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Hermes Lost Returns - Sportsshoes.com @sportsshoes_com


rjstanley
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A Hermes courier collected 4 return parcels for 2 retailers Amazon and @sportsshoes_com from my address. The next morning (less than 24 hours later) I had a call from one of the retailers saying someone had contacted them as they'd found discarded packaging from some of the parcels on their driveway, a few minutes drive from my house.  Both the retailer and I contacted Hermes immediately to inform them of this. The response was to wait for the 14 days to see if they arrived. Despite my requests they did not update me on their investigation into the incident.

 

None of the four packages arrived at the destinations. Two were refunded to me by the retailer. The other two to a value of over £450 were not refunded and Hermes say they will pay me £50 for each as I didn't take out insurance cover.

 

In response I have explained to Hermes why I did not take out insurance cover as per your helpful advice. It is also the case that on booking the return through the retailer site, despite the warning re level of cover there was no link to be able to buy the additional insurance.  I searched the website at the time to see the cost and couldn't find it. I also asked Hermes for a copy of their "extensive investigation" and a crime reference number in the case of what appears to be theft of the parcels from the courier shortly after collection. 

 

In this situation where there is strong indication of negligence or mishap within hours of the items being in the courier's possession, I am prepared to take this as far as I can to get my money back. My last communication with Hermes was about a week ago.

 

1. If I accept the £50 do I invalidate my claim for the rest of the value of the goods?

2. If I don't receive anything back from them soon, do I write again and give them a deadline and then proceed to county court claim or should I persist with their customer support/returns support in setting out my argument for full refund?

3. Is there any value in making my own police report of the possible theft of these items?

4. Any other advice or help gratefully received!

 

Many thanks!

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5 minutes ago, rjstanley said:

I also asked Hermes for a copy of their "extensive investigation" and a crime reference number in the case of what appears to be theft of the parcels from the courier shortly after collection. 

 

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

 

Please can you monitor this thread for a fuller reply later, but in the meantime please can you tell us who the two retailers were.

From what you say, I gather that one retailer has acted responsibly and has refunded you and the other one has not. Maybe you can tell us which one hasn't refunded you and why not

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Hi thank you,

 

The retailer who refunded me was Amazon - I can see on my orders that the returns are 'in transit' but they issued the refund as soon as the courier collected which was 10 September. The other retailer is Sportsshoes.com. They contacted me about the discarded packaging. I have asked them if they have leverage on Hermes or would consider refunding me in the spirit of good customer service but they say it's between me and Hermes. 

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Hermes Lost Returns - Sportsshoes.com @sportsshoes_com trying to avoid their legal obligations

. Sorry, I see that I have misunderstood. You were returning items.

Can you tell us why you returned them and who it was that decided the method by which they should be returned.

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Hermes Lost Returns - Sportsshoes.com @sportsshoes_com

I was returning shoes that were not suitable, I'd ordered a number to make a choice. I usually use Royal Mail to return items to Amazon, but as Sportsshoes.com use Hermes and the four parcels of shoes were bulky for some reason I now whole heartedly regret 🙄  I decided to book a courier collection. Sportsshoes.com do not offer free returns but promote Hermes who they have 'teamed up with' to provide easy low cost returns....

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Okay thanks. If you had seen the post which I have now deleted, you will have seen the advice that I gave when I thought that they were still delivering to you.

Now that I see that you have been returning the shoes and that you made your own arrangements for the return, then yes it is between you and Hermes.

Please start reading around this sub-forum because there are lots of threads which deal with Hermes. I suggest that you try to get through a dozen or so and you will quickly understand the principles involved. The reason for challenging Hermes, and the way that it normally goes from threatening them, to issuing the claim, to mediation – and then almost inevitably, an attempt by Hermes – outrageously assisted by the mediator – to get you to accept less than the sum to which you are entitled.

You should not accept anything from Hermes – unless you feel that you don't want to go ahead and challenge them. It is extremely helpful that they have found the discarded wrappers because that indicates very strongly that the items have been stolen.

Of course Hermes will try to rely on the fact that you didn't purchase insurance and if you read the sub- forums here you will see what we have to say about the fairness – unfairness of requiring insurance to protect Hermes against their own negligence or the criminality of their own employees.

Read around and you will start to understand the action that you will have to take.

Then come back here and let us know that you are prepared to go ahead and of course we will help you all the way.

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Ok thank you,  I've read through some of the threads and looked at the Consumer Rights Act. I think that as my parcels only travelled a few miles from the collection address before being at best damaged at worst nicked there is a strong case to say Hermes have not performed their service with reasonable care and skill (Part 1 Section 49)  Therefore the contract terms do not exclude their liability arising from this. And I get the argument about the insistence on insurance cover being an unfair term in limiting my legal rights in the event of 'total or partial non-performance or inadequate performance by the trader of any of the contractual obligations'  (Part 2 Section 62 and Schedule 2) if I've got that right?

