After continous emails back and forth, Hermes have today passed the buck onto PackLink and plainly said that they cannot assist me any further. Packlink have today advised that they will lodge an investigation into it's whereabouts but that they require 30 days from the 25th of June. 

I am at the stage where I am ready to make a money claim online but a) I am unsure who I claim against, Packlink or Hermes? and b) when should i be lodging the claim given that Packlink are asking for 30 days to investigate this?

 

Thanks,
Chris. 

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– Packlink are in Spain – conveniently out of the jurisdiction.

If you want to bring a claim then it will have to be against Hermes.

Please will you start off by reading the other stories on the sub- forum and some of the posts at the top in particular which tell you something about your rights.

You can be certain that if you sue Hermes for £1100 that they will probably force it to a hearing.

Read the other posts so that you understand the situation and it will save a lot of repetition here

 

also, it is fairly early days and I think that it would probably better to let the investigations go for another couple of weeks. I'm sure it won't produce any particular result – but at least you will be able to say that you have tried.

I'm afraid that we are getting very disappointed with Resolver about these kinds of things


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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 ensure 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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Thankyou. Update- 

PackLink have gotten back to me regarding the investigation into the whereabout's of my item that they asked 30 days for. After just 1 day, they have confirmed the parcel is lost. 
 

Quote

"Dear Chris,

After completing the investigation with the carrier the shipment has been confirmed as lost. I am writing to let you know that the dossier has been transferred to the Claims department for the final evaluation."


They do have both my eBay and PayPal invoices confirming the item value of 1100 however I am guessing that will offer me the basic Hermes coverage of 25. 

So 2 questions really-

1. If they offer me any less than the full value of the item, do i decline this offer? I imagine accepting any offer would effect my claim going foward in the small courts? 

 

2. When is the right time to make a claim? Now, or after PackLink get back to me with an offer of compensation? 
 

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If you accept an offer from them then you will be taken to have settled.

I think I have already explained that you will not be taken action against Packlink because they are domiciled in Spain.

You will have to begin a claim against Hermes. You will need to begin the claim presses against Hermes and get a written refusal.

After that, you can issue a letter of claim giving them 14 days. Make sure you are fully aware of all the steps necessary in bringing a small claim in the County Court.

In fact I have just realised that you have already contacted Hermes and they say they can't assist you any further.

So I would say that you could issue a letter of claim against Hermes at any time.

But probably best to wait until you hear definitively from Packlink


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Hi there,

Yes I understand that I have to claim against Hermes and not PackLink. 

Another update- As expected, PackLink won't do anything to compensate me since the item sent was a musical instrument. Here is their response .
 

Quote

" Dear Customer,

We are sorry to inform that your shipment was categorized as Prohibited/Restricted. Please note, when you booked the service following information was provided from your side:

Please find below the Prohibited/Restricted section where the containing of your shipment is set out:



Musical instruments
Any kind of musical instruments.


We do apologize for the inconveniences; we are unable to accept your claim since your shipment is not covered by insurance policy ".


So since PackLink can't help me and I have written confirmation that Hermes cannot help me, can i issue a letter of claim to Hermes now? 

Please can you point me to that as this is all new to me. 

Thanks so much again. 

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Did you declare it as a guitar?


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Posted (edited)

Yes I believe so. The guitar was sold on eBay and I paid for a Hermes delivery directly through the eBay listing using PackLink so all the details would have presumably been carried through from the eBay listing. There was no option when booking to input what was being sent etc so I can only presume it is all added automatically. 

Edited by hullman

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This is quite a high value claim – and so I think that it is worth proceeding a little bit cautiously and getting as much information as possible.

For that reason I think you ought to make a claim through Hermes and see the basis on which they decline you.

I think you should contact Hermes and say to them that you reject the fact that they are declining your claim and referring you to Packlink. You consider that they are responsible and that you are using your third party rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act and you want them to confirm that they are declining your claim and the reasons why.

In a separate letter, send them an SAR. Make sure that the SAR is off to them straightaway.

I think that it is always sensible to avoid being underprepared and I think that if you can obtain as much information as possible before you go into open conflict with them, it will be helpful to you.

I'm particular concerned that you can only say "I believe so" in response to the question as to whether or not they knew it was a guitar.

It certainly not fatal by any means – that it would be helpful to know that they had advance notice as to what they were carrying. However, I'm quite certain that the prohibited items list is unenforceable in respect of any lost item


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I have hidden your post. If you want to disclose your own identity – then that is up to you it seems to me that you have disclose the identity of the addressee as well and that person may not be very happy about it.


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Apologies, but yes, in respect to whether or not the item stated was a musical instrument, i have a shipment receipt on my eBay account which contains all that information, along with the value. 

By SAR, do you mean a subject access request?

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Click the SAR link and you'll find out


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Ok so your basically saying to send that off so I can gather as much information together before pursuing a small courts claim? So essentially, I might have to wait for 1 month until the SAR arrives before I can make a claim? 

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Not necessarily. We'll see what your claim letter produces. That you may as well get the SAR underway. It's free and there's no downside.

We'll play it by ear


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Hi,

 

Just an update on this. It seems one cannot just go onto the Hermes website and find a claims form to download, it's something that has to be authorized and sent once having spoken with a customer service representative. Hermes seem to again be reluctant to help me and issue me with a claims form since this was all booked through Packlink. 

