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Hermes 'Insurance'; guitar headstock snapped in transit


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Hi all,

 

As you may have guessed, I am new here (I imagine you get a lot of us)

 

First off,  @BankFodderyou are a legend! This particular Hermes thread and all of your guidance contained within has been extremely useful for my own similar journey so far.

 

My case is similar; have used Hermes in the past with no issues until now.

 

I purchased their services to return an electric guitar to a store valued at ~£600.

 

I declared 'electric guitar', and was offered insurance, which I added to the purchase without question (how naïve of me...).

 

The guitar's headstock was snapped in transit - it was packed extemely well (I have been buying / selling fragile music equipment for ~10 years now).

 

The receiving store notified me upon receipt, and I proceeded with the initial Hermes claim process, they asked for images of the damage which I submitted, and was promptly notified that musical instruments are not covered by their insurance.

 

I notified them of my intent to claim on 8/6/21, and did actually receive a response that day, but after a bit of back and forth I was offered a 'postage refund' only.

 

I then proceeded with the claim via the MCOL portal that evening (not sure if I was supposed to leave more time?) to which Hermes filed an acknowledgment of service on 11/06/2021.

 

As I understand it, more than 28 days have now passed since their AOS - so my question is, what should I do now?

 

Any help much appreciated!!!

 

Note:

Just to be clear, the basis of my claim is not that Hermes damaged the guitar in transit, it is that they sold me a service + 'insurance' upon my declaration of the item being sent.

As others have pointed out on this forum, it would be so easy to implement an item categorization system (similar to eBay), that notifies the customer by not allowing them to add insurance to an uninsurable item, and subsequently dissuading them from using Hermes at all to send a valuable item.

Does the business depend on this shady implementation?

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You should be visiting the County Court portal immediately and the moment that it allows you to enter judgement, you should do so.

However you should be aware that the time limit is actually about 31 days or so because you have to allow for service of your claim and I'm afraid that Hermes inevitably file their defence at the very last moment.

So before we go further, go and check the County Court portal and then come back here.

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Thanks for the prompt reply @BankFodder.

 

I believe I have already done so (unless there is some other portal?)

 

This is the progress so far:

 

Claim History

You submitted a claim on 08/06/2021 at 19:38:16

Your claim was issued on 09/06/2021

HERMES PARCELNET LIMITED filed an acknowledgment of service on 11/06/2021 at 08:05:28

 

I was under the impression that their AOS means I have to wait for them to file a defense.

 

The 'request judgement' button is available but I wasn't sure if I had to do anything else prior to that.

 

 

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The acknowledgement of service gives them extra time. That means that they have 28 days from the date of service of the claim. If the claim is issued on the ninth, then you need to count 31 days from then and unfortunately we certainly are not there yet.

Start monitoring the portal closely – and I'm talking about twice a day.

Star also reading the Hermes stories on this sub- forum and also start reading up the steps involved in taking a claim in the County Court because I'm afraid that you are asking questions that make it fairly clear that you don't fully understand. It's not difficult that it will help your confidence level if you make yourself generally familiar. I understand also that you didn't send them a proper letter of claim giving them 14 days. They haven't challenged your failure to abide by protocol so it will probably go by unnoticed. But be prepared in case they raise the issue in the defence.
Once again, you should be doing the reading and thoroughly prepare yourself in advance.

Interesting that you have used the insurance contract as a cause of action. That hasn't been done before and I have to say that although it is not an unreasonable way to go, by suing on the breach of the insurance contract you are effectively validating the insurance contract to the extent that you are recognising its enforceability – which is a shame.

When you have read around the stories on this Hermes sub- forum you will understand that our position is always that the insurance requirement is unfair and unenforceable. Please read around.

Anyway, you have made your claim now and it is fine – we can go ahead with that and I expect that we will help you get your money back.

Please post up the claim form in PDF format.

You say that the guitar has been damaged. Is it at all repairable? If it is then what would be the cost of repairing it?

 

Once again, if you had read up thoroughly on the subject then you would know that the moment that it becomes possible to apply for judgement, then you should just go ahead. You don't need to ask anybody's permission. You just do it

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Thanks for your help.

 

I will do some reading and familiarize myself.

 

The guitar is repairable - I imagine the cost would be around £200 to £300 (I have had immense difficulty in obtaining an actual quote for the repair or partial refund from the original guitar retailer that I returned it to.)

 

When you say post up the claim form, do you mean my 'particulars of claim' used in the form?

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Yes please. We want to see your claim – which ideally means the whole document in PDF format. You can redacted for identifiers.

If the guitar is repairable then ideally you should have claimed for the cost of repairs after having produced two estimates.

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As I don't currently have a way to blank the identifiers in the PDF, I have pasted the particulars for you below and hope this is sufficient. I have also now noticed I have not followed up on the last sentence...

 

The claimant used the courier service provided by the defendant courier company to send an electric guitar to a third party.

Reference number (redacted). The defendant company has admitted that they have damaged the item and refuse to compensate the claimant.

The value of the item sent was £599. The delivery fee was £20.18. The claimant claims full reimbursement of £619.18 (item value plus delivery fee plus insurance cost).

I will provide the defendant with separate detailed particulars within 14 days after service of the claim form.

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He said that your cause of action was the refusal to honour the insurance contract – but there is no mention of it here in your particulars of claim.

Also, you said that you were going to send them a separate particulars of claim within 14 days – have you done that?

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My cause of action was that Hermes damaged the guitar and refused to pay any compensation (I intended the sentence about the 'basis of my claim' in the original post to be read rather informally but apologies if I have confused matters - I understand that your are just trying to help.)