 

So I'm keen to pursue this. The last communication I had from Hermes was on 2 Nov:

We are pleased to confirm that we have today accepted your claim for £105.88 which is maximum compensation of £50 each parcel. 

 compensation : 2 * £50.00
 Hermes postage: 2* £2.94
 
My email reply on 3 Nov is attached as a word doc. I have not sent them my bank details as yet and I have not had a response from them.
 
Please advise on best next steps
Many thanks

 

 

031120 Reply to Hermes .docx

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Your argument in respect of insurance is broadly right – but additionally, it is grossly unfair to ask the customer to take out insurance against the courier's own negligence and their own breach of contract.

I as I understand it you returned two pairs of shoes using Hermes.

Where these two pairs of shoes separately wrapped with separate consignment numbers? Or were they one parcel?

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I returned 4 pairs of shoes from one order in one parcel, and 3 pairs of shoes from another order in the second parcel. So they each have a separate parcel number for which I received one collection receipt. 

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Okay so there were two contracts. And both of them are gone missing – is this correct?

If this is the case and you would like to have a little bit of fun, gain some confidence and reduce your risk and also make it even less economical for Hermes to resist you, I suggest that you attack them one contract at the time.

 

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I've just checked the emails from Sportsshoes.com - the discarded packaging was from one order, so the evidence would not be so strong in support of negligence in relation to the other order, but yes I see your point about putting in two separate claims for £230 each

 

I think on the phone the call handler told me packaging had been found from one of the amazon orders too but I dont have this written down. I never pursued the 2 lost amazon parcels because I received the refunds. I dont know if Amazon or Hermes cover these losses.

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You don't absolutely need the discarded packaging – but it helps.

Are you able to get hold of the discarded packaging? Have you got it in writing that they found the discarded packaging? Can you get photographs of the discarded packaging?

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I have notes from a phone call and two emails from Sportsshoes.com saying that someone had found empty packaging relating to the order on their driveway. The call handler did not record their address, but said at the time she'd looked it up on google maps and it was a few minutes drive from my address from where the parcels were collected. 

This is from her email...

On the 11th (september) a lady telephoned and spoke to myself to inform us some sports shoes packaging was was found on her driveway. This was found on the morning of the 11th approximately 10 am. The packaging was empty but did have information regarding our order number - XXX. The hermes driver number - XXX and the receipt number - XXX
The lady who had found the packaging lives within I would say a 5-10 minute drive from your address.

Edited by rjstanley
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I don't suppose we know which is which do we?

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That's what I mean. So you know which missing order relates to the discovered packaging and you know which missing order has simply disappeared without even the packaging.

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Okay, well I would suggest that you divide the problem into two.

I would suggest that you pursue compensation for the parcel with the discarded packaging. You would threaten Hermes and of course they will push you to issue the papers. You would issue the papers and then they would defend on their usual rubbish and then it would go to mediation. The mediator as usual try to put pressure on you to compromise and that's when you tell the mediator that you won't be compromising and that furthermore when this one is finished Hermes can be looking to another action to be started for a second parcel – and your compromise offer to Hermes this if they settle both of them straight away including your costs that you won't issue proceedings on the second one and so they will save money by avoiding the necessity to bring the core claim on that one.

You will also tell the mediator that if Hermes won't accept this generous offer, then once you have one your claim in the first case, you will then be bringing an action for the second parcel and in fact you will be using the discarded packaging in the first parcel as evidence that in fact they were probably both stolen by Hermes employees or contractors (it doesn't matter).

The benefit of this is that you might succeed in getting both for the price of one. Also, if Hermes find that they're trying to resist a claim for over £460 plus costs, they might be minded to try their luck in court but if they think that they are only resisting a claim for £230 plus costs then it is certainly less economical for them to take the trouble of risking a judgement against them.

Of course you would also point out to the mediator that Hermes would also benefit by not having the fairness or unfairness of their so-called compensation scheme tested in court and that the judge will be invited to consider the fairness of a term which amongst other things requires the customer to protect the supplier against the supplier's own negligence and mishandling of the contract. You can point out to the mediator that when the judge rules in your favour on that point – as will surely happen – that exactly the same reasoning will be applied to your second case and furthermore, the judgement will be published all over the Internet and that will be the end of Hermes little game – as well as the rest of the courier industry about requiring their customers to ensure against the supplier's own negligence.

That's my suggestion.

If you think that is a bit too much trouble – to have to bring the second case after the first – then you can do both at the same time. It's up to you

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Many thanks, I see the value of this, hmm weighing up the pros and cons, just wondering if this approach of using the threat of another claim as leverage to encourage them to settle both been used successfully before? Have successful claims against Hermes got to County court in the past or are they invariably settled at the mediation stage?

