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Item lost by UPS / Packlink

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Hi, I wonder if you could help me with an exasperating situation with UPS.


I have purchased several items of glass from a collector in Italy either via their website or ebay.  I am the receiver and not the shipper.

An item worth 3k was due to be delivered by UPS on 6 January.  “Due to BREXIT” there was a query on the duty which took 2 months to resolve.  When it came to paying the correct duty and arranging a delivery I was advised by UPS that the parcel had been lost after arrival in the UK. The item was insured and the value declared.


After several weeks following up with UPS, local depot etc to try and find the item I requested an investigation and in April informed that the vase could not be located.


I initiated the claims process and was advised by UPS that as I was the receiver and not the shipper any claim would be sent to the shipper of the parcel. 

I have been in correspondence with UPS over the last 3 months to ascertain the status of the claim.  Eventually, I have been advised by UPS that the item was shipped via Packlink Italy and that the claim has been issued to Packlink (not the shipper) at the end of April.  


The shipper and I have a good relationship and have both being following up over the last few months to try and progress / see the status of the claim but have no response.  He has received no compensation for the item and UPS and Packlink are not responding to him.   


UPS’ final position is that it is a matter between me and the seller and the seller to follow-up with Packlink Italy.   My question is whether this is something that I can pursue with UPS e.g. via small claims as Packlink have no incentive to resolve.  As you can imagine the service, responsiveness and willingness of UPS to take ownership have been extremely poor for a package they have ultimately lost.   I have been very patient and been prepared to wait as the item was a one off but now facing the reality that it will not turn up so wish the claim to be satisfied.


As a first step I was considering submitting an SAR to UPS, although wonder if this would help, and then a small claims request but would appreciate any thoughts.


thank you


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I'm not sure that you have any basis for sending an SAR – but even if you did, I can scarcely imagine what useful data it might produce.

Of course you could decide to claim against the seller but of course the contract presumably is subject to Italian law and you have to bring the claim in Italy and I can imagine that that wouldn't be easy and of course that would be the end of the good relations with your Italian contact.

Packlink are based in Spain so you would have the same difficulty. Normally we would recommend that you go directly to UPS using your third-party rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 – but in this case as the contract is an Italian contract, any rights that you might enjoy under the 1999 act would be Italian rights under an Italian contract.

I'm afraid at the moment I'm not sure what to suggest.
Because you Italian contact is actually in place, the easiest thing would be further that person to bring the claim and if necessary bring in the Italian courts. I can imagine that that wouldn't be very easy – certainly not nearly as easy as bringing a small claim in the UK County Court – and I have to say that our small claims process is probably the best in the whole of Europe and probably ranks in the top in the world alongside Australia and New Zealand – who basically got the idea from us anyway

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Hi, thank you for the prompt response.


I feared this may not be straightforward and believe the seller also recognises this.   His more recent focus of efforts is to seek to solve the situation via the provision of a replacement / similar item and I value the relationship to work with the seller on this solution as opposed to taking action against them.


I appreciate the SAR may serve little purpose, but had hoped the small claims route against UPS may be possible to prompt them into action.     The item was definitely received by UPS in the UK and has been lost by them but it looks as though technically by shifting the claims route back via packlink they can avoid the role they have played in losing a 3k item.  

My steer from your response is that if I did initiate a uk small claim it would be deemed invalid and unsuccessful (?) but if you do have any further suggestions about anything I could do it would be greatly appreciated - In my view UPS have acted poorly and it doesn’t feel right there is no recourse back to them other than via the seller, italian route as per your note so even if there was a slight chance may consider progressing.

thank you again.










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I've suddenly had a thought that you could sue UPS in negligence.
From our point of view it would be an interesting exercise and few I think it will be the only way forward.

Applying your third-party rights, they owe you a contractual duty but as the contract is in Italy, they would only owe you a duty in respect of that Italian contract.

However, it is clearly foreseeable that you are the intended beneficiary of the item and that if they don't exercise reasonable care when dealing with it then you are a foreseeable victim.

If you like to go ahead with this in negligence then we'd be very pleased to help you.

UPS wouldn't like it and that would make it more interesting and more fun

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