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This was my first (and last!) experience using Hermes to deliver a parcel. I learnt the hard way... 

 

I posted a valuable item (my precious & perfect guitar) with Hermes that was delivered damaged. I paid for insurance and after an absolute nightmare getting in touch with them, then waiting 28 days, they said it is not covered.

 

However the recipient stated there is signs of rough handling to the package, therefore Hermes are still at fault. When I responded with this to them they replied:

 

..."I assure you that any damage is not a lack of care from our couriers; they take great care of all our parcels in transit. Any damage done to parcels within our delivery process will have occurred whilst being sorted by the automated, heavy machinery within one of our large depots."

 

Surely this does not absolve them of liability?!

 

I sold my guitar on ebay for £265 and have had to refund this plus the £20 postage I paid in good faith that my guitar would reach the buyer intact.

 

I now am out of pocket and with my once pristine guitar damaged.

 

I am heartbroken about it, plus the stress it's caused, was only even selling due to being a new mum and not currently working, I could cry (well I have several times). Anyway was just looking for any advice re: attempting to take further cheers.

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I think that musical instruments is on their prohibited items list. This does not necessarily exclude you from making a claim.

Are there any photographs of the damage parcel et cetera?

Read around all the threads on this forum – or at least lots of them – to understand the steps and the basis for the arguments against Hermes.

When you sent the guitar, did you declare what it was when you bought the insurance? Did you declare the value correctly?

Also can you tell us a bit about the damage

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Thank you very much for your reply! 

 

I definitely put the value when I purchased the insurance. I unfortunately can't remember if I stated what the item was but it would make sense that it would also request this information. (I used the oh-so-convenient ..tsk.. little machine in the shop that you just enter all the details into and it prints it out for you). I will research as to whether that was something I indeed needed to enter; if I did I certainly would have put guitar. 

 

I have photos of the guitar before posting but no pictures of it wrapped up unfortunately, as it didn't occur to me I'd need to do that (with being new to selling online and it being the first time I'd posted anything of value... Sigh!!) 

 

I do have the buyer's message stating there were signs of rough handling to the package however. 

 

The damage is to one of the dials (completely smashed) and a crack down the neck. 

 

I'm new to this site and I've been trying to use the search function to find other hermes related posts but it only brings up results for lost claims not damaged (when I try to move forward through the results it doesn't seem to let me but I'll keep trying!) 

Edited by Rubixcube
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Well now you know a bit better – you sell things on eBay then make it clear to your recipient that if the parcel arrives damage they should take lots of photographs before they open it and while they are opening it.

Where's the guitar now? Do you have photographs of it now?

Does the machine give you an opportunity to view their prohibited items list? Maybe you should go back and doublecheck.

Maybe you should also go back to the machine and go through the process and see at what point it invites you to say what the item is. Either way, it could be helpful. If the machine doesn't invite you to describe the item then obviously you had no opportunity to do so. If the machine does invite you to describe the item – then clearly they knew about it and they took it anyway.

As you are finding out, most of the cases on this forum – and elsewhere are to do with lost items. Hermes seems to have a particular knack of losing items – but if you have sent an item which has been properly described and properly valued and you even bought their so-called "insurance" which is designed to get you to protect them against their own negligence, then I see you have a very good basis for a claim.

Keep on reading around the forum. Start reading up also on how to bring a small claim in the County Court. I'm afraid that you will almost certainly have to issue the papers.

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@BankFodderthank you again for your reply, I really appreciate it.

 

I will go through the machine procedure again today. I'm so relieved to hear you think I've got a good case against them. 

 

I have been sent my guitar back from the buyer and he has been refunded in full. 

 

I have photographs of the guitar dated day of listing on eBay and then the photos the buyer sent me of it damaged. 

 

Oh yes, huge lessons and I won't be putting anything of such value in the post again! 

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It's a shame that you don't have pictures of the damage packaging. Not very clever of the recipient not to have taken these photos.

Find out all the information you can. Careful preparation and lots of evidence is important. Whether I think you have a good case will not especially relevant. At the end of the day it is you who will have to decide whether you want to fork out the court fee and have a go at getting your money back. Your's to win and your's to lose

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@BankFodderthank you, I am going to persevere as I feel so strongly about this. Out of interest, I am in Scotland, do you know if this will make any difference in regards to proceedings? 

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Okay that would make a difference procedurally. I'm going to ask my site team colleague @Andyorch to come in and give some guidance because I always get confused about these dual jurisdiction problems.

Keep on doing the preparation that I suggested because whatever happens, you will need that information

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Anyone in the UK can issue a claim through MCOL...you do not have to reside in England to use the service.....as long as you have a UK Address and the defendant resides in England.

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We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group The National Consumer Service

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Thanks both. 

 

Ok I now have photos of all of the questions the machine asks, which I will attach (I'll try this again when I'm home as I'm out just now and they're not loading). 

 

It does indeed ask the contents, of which I entered guitar.

 

And the value, for which I entered the price the buyer paid, £263.00.

