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Packlink/EVRi - Item "switched" in transit, court claim raised. *** Settled in full***


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On 8th November I sold a used phone for £205 on eBay and posted the item using Packlink/Hermes. I purchased the additional "protection" to cover the full value of the item. I dropped the item off at the parcel shop and the parcel was delivered on 11th November.

 

I was then contacted by the buyer, saying that the parcel only included a glasses case, not a mobile phone. They sent a photo of what they had received. Immediately phoned eBay who told me to ask the buyer to open a dispute, which I needed to accept. The buyer was refunded and eBay took the money back from me.

 

I raised a claim through Packlink who passed it on to Hermes, Hermes carried out their investigation and found no evidence of any tampering with the item, so denied any accountability. Given the buyer on eBay had perfect feedback and their account was 10+ years old, it seems unlikely they're trying to scam me, despite only sending me the one picture of the parcel and not replying to my requests for more photos.

 

I was then advised by Packlink that as I'd purchased the additional "protection", that I could submit a claim for that. I completed this claim, signed an affidavit confirming that the value of the item and that it was in the package I posted etc. I received confirmation on the 29th November that they would be refunding me in full within 30 days.

 

Unexpectedly, on the 16th December I was contacted again by Packlink, saying they they required further evidence of tampering before they could proceed in refunding me: "The case was transferred to our insurer and the payment was not approved because there were not enough signs of manipulation to the packaging. If we receive additional pictures from you, we will be able to forward it to them and push for a positive outcome."

 

As I've already explained to Packlink, I have no other evidence beyond the one photo which I was sent by the buyer. Is this going to be an issue, as I have no way to prove what may or may not have happened to the parcel in transit? Are my next steps from here to just stop dealing with Packlink altogether and send Hermes a letter of claim? When wording the letter of claim, is all of the above correspondence with Packlink irrelevant, and I should purely stick to the details of what happened to the parcel?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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Thanks for the reply. After I queried last week why they're asking for this now after already telling me I'd receive the refund, they've now said...

 

"We understand your discomfort, but as we indicated in our previous communication, it is not possible to transfer your case to the Insurance Department because the requested images are one of The 5 essential requirements to open a claim.

Please do not hesitate to review our Terms and Conditions to verify that the information I am providing is correct and the resolution complies with the agreed conditions"

 

So have gone from talking about their "insurer" to their "insurance department", does this make a difference?

 

If I can't get hold of any more evidence, which is unlikely given the uncooperative buyer (kinda understandable given he probably thought i was trying to scam him), and the fact that it's been more than a month since the package was delivered, is it unlikely that I'll be successful with this? I'm already £205 down and wouldn't want to end up further out of pocket with any legal costs etc.

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Thank you, I'll carry on reading the other threads and will put together a letter to Hermes. I'll post it here first to check, if that's okay.

 

I didn't realise that the additional/protection was a scam until finding this forum, but I'm surprised that they're still pushing back and trying to get me to jump through these additional hoops, having paid extra.

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Here's my draft letter of claim....

I'm still not quite sure how much of the back and forth Packlink is actually relevant to the letter to Hermes.

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Re: Incorrect Item Delivered – eBay item number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxGoogle Pixel 4 XL - 64GB - Clearly White - Value £205

 

Packlink Reference: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tracking Number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

The subject item was posted on 09/11/2021 using Hermes. Your tracking states that the parcel was delivered on 11/11/2021. I was then contacted by the buyer because the item posted was missing from the package, it had been replaced with a glasses case.

 

I raised a claim with Packlink, but following them investigating with Hermes I was advised “Unfortunately we haven't had a positive feedback on our claim with your parcel, they (Hermes) insist that after an investigation they couldn't find a proof which indicates this issue involve them.”

 

An affidavit document for compensation was submitted on 17/11/2021 including eBay proof of value. On 29/11/2021 I received confirmation that Packlink had received all required documentation to proceed with the claim and that I would receive the following compensation:

 

Value of item = £205.00 (30 days from 29/11/2021)

Postage cost = £3.84 (payment made same day)

 

On 16/12/2021 I was contacted again by Packlink, informing me that I would not be entitled to the above compensation unless I could provide photographic evidence of the parcel being tampered with.

 

You have so far declined to reimburse me and I am therefore informing you that applying my third-party rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 I shall issue a county court claim against you in 14 days and without any further notice unless you reimburse me in full before that date. 

 

If I have to take this route I will be seeking both interest and court fees in addition to my total loss.

 

 

Yours faithfully


 

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I've sent the above by email and also by Special Delivery, I've just received the following reply to the email...

 

"Dear Nick,
 
Thank you for contacting our CEO, Martijn De Lange. My name is Chris and Martijn has personally asked me to investigate this matter on his behalf.
 
I am very sorry that you have not got the decision you wanted when raising a claim with Packlink shipping.
 
I am not able to dispute the claim you have made as you hold no contract with Hermes your contract is with Packlink shipping directly as such all communications regarding your claim will have to go via Packlink Shipping directly as it will follow the terms you have signed with them. .
Kind regards"

 

Should I wait for a reply to the letter, or just start looking at next steps? The above seems like a pretty standard fobbing off.

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I've registered on the money claim website and have started drafting my claim, ready to send on day 15. How does the following look?

 

"The Claimant used the defendants courier service - reference numbers XXXXXXXXXX & XXXXXXXXX to deliver a phone, value - £205 to a UK address.

 

On delivery it appeared that the parcel had been tampered with as the contents had been swapped for a glasses case and the box had been resealed.

 

The defendant refuses to reimburse the claimant the full value of the item.

 

The defendant is in breach of contract. The claimant seeks £205, plus the court fee of £35 for a total of £240."