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This is the first time we've had the possibility of two claims that the same time.

We have had one attempt at mediation recently which appears to have stalled and so it is now going to the County Court. This involved a bottle of perfume which was lost and which was originally knocked back because it contained alcohol. Since then, they have moved their position and it is now being declined because it didn't have insurance. The mediator tried to put pressure and I'm pleased to say that the claimant refused and Hermes wouldn't back down and it's now going to the court for a hearing and so it will be very interesting – although there is still a chance that Hermes will bottle out before the hearing.

Because it's the issue of insurance, if they lose on this then it will be significant.

There was another case which went to a hearing and which was lost. This was quite some time ago and I don't remember very much about it because the claimant didn't ask us for help until far too late and I remember feeling that it was very badly pleaded and very badly argued – and of course to a certain extent you may get a judge who is generally unsympathetic to these things.

However the main problem was that the claimant didn't consult with us and it was badly pleaded.

We've had quite a number of cases now where Hermes have taken it to a mediation and try to get a compromise. Some people compromised and accepted less than they claimed. But we have had two or three people recently who stood their ground and Hermes paid up.

My view is that you have a serious chance of Hermes paying up for £230 plus costs – rather than risk going to court on the issue of insurance. The fact that a discarded wrapper was discovered suggest very strongly criminality on the part of a Hermes employee and it would be amazing to me if a court said that you must be held liable for a Hermes employees criminality. I think it is fairly slamdunk that the court will say that Hermes have to bear the responsibility for the criminality of their own employees.

If then you went to the second case separately, I would be arguing that the discarded packaging from one of the parcels been discovered. The second one had been sent to it exactly the same time from the same place to the same addressee and so it was extremely likely that this second parcel had suffered the same fate and it was simply that the packaging had been discovered.

I would expect that a court would accept this as being the very likely explanation.

Of course once again, Hermes would simply be defending on a claim of £230 plus costs.

If you see for both at the same time then they would be defending on a claim of £460 plus costs – and that might make it feel a bit more economical to them to take the risk.

I would suggest that a piece by piece – death of a thousand cuts approach is going to be much better for you.

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Thank you I've been giving this some thought. 

 

Would there be any merit in putting in the two claims at the same time, so they have to respond to each individually but I wouldn't be seen as trying to hoodwink them but pulling another claim out the bag at the 11th hour?  I guess though I would incur double the cost in the first place and the argument would be to save both sides additional costs?? I'm not exactly clear what the next stage is, I've read about letters of claim and deadlock...

 

Also if I go through with one claim which will presumably take several weeks, is there any time limit on raising the second claim?

 

Thanks again

 

 

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There is no disadvantage to running the two claims separately. It gives you a second bite of the cherry – and your risk factor is less because the cost of bringing a single claim will be slightly less.

Nobody will make any judgement on you about bringing a second claim separately. These are simply legal tactics. There is no hoodwinking – although you can expect that Hermes won't be pleased – do you care?

If Hermes wants to save themselves costs then they can settle quickly instead of pushing it to a mediation in a hearing. Hermes regularly spends far more than the value of the claim in order to try and crush their opponents. They benefit from effectively a free County Court service which is paid for by taxpayers.

If you're reading about deadlock – then you are confusing the issue with financial complaints which are made through the financial ombudsman service. In those cases you have to obtain a letter of deadlock first – a final response – from the bank or financial institution before you can go to the ombudsman.

In the case of the courier industry, it is completely unregulated – which is why they get away with so much rubbish. Therefore letters of deadlock don't exist. You would certainly need to send a letter of claim and if you look around this sub- forum, you'll see loads of them. It's a very simple matter and we will help you draft one.

The limit on raising a second claim is six years from the date of the breach so I don't think you are troubled by this.

As I have said earlier, there is a huge merit in keeping the claim as small as possible so that there is even less incentive for Hermes to continue and push your court case. I can tell you that in this respect your interests this are not aligned with ours. We are campaigning group and we would love to see claims go to court and to be decided upon by charge. Your interests are simply to get the matter settled in to get your money as quickly as possible – and that is far more likely to happen if you bring a small claim for a small amount so that it is even more uneconomical for Hermes to take it any further.

I think for you the only question is are you prepared to bring a small claim in the County Court. If you are then frankly you shouldn't hesitate to bring the two claim separately. You may well find that once you brought the first claim and they have buckled down, that they will then buckle down very quickly to the second claim because they will realise that you mean business.

Part of the Hermes approach is to test you, to test your resolve and only to pay out if they know that there is a risk that it goes to court.

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Okay well decide how you want to approach it. You know what I would do.

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