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Hermes unable to locate my parcel at depot - offered £318


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I sent some items including a laptop via Hermes (my mistake) and Hermes cannot locate them.

The value of the items is over £600, but that is the amount I declared (my mistake).

I purchased the "insurance" and have been offered £300 plus the original payment for delivery.

My next step is to accept the money, but state that their attempt to limit their liability is unfair and unenforceable and "Please understand that I am still considering my options in relation to the outstanding balance.".

In the meantime I should work on a letter of claim.

 

Background:
 

Quote

 

My student son left a laptop and some other items at home.

My wife packaged them up, and I arranged the Hermes next day delivery online (yes, stupid me!) and dropped the parcel at a local shop on Monday 13th September about 5pm.

The parcel was last recorded reaching the depot (6 miles away).

On Wednesday 15th September, the status changed to "We've got your parcel and it's on its way but a major event is slowing us down. We'll get it to you as soon as we can".

After mostly pointless phone calls that promised a search and response with 24 hours (though it did lead to early access to the claim form), and emails initially to [email protected] that got a email responses from the "Hermes Support" that promised a search and response within 48 hours, the parcel could not be located.

 

 

Details as follows:
 

Quote

 

Date Sent: 13 Sep 21

Paid: £18 (£6.90 next day delivery, £0.90 signature, £10.20 insurance)

What were the items: Laptop (£566), cash (£40), slider (£15), sonicare toothbrush charger (£11.99), usb cables and chargers (£24.23), printer cable and printer power supply (£5.39, £6.99),  a hand towel and tea towel (~£0)
What was the declared value: £600 (yes, stupid me again but my wife did not tell me about the £40 cash)
Items declared: laptop, sliders, cables, chargers (there is only a limited space allowed on the web page for this)
Was the value properly declared: I under-declared, but it would be diffcult to prove the £40 cash anyway
Did you take out the so-called insurance: Yes, the maximum £300
Did you book this with HERMES directly?: Yes, direct on myhermes.co.uk
Was the parcel simply lost? Or is it damaged and then destroyed? Or is it simply damage?: not able to locate

 

 

I was sent the claim form link and completed the claim form on 20th September before the confirmation that the unidentified freight team had failed to find it (27th September).

 

I received the following on Friday 8th October:

Quote

I have investigated your claim, due to the level of cover you chose within our standard compensation, we will be processing a payment for maximum value of £300.00, plus postage costs of £18.00.

 

So that we can process this as quickly as possible for you, we kindly request that you send us some details:

 

- your bank sort code

- your bank account number (the short one, not the long card number)

- your name as it appears on your bank card

 

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The Consumer Action Group website and posts are incredibly useful. There are some things that I found interesting and wanted to mention (apologies if they have already been covered): evidence of Hermes employees' "systemic plundering" of parcels; "Consumer Rights Act 2015" in the Hermes terms and condtions; recognition of a difference between lost and damaged for excluded items; and the fake insurance con.

 

Evidence of Hermes employees' "systemic plundering" of parcels

WWW.WALESONLINE.CO.UK

Emanuil Radu and Isac Radu, both 26, were caught after bosses realised an unusually high number of parcels were being delivered to the same address.

 

From a news story on 20th August 2021, possibly £300,000 of parcels were stolen in 9 months. The judge said:

Quote

"The systematic plundering of this company by its employees only came to light in September 2020, and it came to light because a remarkably large number of parcels were delivered to a single address."

The employees identified high value parcels and switched delivery labels so they were delivered to their gang's addresses.

This happened for at least 9 months before Hermes accidentally spotted it. The internal depot CCTV was used to catch the crime.

In my complaint I have repeatedly pointed to this and asked that Hermes check the CCTV as there is a real risk employees use their computer systems to identify high value parcels and steal them.

I got this responses eventually:

Quote

Thanks for your email but no we havent and wont be contacting the police in this respect nor do we check CCTV footage at the depot's as they handle up to 70,000 a day each day and wouldn't identify one parcel within that amount.

 

Consumer Rights Act 2015 in the Hermes terms and condtions

Hermes terms and condtions set out how they limit their liability in section 5, but 4.8. has:

Quote

4.8.

Nothing in these terms and conditions affects your statutory rights nor limits or excludes our liability for:

(i)

death or personal injury resulting from our negligence;

(ii)

any damage or liability that you incur as a result of our fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or

(iii)

a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 unless you are claiming for Business Loss.

AIUI a blanket attempt to limit liability is not allowed by the CRA 2015, so they even recognise in their own terms and conditions that they are fully liable?

 

Difference between lost and damaged for excluded items

Like many others, when things started to look bad then I spotted all the exclusions and read about the various experiences here. However I got this in an email which states loss and damage would be treated differently:

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Please may I firstly offer my apologies for your parcel containing a laptop being unaccounted for.

 

Would you please provide me with a description of the parcel, any distinctive colours or packaging and a record of the contents of the parcel?  This will help my colleague in the depot try to locate it and we can get it on its way to you as quickly as possible.

 

However should the parcel be lost we would cover the laptop for loss however we would not cover for damage.

 

The fake insurance con

This is obviously well recognised on this website, and hardly new. The "cover" being sold is not insurance but everyone buying it thinks it is.

