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Parcel2Go/DHL lost parcels - differences when it's a B2B contract?


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Firstly a very quick thank you - CAG is a great resource providing fantastic help, such a refreshing change compared to other sites' so-called "advice" that if you don't buy insurance you don't have any comeback. I've made a donation 👍 ahead of asking my question:

I am wondering how differently we need to approach our situation with lost parcels as a Ltd Co. Quick summary:

 

 * 5 parcels lost across 3 separate orders - all were Parcel2Go/DHL and all going to the same Amazon warehouse
 * Shipping dates were 13/9/21 and 21/9/21
 * Total declared value £546 - correctly stated and accurate (we are manufacturer)
 * Insurance not taken out (never taken it out in 11 years of using P2G/P4D/ParcelHero etc apart from by accident a couple of times!)
 * Advised P2G that parcels were still not delivered on 7/10/21
 * P2G took details over chat and opened 3 separate "enquiries"
 * Update on 13 October to state "Investigations into your missing parcel are still ongoing, we have chased the courier again and hope to get an update within the next 7 days"
 * Less than 1 hour later they closed all 3 enquiries, stated they couldn't pay any compensation as we hadn't taken out insurance but they would refund the cost of delivery as a goodwill gesture
 * They have not stated explicitly that the parcels are lost

We have gone to court before as a business (invoice) and personally (sued builder and holiday firm) so have a little experience. Have read lots of threads on here but as we are B2B I'm concerned I don't deviate from the correct route as we cannot rely on the Consumer Rights Act. I have drafted a letter to P2G (rather than DHL) with the details as above and stating we do not accept their payment in full and final settlement but require the full amount in compensation as they are in breach of our contract by failing to deliver our parcels and losing our goods. I have also asked for full copies of all correspondence between themselves and DHL regarding these enquiries (I don't think there is any).

Am I right to think we don't even mention insurance yet and wait for their anticipated reply raising that subject? And without jumping ahead too far we would then refer to Unfair Contract Terms within a Letter Before Action? In our situation we would probably accept "credit" as we'd use it quickly, do you think it's worth mentioning this up front without prejudice as they would be more likely to concede, or is it better to wait for the LBA to offer this compromise?

One other question that I have from reading other threads - I see other people's parcels have possibly been kept and re-sold by P2G/couriers after being compensated... is there anything we can or should do to prevent this? This would be unacceptable to have our stock sold without permission to unvetted retailers.

Thanks.
 

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You are right that the relevant statute for a business is the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. By and large a business which is operating on its own standard form contract cannot disclaim liability for negligence or breach of contract unless the disclaimer of liability or the circumstances satisfies the test of reasonableness – whatever that is.

What were the contents of these lost parcels?

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The contents are our own branded products (children's education) - we don't want discount stores or eBay sellers getting hold of our stock so don't want P2G/DHL to sell them if they find the parcels later on.

Do you think we should mention the lack of insurance and why it doesn't matter straight away (it's in their email stating that's why they won't pay compensation), or better to wait for their first reply to the initial letter?
 

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Sorry I feel that I am not engaging very closely on this particular thread.

You ask a question about whether you should mention the insurance and I didn't respond. I suppose it's too late now because you have sent your initial letter off – but it doesn't physically matter either way.

If you have mentioned it then well and good and if you haven't mentioned it then that's fine we will see what they have to say and include it in your letter of claim.

Apologies for not being more closely involved.

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  • 3 weeks later...

P2G replied with the expected refusal to pay up quoting:

"a claim for loss can only be opened in the event that the parcels have been declared or lost, that the contents are not within the prohibited list and that protection has been
taken out upon the purchasing of the booking fee. Reviewing the orders, the protection element of the booking has not been taken out, as such, no claim can be processed"

 

To which my reply included...

"Prohibited item lists and your "protection element" are not relevant to your liability for safe delivery of our parcels"

However then, somewhat disappointingly, the parcels were all delivered... some 5 weeks late!

So there's nothing more to progress on this - it's good the parcels finally turned up given their value, but a bit of a shame we didn't get to push P2G on it 🤓

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Thanks for the update.

Yes, from our point of view it's a shame because it would have been nice to force the issue – but on the other hand it's good news that the parcels were all delivered in the end.

Anyway, you know where we are if you have any kinds of problems in the future.

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