 

I paid for cost of postage plus insurance plus signature. 

 

Edited by Rubixcube
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I'm sorry but we are not able to see these images correctly because they don't display large enough. Please will you put them all into a PDF file and upload that.

Secondly, is there any opportunity on the machine to inspect their prohibited items list? Does it refer to a prohibited items list?

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Also, I think you had better ask the buyer for a reasonably detailed statement of the condition of the parcel. This would include at the beginning, details of the purchaser's name and address – and how the parcel was received, when it was received and the condition before it was opened and then what he found inside

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Ok thanks I'll do both these things. 

 

Yep there's an opportunity to access the lists of prohibited and non compensated items. 

 

I hadn't noticed this at the time of purchase as its so small and in the corner.

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Please take a picture of it

Also, you will have to ask your buyer to sign the statement as a statement of truth.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately the buyer has not responded to my request to provide a statement. 

 

Attaching file of images, hopefully this works (can't attach the pdf file for some reason) but will keep trying if this doesn't work. 

Collage_20201103_134135.jpg

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Okay. I'm trying to refresh my memory as to where you are on this. I believe that they have declined liability because it is on their prohibited items list – and that you haven't begun a court claim. Is this correct?

 

You have an uncooperative buyer who apparently is not contacting you any more and will not even provide you with a statement – I suggest that you write to them again and say that you really have a problem and you could appreciate their help. However it won't be fatal – but it would be helpful if they would describe the packaging and the damage to the exterior packaging.

Once again, a great shame that they didn't take photographs – and also a great shame that you didn't take photographs before you sent everything off. Frankly I would have thought that this would be the minimum steps that any person would naturally take as a matter of survival and it is so little effort nowadays with a smart phone. What a shame.

If I have it right then you again have to decide whether to bring a court claim against Hermes for the negligent handling of your property. And you are going to have to be able to argue that they prohibited items list is unfair, that in any event, you declared the contents of the parcel and yet they still proceeded to accept the delivery instruction and hourly that they were happy to take your insurance premium – and that in any event, the fact that it was a guitar did not contribute to the risk of it being damaged.

You haven't said but I'm assuming that this is an electric guitar and so it's pretty solid – unlike an acoustic guitar which one might expect to be damaged.

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Yes, post it up here before you send it off.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the delay, I'm a new mum and finding time for this is virtually impossible! 

 

I will attach my first draft for the Letter Before Action below (I am unsure whether I ought to include more detail or keep it brief as is). 

 

Many thanks once again. 

 

Quote

 

Parcel ID: 

Enquiry ref: 

 

Dear Sir or Madam, 

 

On Monday 7th September 2020 I purchased your delivery service with insurance to send a parcel sold on eBay. 

 

The item was received damaged by the buyer on Wednesday 9th September 2020. 

 

After several very time consuming and frustrating exchanges with your customer services, on 12 October 2020 Hermes finally declared that the insurance I had purchased did not offer me any compensation because the item I had posted was a guitar. I have subsequently been repeatedly denied the right to escalate/ make a formal complaint to Hermes. 

 

The contents of my parcel were valued at £263.00 plus the delivery fee and insurance cost totalling £16.88. 

 

I hereby inform you, that unless you reimburse me the above complete amount of £279.88 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, 

 

 

 

Quote

 

The claimant used the courier service provided by the defendant courier company to send an electric guitar to a third party. The defendant company has admitted that they have damaged the item and refuse to compensate the claimant. 

 

The value of the item sent was £263.00. The delivery fee was £16.88. 

 

The claimant claims full reimbursement of £279.88 (item value plus delivery fee plus insurance cost) plus interest pursuant to section 69, County Courts Act 1984

 

 

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I've cleaned up the letter of claim little and excluded some of the non-relevant detail

 

Quote

 

Parcel ID: 

Enquiry ref: 

 

Dear Sir or Madam, 

 

On Monday 7th September 2020 I purchased your delivery service with insurance to send a parcel to an address in XXX town

 

The item arrived at its destination damaged  on Wednesday 9th September 2020. 

 

Although I've purchased your so-called compensation cover, you have refused to reimburse me for the value of the damaged item.

 

The contents of my parcel were valued at £263.00 plus the delivery fee and insurance cost totalling £16.88. 

 

I hereby inform you, that unless you reimburse me the above complete amount of £279.88 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, 

 

 

 

 

The particulars of claim is fine except that you haven't included a reference number

 

Quote

The claimant used the courier service provided by the defendant courier company to send an electric guitar to a third party. Reference number XXX. The defendant company has admitted that they have damaged the item and refuse to compensate the claimant. 

 

The value of the item sent was £263.00. The delivery fee was £16.88. 

 

The claimant claims full reimbursement of £279.88 (item value plus delivery fee plus insurance cost) plus interest pursuant to section 69, County Courts Act 1984

 

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Just check their website and send it to any standard contact email address – and then send a confirmation in writing by recorded delivery to the postal address

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