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Hermes damaged parcel and disposed off without my consent

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As per title, Hermes will not refund me for the total cost of items. The contents of the parcel were two photos frames.  I am fully aware that these items are classed as prohibited items by Hermes.  However, they must have handled the parcel so badly to cause so much damage that they disposed of the frames. The frames were securely wrapped with multiple layers of bubble wrap, then thick cardboard and finally sealed with a parcel bag and fragile tape multiple times.


Can I do anything to get a refund?

Thank you for your time.

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Thank you.

I'm interested to know why these are prohibited items. What does it actually say on their very extensive prohibited items list?

Secondly, did you declare them as photo frames? Were they just the frames or did they include glass. Earlier on you had suggested that they might be mirrors.

What was the value of them? Was the value properly declared? Did you take up their insurance?


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Posted (edited)

Copied from Hermes website 


No Protection items:

The following items (or any item similar in description or content) can only be carried on a no protection basis on any service.

Any person sending such an item does so at their own risk:

  • Amber 
  • Antique 
  • Bottles 
  • Bulbs 
  • Ceramics/Figures/Figurines 
  • China/Porcelain 
  • Clock 
  • Coffee Machines 
  • Computer Monitor/Imac 
  • Crockery/Pots/Pottery 
  • Crystal 
  • Delicate Items 
  • Detergent 
  • Diamonds 
  • Documents 
  • Fiberglass 
  • Fish Tank 
  • Fishing Rods 
  • Fragile Items (all)
  • Framed Painting/Photograph 
  • Gems or gemstones
  • Glass/Glassware 
  • Hamper 
  • Lampshades 
  • Lenses 
  • Marble 
  • Microscope 
  • Microwave 
  • Mirror 
  • Ornament 
  • Over Head Projector 
  • Packaging/Media Packaging 
  • Pewter Figures 
  • Picture Frames 
  • Poster 
  • Precious Metals (Gold/Silver/Platinum Etc.) 
  • Print 
  • Projector 
  • Real Fur 
  • Resin 
  • Scanner 
  • Sewing/Knitting Machine 
  • Shower Screen 
  • SIM Cards 
  • Stoneware 
  • Suitcases/ Flightcases (Not acceptable as packaging) 
  • Television 
  • Tiles 
  • Torches 
  • Turntables 
  • Vase 
  • Velux 
  • Vermiculite Board 
  • Watch


Yes items declared as photo frames.

Glass included

Value £60

No extra insurance purchased

Sorry it was many months ago and I can’t remember if was asked to declare the value of the items 


Edited by Savar
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Posted (edited)

Diamonds on their prohibited list?


I wouldn't trust Herpes with my used underwear, let alone diamonds!

Edited by Homer67
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The list is really extensive to the point of being unfair and of course although Hermes try on all the time, in respect of items which are lost, the list is irrelevant. However it can be relevant in respect of items which are damaged.

I understand that the items which you sent where picture frames including glass but you declared only that they were picture frames and you declared a value of £60. Is this correct?

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I declared the items as photo frames. It didn’t ask me to state glass or no glass. Yes value of £60


I think Hermes assumes photo frames includes glass automatically hence it’s on the above list.


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I'm afraid I disagree with you in terms of what Hermes considers to be a photo frame. The fact that they list glass separately to photo frames suggests to me that they consider that a photo frame could be empty without glass and then you would have to identify glass separately.

I think you're in a very difficult position. Glass is a prohibited item and you didn't declare the glass and so they didn't knowingly take on that risk.

The problem is that we don't know what the damage was because they have provided you with any information. However it would be easy for them to say that it was the glass which was damaged and because I think that this is a completely predictable and fairly high level of risk, and because clearly they contemplated this risk on their prohibited items list, I think they would have a good basis for saying that you sent an item containing glass despite the fact that it was clearly prohibited – and that it was the glass that was damaged.

Because of their failure to provide you with any evidence of the damage, you have no way of answering this and so they decided to stick their heels in and go to court, I think you would be in a difficult position.
We are dealing with a low value item here. Unfortunately this cuts both ways.

On one hand, you could take a chance and sue Hermes and they were considered that it simply wasn't there worth their while holding out against and they would eventually decide to pay you rather than go through the hassle of going to court.

On the other hand, there is definitely a risk for you because in order to bring this claim, it would probably cost you 50 or £60 and if they did decide to take it all the way, and if you lost, then you would lose the additional court fees simply in order to recover £60.

Of course an important element here is that they have gone on to dispose of your property without any reference to you and without your authority. If you've read through some of the Hermes stories here, you will see that we consider that this amounts to the tort of conversion under the Torts (Wrongful Interference with Goods) Act. They have apparently destroyed your goods without any reference to you – without seeking your permission so they have effectively taken over your ownership of the goods.

You could sue them for conversion. You could sue them for breach of contract and for the tort of conversion – but once again, there would be very little to gain and they would be quite a large risk involved.

Tell us what you would like to do.

I'm afraid that my instinct would be to let it go and to learn the lesson to make sure things are properly declared in future. When you declare things properly you confer maximum exposure to risk upon the contracting party.

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Thank you for your detailed response.


I declared photo frames and Hermes never gave the option to declare photo frames with or without glass. If they had done, I would have selected glass. 

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I understand what you say – but regardless of whether or not there was an opportunity to declare the glass, the fact is that it is on their prohibited items list and one can understand very well that transporting glass must cause particular problems for any kind of delivery service.
Although you didn't have an opportunity to declare it because you had already declared it as picture frames, the fact is that the package contained glass.
Had it been declared as glass and Hermes had agreed to transport it then I would have been more confident about your chances. However, as the glass was undeclared that am afraid that one probably has to accept that the prohibited items list prevailed and therefore the glass will be transported at your risk.
Had the glass been declared and Hermes had agreed to transport it, then this would have invalidated their prohibited items list.

Of course we don't know what the damage is that it is reasonable to suppose that it was probably the glass within the package which broke. It's very unhelpful that Hermes don't supply details and it's also unacceptable, in my view, that they don't supply any photographic evidence.

I think you are in a position where you would have difficulty suing on the contract. You could think about suing for the tort of conversion in that they then went ahead to dispose of the item without reference to you but I think this might be difficult as well because they would argue that the broken glass made the transportation dangerous even if the package had been returned to you.

It's very rare that I come out with arguments which favour the Hermes position – but in this case I think you have a very difficult problem and given the value of the item I think your best interests would be to let it drop and to put it down to experience.

If you still want to go ahead then we will help you, of course – but I'm letting you know now that I think it would be very high risk. I would be very pleased if you won, but somehow I don't see it.

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