 

I have included both the Packlink reference and the Hermes parcel number, but do I only really need the Hermes reference? Also, is it worth mentioning that I did actually purchase their "insurance" to cover the full item value, yet they're not offering me any refund at all?

 

Thanks,

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  • 1 month later...
6 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Thank you. Where does it say that they have put a bar on the claim?
I expect simply that this means that you are now prevented from seeking judgement.

I notice earlier that you said that you needed assistance because you now had no idea what to do.

I'm afraid that this means to me that you haven't done your reading because the defence that you have received is the standard defence that they send out to pretty well everybody who has booked their courier service through Packlink. The principles involved concerning their claim that there is no contract and therefore you should desist have been discussed many times.

It's very important that you go back and do the reading as I've already suggested at the beginning of this thread and you will then find that you have confidence in what you are doing.

It's clear that this defence has destabilised you and yet the situation is simple and we've all been there before.

Please go back and do the reading.

Let's know when you've done that and you understand what the situation is

 

Thanks for replying. I've attached a screenshot from MCOL where it mentions the bar.

 

I have read a lot of the threads on here and understand the general principles and that they are subject to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act.

 

I've only seen the defence as filed online, rather than receiving anything in the post yet, so was unsure how I go about disputing the defence or what the next steps are. Hopefully this will become clear when I receive a hard copy.

 

The defence mentions "The Claimant is put to strict proof as to the value of the claim", is a screenshot of the eBay auction showing the final price sufficient for this?

 

Thanks for your patience, I have never been in this situation before so all of the process is new to me.

Screenshot 2022-02-08 at 20.54.44.pdf

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  • 3 weeks later...

I returned my DQ last month and haven't heard anything else regarding that, but this week the trainee solicitor at Hermes has emailed me their completed defendants DQ. 

 

I notice that they've put themselves as unavailable to attend the hearing for the next three months. Is this normal practice or some kind of delay tactic?

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  • 1 month later...

@dx100uk Thanks, all sorted now.

 

Back on the claim, I have my mediation appointment soon. I've read some other threads and guides online about how the mediation calls work, but would like to check a couple of points.

 

Firstly, it sounds like being inflexible can count against me in the mediation, so would it be wise to concede anything, or just stick to my guns? 

 

Will just mentioning the rights of 3rd parties be sufficient, or will I need to have the act in front of me and ready to quote. Are there any other tips on preparation for the mediation session?

 

I've been looking at this thread and this one for reference.

 

Thanks

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Thank you. The mediation is on the 6th.

 

I did take out the insurance. As far as I can see, the only argument in the defence is that "there is no contract between claimant and defendant".

 

A redacted version of the defence is here

 

I'll stick to my guns and maintain that I need to be refunded in full.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, will update on how it goes on Wednesday.

 

The defence was signed off by an Emily Egan, I've seen her mentioned elsewhere on these threads too.

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The defendant didn't turn up for the mediation... glad I took the morning off work for this.

 

I have the option of rearranging the mediation or going straight to court with it. If this goes to court, can I claim back any costs incurred (transport etc...) or will the claim only be for the original amount?

 

 

 

 

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Someone else from the Evri legal department has emailed me directly with a settlement offer...

 

"I write with a view to settling this matter.

 

You are claiming £242.61.

 

EVRi defence which has been issued to you is that when you sent the item you entered into a contract with Packlink and therefore EVRi is not liable to you as there is no contractual relationship. As a result of this we also have limited information about the parcel. However we have contacted Packlink on your behalf who have advised that, when you sent the item you stated:

Value: 205 GBP

Postage: 9.24 GBP

Insurance: 205  GBP

However they stated that you have not been compensated as you did not provide the mandatory documentation they have requested.

Notwithstanding this and despite that you have not provided the evidence to Packlink we are willing offer you a goodwill gesture of £214.24 in full and final settlement of this matter.

If you would like to accept this offer please provide your account details and I will arrange payment."

 

Should I ignore the direct contact and stick to the court procedure? This offer still leaves me out of pocket on the court fees, so I'm unwilling to accept. Their breakdown is also incorrect - Packlink refunded me the £9.24 postage months ago, so this has never been part of the claim.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you. This is signed off by a Eunice Ochieng - Evri Legal Department.

 

There's nothing in the email about without prejudice or it being confidential, aside from the standard "This e-mail (which includes any files/attachments transmitted with it) is confidential. It is intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. Any views presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Evri" at the very bottom of the email.

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Thank you, that makes sense, and I completely understand regarding our interests.

 

I'll send a reply clarifying my position, based on what you've provided above.

 

I find it ridiculous that they've pushed back this much over what must be a tiny amount of money for them, especially given I paid extra for their "insurance". The fees, interest, litigant court costs, time wasted by both parties must add up to more than the original item value.

 

Can I please also check, how would costs for any time off work be calculated? I would be using annual leave to attend court, so I'm not sure how that works out as a cost. As you say, I wouldn't want this to appear as a money grab so would only want to claim something reasonable and quantifiable.

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I have sent the letter as drafted, I appreciate you taking the time to write it. It certainly didn't offend me!

 

I'll break my salary down as an hourly rate and use that as a basis for working out costs. I just want to make sure that I'm not left out of pocket with any of this. The longer it drags on, the more it has become a matter of principle than being about the money.

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Received a response today, basically still denying liability but offering to settle the full value of the claim as a gesture of goodwill.

 

I'm going to accept this, as it mean's I'm not out of pocket. I appreciate that I could probably go down the court route and push for additional costs, but I'm happy to just put the whole thing to bed now.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you so much with all your assistance with this, I really do appreciate it.

Edited by nick676
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  • Andyorch changed the title to Packlink/EVRi - Item "switched" in transit, court claim raised. *** Settled in full***
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