It is not covered by FCA misselling rules, but consumers assume that buying an insurance product is covered by financial services rules and think they can buy insurance from Hermes without being cheated or missold.

Is there anything that can be done?

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I'm not really sure what your second post is about– But certainly in terms of getting compensation for your loss laptop – £600 is the declared value and that is the maximum you can go for.

 

If they offer you £300 then you can accept it as long as it is clear that it is not in full and final settlement and that the question of the outstanding amount is at large.

 

Certainly it would better try and reduce the amount of money you need to claim for because that will result in a smaller claim feeAnd of course it will make it less economical for Hermes to try and defend your claim – although they will still go ahead anyway.

 

Begin by making a formal complaint to Hermes and then afterwards follow up with your letter of claim. Post a draft here if you want. Try to avoid being too verbose

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Thank you.

I provided my bank details, but stated the payment would not be full and final settlement.

Five days ago, they responded saying they have processed the compensation refund and allow 7-10 days.

When (or if) I receive the payment then is the following draft letter of claim ok?

Quote

Hermes Corporate Headquarters
Capitol House,
1 Capitol Blvd,
Morley,
Leeds
LS27 0WH
Date ------

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Letter of Claim
Incident: ----------
Parcel number: ----------------

I confirm receipt of £300 plus postage costs in respect of the parcel which Hermes has mislaid through negligence or allowed to be stolen by Hermes workers.

I refer you to my email of the 11th October 2021 (recorded on your system under incident -----------------------) in which I stated Hermes attempt to limit compensation to £300 was unfair and unenforceable under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and Hermes terms and conditions recognise this in section 4.8 (iii). I also made it clear the payment of £300 would not be full and final settlement, and left my options open for recovering the outstanding balance.

I'm very pleased that you have decided to mitigate your loss, however this does not deal with the matter and I still require a further payment of £300 to settle the declared value of the parcel which I put into your care under the above parcel reference number.

If I do not receive this payment within 14 days then I shall begin a legal action against you in the County Court and without any further notice.

Yours Faithfully,

 

 

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Yes, I'm afraid it was an unnecessary mistake

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Is this ok for the particulars of claim?

Quote

On 13th September 2021, the claimant used the defendant's delivery service to send a parcel, declared value £600 to a UK address. Reference number XXX. The defendant breached the contract by failing to deliver the parcel and claims it cannot be located. The defendant has accepted their liability and has paid £300 plus the postage costs, but refuses to reimburse the claimant the full value. The defendant's terms and conditions state their liability cannot be limited for a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which they have breached through their negligence and failure to deliver or return the parcel with reasonable care and skill. The claimant seeks reimbursement of £300.00 being the outstanding balance, court fees and any interest owed pursuant to section 69 County Courts act 1984.

 

I also sent the letter of claim by email yesterday and got this response today:

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Thank you for getting in touch with us regarding your lost parcel and firstly please accept my apologies that you have had problems with this delivery

.

I have reviewed your compensation claim and the decision made was the correct one. I understand this isn't the outcome you were hoping for but this is our final decision. We await the papers from the small claims court in due course.

 

I apologise if this is a stupid question, but does this mean I can proceed on MCOL immediately?

I have read many of the Hermes stories on this site but do not remember seeing a case where Hermes rejected the letter of claim so quickly.

Edited by BankFodder
Particulars of claim amended
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I've amended your particulars of claim to remove some detail. If you are happy then issue it immediately. I think their letter effectively acknowledges your letter of claim and that the protocol has been complied with and that they waive their rights on this point.

Who signed their letter to you?

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So it was Ian Mellor. I expect that when you get their defence document, that will be signed off as a statement of truth by Chloe Higgs.

They are all part of the Hermes obstacle course mechanism which attempts to make it as difficult as possible for customers to enforce their rights. The trick is to whittle down the claimants as hard as possible and eventually give grant to those who really are prepared to go the distance.

Although this incurs lots of costs, the majority of those costs are borne by the taxpayer funded County Court system. Throwing obstacles in people's way acts as an effective disincentive to huge number of people and the money that Hermes does eventually paid out is set off against tax.

The result is that the people who pay for Hermes inefficiencies are there customers who don't get compensation, and you the taxpayer who either helped to pay for the County Court system or who else pay their taxes which allows Hermes to claim reduced taxes in respect of money which they have to pay out to their most persistent customers.

Of course it is disgusting.

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28 days from date of service

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So you are saying that it has not been served yet? Officially

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  • 4 weeks later...

I saw on the MCOL site that they had filed a defence on Thursday 25th November. The paperwork arrived today, and from the envelope, it was posted on Friday 26th November second class. I must complete the DQ by 13th December.,

 

The defence is attached. It looks like the standard defence that the parcel contained an excluded item and the maximum has already been paid. I will read up again to refresh my memory and complete the DQ.

hermes_defence-compressed.pdf

Edited by RedGreenBlue
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Dear old Chloe Higgs again giving the dear old blah blah again.

Anyway, indicate that you agree to mediation. Let us know when you get a date for mediation.

Meanwhile, given reading up the Hermes stories that we have here and pay particular attention to those stories where the arguments which will be used are similar to the ones at issue in your own case.

I wonder if Chloe's friends know what she does for a living.
 

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