The last response from Hermes I received today via Resolver was- " Unfortunately, to initiate this procedure of the refund or replacement, you will have to go through the correct channels which means you will have to contact your re-seller. This is because we can only see parts of the tracking information regarding retail parcels and any discussion of these details with you would break our contract with the retailer. " 

This sounds like utter nonsense to me. How can only see parts of the tracking when you are the ones in charge for the safe transit of my parcel from location A to B. Wouldn't you require full access to all tracking of parcels to ensure their whereabouts?  I'm not familiar with the law but this sounds like excuses being made to try and confuse people. 

Should I now just proceed with a MCOL? I've exhausted all avenues with both Hermes and Packlink and I am getting nowhere. 

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Please check back for a response tomorrow


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Please check the letter below – make sure that you're happy that it is all correct and it represents what is actually happened.

Please note that I have referred in the letter to the fact that you have said that you have tried to contact them by other routes. Is this correct?

Before you send this letter of claim, please do understand that it will make no difference and all you are doing is satisfying a pre-action protocol formality and that you will absolutely have to issue the claim papers. What this means is that you should not send this letter if there is any doubt in your mind about bringing a legal action. Don't bluff.

Also, do not send this letter until you have spent a little time reading on this forum about bringing a small claim in the County Court. It's not difficult – but it is helpful to you to know the steps.

Once you send this letter, then register on the Moneyclaim online website – which is the court services website and start preparing your claim.

Post a draft of your proposed particulars of claim here before you actually click the claim. We can then have a look and advise you.

After you sent this letter, and you are fully prepared, – day 15 click the claim off.

Quote

Dear Sir/Mdm,

 


Letter of claim – parcel reference number X X X. Claim reference number X X X

 

On X X X date I used your services to send a parcel containing a guitar value £1100 to an address in X X X name of town X X X.

I have now been told by yourselves and also by Packlink that you have lost the item.

I have tried beginning a claim process – but although I have made strenuous attempts to contact your offices – both by your formal complaints route and by other means, I have had no success.

Looking around the Internet, I now understand that you are overwhelmed by complaints because of your generally poor handling of people's property, your technical breakdowns which have resulted in incorrect scanning of barcodes and the confusion of labels, the possible theft of items from your warehouse – and also apparently the routine sending by you of parcels placed in your care to an auction house in Birmingham – often bearing senders addresses or recipient addresses – and often within as little as three weeks of the item having been sent.
Most recently when I tried to engage with you, you told me that you are not prepared to access certain reference numbers because you considered that it would violate some agreement between you and Packlink.
You should understand now that under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act I enjoy all the rights of a contracting partner – and it is on this basis I shall be issuing a court claim against you.
I'm afraid that given your record and your reputation, I'm not prepared to accept any further delay and I'm afraid that access to your customer service function has now become unreasonably difficult to the point where I consider that you are deliberately obstructive.

As a result of this, I'm writing to inform you that unless I have full reimbursement of the value of the parcel – which was properly declared – plus the fee paid for the courier service within 14 days that I shall bring a claim against you in the County Court and without any further notice.

Yours faithfully


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Suggested draft particulars.

 

Quote

The claimant who is a litigant in person use the services of the defendant courier company to send a guitar value of £1100 to an address in X X X name of town X X X.

Tracking reference X X X claim reference X X X.

The defendant courier service lost the parcel and has refused to reimburse the claimant or two process his claim.
The claimant seeks reimbursement of ££1100 plus the courier fee of £X X X plus interest pursuant to section 69 of the County Courts act 1984

 

 


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Posted (edited)

Thanks so much for your help, it's truly appreciated. 

With regards to trying to contact them, I have a) emailed Hermes, b) emailed Packlink, c) Opened a case with Hermes using Resolver, d) used Hermes online chat robot 'Holly'. Many phone attempts have been tried also, but no working numbers exist to my knowledge, at least ones that I can get through to. 

Just a quick query regarding the reference numbers to be included in the letter of claim. I understand the parcel reference will be the Hermes tracking number (I'll also include the packlink reference number), but I'm not sure what the claim number will be? As i've stated previously, I haven't been given any official claim number as I've not been able to make a claim with Hermes. The only thing I do have is reference numbers relating to the customer service chats regarding my parcel and also a resolver case number. Shall I include all of them?

Edited by hullman

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Just include whatever reference numbers you have so that they become in no doubt as to who you are and what it is about


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Well another update. 

Just as I had written a letter of claim last night expecting to send it off today, I woke up to an email from Hermes this morning expecting the worst as usual.  I was amazed to be told that my parcel was at the buyers local depot which was subsequently delivered this morning. I am beyond relieved, and that is an understatement. 

Whether this was down to my relentless persistence with Hermes I'll probably never know. What has shocked me the most is the fact I've been told my Packlink that an investigation was carried out to it's whereabouts and ultimately deemed 'lost' and non compensated for. It's obvious now that this was totally untrue. 

Part of me feels like I should be making a claim against eBay and Packlink, and probably Hermes too due to the complete lack of competence on their behalf which put me in a very difficult and stressful postition for the last two weeks. 

Either way, I couldn't have asked for a better result and I thank you for your help non the less. It will certainly stick with me should I be unfortunate to find myself in this position again in the future. 

  • Thanks 1

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Thanks for this update.

Obviously I'm very pleased that your guitar has been delivered and that you don't have to take any further action about this. On the other hand, I'm slightly disappointed because I was hoping that this might be an opportunity to deliver a serious slap against Hermes.

Anyway, who knows why it happened like this – but the most important thing is that the item has been delivered and you're not out of pocket – and also probably you have learned a good lesson – don't use Hermes – or Packlink. It's a recipe for trouble.

 


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