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Mediator point - Hermes lost my parcel and it is offering just a partial refund of the total amount requested.**WON**

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Hi, long story short,


Hermes lost a parcel which was supposed to deliver from my home to another location in London.

When I paid for the service, I only paid standard delivery but I claim the value was £500.


They offered me £20 standard refund. I refused and file a small claim court. When I filed the claim, I realised the invoices in my possession for items inside the parcel were over £850 + other personal items which I don't have the receipts. my total claim was about £1200.


They refused my claim and today we had a call with the mediator. They offered me £370, which is given from their maximum cover + cost of the small claim court fee. I have until tomorrow morning to answer to this. Should I refuse and proceed with a court hearing?


They claimed that I have signed their contract so I was aware of their rules and responsibilities in case of a lost parcel. I believe that was not clearly stated, but what are my chances?


I do have proof (invoices) of the items which were inside the parcel.

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What was the declared value when you arranged the delivery?

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I declared £500 at the time of delivery because I had never thought it was going to get lost. It is only when I made the small claim court that i went back and look for the invoices that I realised the damage was greater.


To the £900 of invoices, the £70 of the service  I then added an estimate value (about £200) of other gifts and personal items.

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But the point they are raising now it is not about the amount declared, but:

1) They won't insure any items with an item value more than £300

2) I have just paid standard delivery

3) Although they accept responsibility of losing my parcel, they send back liability to me as I signed their contract, where in the small print where they say:


“For any other Goods or Parcels we will only be liable to you for Loss or Damage or Late Delivery to the extent that it is caused by our negligence, in which case we will pay compensation to you subject to the limits set out in condition 8 below (“Compensation”).” 2.26. 18.2 Clause 7.3 2.27. “The Compensation shall be the full extent of our liability to you for Loss or Damage or Late Delivery”


Subject to clause 8.5 Unless you have taken out our Full Cover, the following limits apply to our liability to you under a Contract: 2.30.


8.2 Subject to clause 8.5, our liability for each instance of Loss or Damage or anything else other than Late Delivery is limited to whichever is lesser of: 2.31. 8.2.1 £20; or 2.32.


8.2.2 the cost of repairing the damaged Goods, or the value of the lost or damaged Goods (as we shall reasonably determine up to a maximum of the price you paid or were paid for the Goods) and we will refund your Charges.. 2.33.


8.3 Subject to clause 8.5, our liability for Late Delivery is limited to refunding the Charges. 2.34.


8.4 Subject to clause  8.5, when you submit an Order, you may take out our Full Cover. If you do so the limit of our liability to you for Loss or Damage will be varied to whichever is the lesser of: 2.35.


8.4.1 the level of £300 2.36.


8.4.2 the cost of repairing the damaged Goods, or the value of the lost or damaged Goods, (as we shall reasonably determine up to a maximum of the price you paid or were paid for the Goods); and we will refund your Charges.”

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I'll come back and give a full reply in about an hour or so – but let me ask you this: have you tried reading any of the Hermes stories on the sub- forum?

I don't think you have. Because this point about declared values et cetera and also the effect of their so-called contractual terms is talked about again and again.

Please will you start reading up some of the Hermes stories on the sub- forum and also have a look at the excellent summaries that we have had from some people regarding their mediation experience.


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I have read a few to be honest, but I didn't find something that was actually the same to me.

Many stories involved 3 parties (i.e. customer got a parcel lost with Hermes as delivery company but bought in Ebay or other), other regarded only the full cover or standard delivery and other had a smaller value (i.e. £100) and they were happy to settle at the mediator point.


I might have missed some and I will look at it now in more details to see If I see something else similar.


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The first thing is that you only declared the value at £500. This is the maximum that you will be able to claim. If you had a look at some of the Hermes stories on the sub- forum, you will find at this point comes up again and again.

I've already repeated very often that a contract is an exchange of reasonable expectations. They reasonably expect to receive a certain amount of money from you. You reasonably expect your parcel to be delivered.
You declare a certain value for your parcel. They undertake to shoulder that risk as part of their contractual obligation.

You can't declare a value of £500 and then later on say will actually you are carrying something of £800 – and then later on say well I made a mistake it's actually £1200.

Also, I'm sorry to say that it's crazy that you are now saying that you only declared £500 because you didn't expected to be lost. Big Fail!
You may as well say that you didn't bother to look both ways before you cross the road because you didn't expect to get hit by a car.

Let's face it if you had realised that the parcel was going to get lost – would you have sent it at all? You might as well say "I sent the parcel to someone because I didn't expect it to get lost". It would be absurd if you said "I expected it to get lost, but I decided to send it anyway…"

The fact of their insurance et cetera is neither here nor there. Once again, you haven't done the reading of the sub- forums because otherwise you would know this and you would understand the principles.

I do understand fully that you've only just joined the forum and you may not have fully had time to understand exactly what is going on – but I'm afraid, in order to bring legal actions against someone, you have to be fully prepared and you have to understand the arguments that you are going to be making. You don't seem to have done that.

We happy to help you is that you're going to have to put in some of your own time now to start reading up the principles.

Understand the argument that the insurance is unfair because it is absurd to require you to insure yourself against the negligence or criminality of the service provider. You have paid them to do a job and they should do that job.

They have accepted your parcel value £500 – and that is what they must pay you.
There is no reason for you to accept anything less than £500 plus all the other costs that you incurred such as delivery or insurance costs et cetera – not to mention your court costs.

This should be a red line and you should tell the mediator tomorrow that you won't accept anything less than £500 – the declared value, the courier fee, any insurance fee that you paid, plus all of your court costs.