 

As stated - I have not sent them a separate 'particulars of claim' within 14 days and have just realized this mistake on my part.

 

Would you advise I do this now; or revise my claim down once I have a cost-of-repair quote?

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1 hour ago, Quanta said:

 

 

Note:

Just to be clear, the basis of my claim is not that Hermes damaged the guitar in transit, it is that they sold me a service + 'insurance' upon my declaration of the item being sent.

 

 

Well I'm not sure how there could be any other interpretation of what you have posted here. We can only give advice based on what you tell us.

Anyway, your claim form hasn't raised the issue of the insurance at all and as far as we're concerned that is good because it means that you have a far more conventional claim which is simply that they caused damage to guitar when they undertook to carry it safely.

You haven't sent them an additional particulars of claim. When you issued your claim did you click the checkbox that said you would?

You are so close now to the deadline for either receiving the defence or else entering judgement that you may as well wait and see what happens in the next two or three days.

However it would be most unusual for Hermes not to file the defence and so don't get your hopes up that anything different will happen.

In terms of being able to post documents here, you will have to find a way to post up your documents properly. Our advice is completely free that we expect you to engage with us in exactly the same way as you would be very pleased to do if you are paying £300 an hour.

Also, I would caution you to be a little bit more careful about the way you are handling this. So far it seems that you haven't sent them a proper letter of claim. You apparently said that you are going to send them a more detailed particulars of claim – and you haven't.
Hopefully Hermes won't have picked up on this or else they will simply ignore it – but you never know. You leave yourself open to complications and if you did have to amend your claim in some way then that could cost you about £200-£250 which would not be recoverable because the problem would have been caused by you.

There is no reason why you should not get all your money back but you need to be on the ball.

Please do the reading and let us know as soon as you have entered judgement – or more likely that you have received their defence. We will want the defence posted up in PDF format – redacted.

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I cannot recall whether or not I clicked the checkbox that said I would send an additional particulars of claim.

 

I certainly don't have my hopes up for them not filing a defense - will monitor the claim portal closely over the next few days.

 

Point taken regarding posting documents and your advice - I will post a PDF of the defense here if / when it appears.

 

I believe I did send a proper letter of claim, but only via email and not physical post - perhaps another error on my part. PDF of this attached.

 

 

Hermes Claim.pdf

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No surprises there.

Please check back for a full reply tomorrow but in the meantime do the reading.

 

Including this 

 

 

 

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These people are really cute aren't they.

They say that it was a prohibited/excluded item – yet it was properly declared as a guitar and they were happy to carries on that basis.

Not only that, they were prepared to sell you their insurance knowing full well what the item was – and yet now they disclaim liability for it. And then they say that if they are liable then they are only liable to their maximum of £300 or so.

What actually is the top level of insurance? Is it actually £300?

 

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Yes they do at least make clear that the cover is only up to £300, which I would have accepted if it had been offered upon my initial attempt to claim reimbursement with them directly.

 

I have attached a recreation of what the initial transaction would have looked like to me prior to making initial payment.

 

The latest update on the claim portal is 'DQ sent to HERMES PARCELNET LIMITED on 13/07/2021' which I am guessing means 'defence questionnaire'?

 

I take it I will then need to complete a questionnaire as well, and respond to the points raised in their defence?

 

Thank you for you help again @BankFodderand I will certainly be making a donation to the group regardless of whether or not any additional guidance is provided.

pasted image 0_Redacted.pdf

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Well luckily your particulars of claim didn't refer to the insurance and didn't actually challenge them on their failure to honour the insurance. You have rather let yourself off the hook – inadvertently.

You should now concentrate simply on their breach of contract and because the insurance is invalid because of its unenforceability and the reasons that have been posted in the sticky thread on this sub- forum, it is unenforceable.

Keep on reading up the various Hermes stories. Also make sure that you are thoroughly familiar with the steps involved in taking a small claim in the County Court.

The next stage will be for you to receive a DQ. Let us know when you get it. Hermes will indicate that they are happy to go to mediation and you should do the same thing. Read up on the mediation story is on the sub- forum.

When you've done your reading and you think you understand the steps then you can certainly ask us questions – but we rather that you didn't start asking questions about issues which have been clearly explained many times on this sub- forum

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DQ received. It doesn't seem to indicate anything in relation to Hermes' willingness to go to mediation, but as I'm sure you're aware the first section of the DQ is my YES / NO to mediation.

 

It seems straight forward enough but I can post it up if you want to see it.

 

Once I have completed and returned it, I will continue to prepare for mediation, if that stage is reached.

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Yours should be the blank n180 from the court,?? and as you have to copy in hermes sols, they, when they get theirs from the court, copy in you too. So until you get theirs you wont know their stance. 

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Yes I received a copy of their defence (posted earlier) along with a blank N180. Completing this now.

 

The only questions I am not 100% certain of are:

 

At which County Court hearing centre would you prefer the small claims hearing to take place and why?         (I will simply choose my nearest hearing centre; not written here in order to maintain anonymity)

 

Are you asking for the court’s permission to use the written evidence of an expert?                                               No

 

How many witnesses, including yourself, will give evidence on your behalf at the hearing?                                   1

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  • 1 month later...

You should by now have received an N157 Notice of Allocation from the court (I assume you submitted your DQ in July ?) The N157 will inform you of the courts directions on what each party must prepare for next by date and how the claim will proceed.

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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Possibly but I would contact your court and enquire to how its proceeding (allocation wise).....4 weeks seems a long time without response...even with covid.

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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 Topic please PM me a link to your thread

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