Did you claim interest? You should have done – but if you didn't you won't be able to add it on now.

Taking a small claim against a company like Hermes is really quite straightforward but you need to take a little care.

Maybe you're going to tell us that you didn't bother to find out about the law involved because you didn't expect to have to bring the claim. Bravo!

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Posted (edited)


It was naive indeed saying that the value of my items were £500, my bad.


But I haven't changed the value 3 times like you mentioned. I firstly declared £500 when I paid for the service and then I declared £1200 when I filed for the small claim court (and recap all the evidence in my possess), so to them I actually just change the value once.


Nevertheless my only worry was the fact that I had signed a contract with them where they stated (as reported in my previous message) they won't pay more than £300.


But if you say that it's anyway their negligence of having lost my parcel (and of course I agree with you!), I am happy to refuse their offer and see where this is going.


The parcel is lost and with it a lot of sentimental stuff, I guess I would feel better if I knew there was a bit of a fairer judgment.


Although naive, I know that my actions were and are in good faith, I am not sure I can say the same about them.


P.S. I also did claim interest when file for small claim court.

One more thing, if this is going to court, do I need to get myself a lawyer?



Edited by BankFodder
Restructured in order to make it readable
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First of all I've edited your post quite substantially. This is been done to make it more relevant – but also to make it more accessible.
It is unhelpful to us and to other people who read this thread to find solid blocks of text that we have to negotiate.

At the end of your post you ask if you need to get yourself a lawyer. If you did manage to find a lawyer who is prepared to help you with this, it would properly cost you at least £300 an hour. I'm quite certain that you would present your story to them in an accessible way in order to cut down costs because they would be charging you for every five minutes they spent.
Everything here is free – and so as already said, it's not helpful to oblige us to spend extra time restructuring your posts.

I understand that you declared the value of £500 but eventually you went on to bring a County Court claim for £1200.

I'm afraid that you won't be able to recover £1200. It is clear the contract was for the delivery of an item which you valued at £500 when you arranged the delivery. Unfortunately you have helped yourself because you have incurred County Court costs based on a £1200 claim and the maximum you will be able to recover in terms of costs will be a pro rata figure based on a £500 claim.

You said that you expected Hermes to act in good faith. Why?

I think it is worth standing your ground and telling Hermes that you are prepared to go all the way to court – but at the same time I think you had better tell the mediator that you are prepared to give up your claim of £1200 and to fall back on the contracted figure of £500.
This might give some Face to Hermes as they will think that they have managed to secure some kind of compromise by forcing you to reduce the amount of money you are after. The truth is that you wouldn't be able to get £1200 anyway so you aren't losing anything by agreeing to accept £500.

However you should certainly insist that Hermes pays your costs – but be aware that you will only be able to get your costs on a £500 scale and not £1200.

You can also tell Hermes that you want interest at 8% from the date they lost the parcel. However this will be 8% on £500 and frankly it is unlikely to be very much. You haven't told us when they actually lost the parcel.
Once again, the interest might be something that you would be prepared to give up in order to get your £500 plus costs.
I think that will be your best position.

I hope you won't mind me saying but that the way that you have conducted this claim so far probably has brought comfort to Hermes because they understand that you are not particularly sure of your ground and this will make them feel more confident.

For this reason I think your best interests would be to disengage from this action as quickly as you can – but not for less than £500 plus costs on that scale.

Back to the question you asked at the end – if it goes to court then should you get a lawyer?

It is most unlikely that you will be able to find a lawyer who is prepared to take this on. It's too trivial and it wouldn't pay them enough. The small claims rules mean that even if you won your case, you would not get your legal costs back and as I've already suggested, you would probably be paying something like about £300 per hour.
I can imagine that if you found a lawyer to take it on – and even if that lawyer lost the case for you you would be looking at a bill of £1500 at least. If you won the case, then you would get your £500 and you would still have to pay the lawyers fees.

I wish you very good luck. I think you are in a good position if you are prepared to accept £500. However, do be aware that Hermes might quite recently ask you for proof of the value of your loss – and you better be ready with all the bills or other evidence.

Please keep us updated.

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Thank you for taking the time again to answer to my query.

Let me give you some update on what happened this morning.


I had my call with the mediator and based on our conversation here, I stood my ground saying that I would refuse the £300 and instead accept the £500 as minimum reimbursement. I could hear he was not happy about my decision and told me immediately he will proceed in going forward to set a date with the hearing and inform the local authority.


When I asked if he was going at least try to get back to Hermes to tell them my decision, he said that he wouldn't as Hermes yesterday had given him their last and final offer of £300, so there was not further negotiation on their side. I was a bit astonished to be honest but firm in my decision. He wished me luck and close the conversation. I was ready to go to court.


Not even 2 mins later he called me back and said that he actually spoke with Hermes and they accepted to settle my claim at £500! 


So thank you so much for the great advices you gave me last night; my parcel is lost but at least I know I got the maximum I could claim back from my mistakes.


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Thanks for the update. Well done – excellent that you stood your ground.

The mediators are totally out of line putting this kind of pressure on you and also joining in the Hermes bluff that they wouldn't go any further. The mediator was acting improperly and frankly once think about making a complaint.

The mediator was obliged to put your final offer to Hermes and it was up to Hermes to accept it. When the mediator said that he wouldn't put your offer forward, he was acting completely against the rules.

Did you get your costs as well? Or was it just the £500?

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Mediator point - Hermes lost my parcel and it is offering just a partial refund of the total amount requested.**WON**

Well if you got your costs for the £1200 claim – then you did very well and they missed a trick because you are only entitled to recover costs for a £500 claim – so well done.

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