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@Parcel2Go and UPS_UK failure to recompense for damage/negligence


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Hi all,

 

Hoping for some advice on how I am best to proceed with a claim against Parcel2Go/UPS for a parcel of mine that they damaged through negligence/mishandling.

 

Summary

 

I arranged for courier of a pair of turntables (2 x parcels) to a service centre for repair, and then arranged for them to be couriered back to me. Both outbound and inbound were via UPS, purchased through Parcel2Go.

It's probably of little consequence, however I paid Parcel2Go for addtional insurance cover for the outbound trip. Once I discovered that turntables were on their exclusion list though, I forewent paying any incremental cover for the return trip.

The service repair cost me £900, and on return receipt of the two parcels (outbound was fine), I realised that UPS had damaged one of the units in transit. A completely new part that was fitted is snapped, and another detachable part of the device has been cracked.

In addition to this, I have doorbell video footage of the parcel being mishandled by the courier (although I don't believe this particular interaction is what caused the damage).

 

The cost for me to arrange (repeat) repair of the damage that has been caused is £450 including labour and I rasied claims both with Parcel2Go and UPS the day of receipt.

 

Parcel2Go have offered their standard £20 recompense and refund of courier charges, which I have so far not accepted. They seem unwilling to pursue the matter further dispite protracted dialogue over email/live chat and escalations to their CEO.

UPS did begin by attempting collection of the turntable for inspection, however this was completely without notice/context so I declined to hand the parcel over to them. When I then contacted them to enquire about next steps, they refused to deal with me directly and repeatedly referred me to Parcel2Go, advising it is they who need to co-ordinate any claim and they who would be in receipt of any recompense etc. This is unless Parcel2Go provide UPS authority to deal with me directly (something I have requested of them, but they have failed to act on.


Next steps?

 

From reading other cases on this forum, would it be right of me to assume that a sensible next step would be an LOC directed at UPS - with intent to raise via Small Claims Court if it isn't responded to? I'm guessing in doing so, I can be cofident in citing the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as a reason why UPS should be willing to deal with me directly? I assume I've a reasonable case here, bearing in mind I did not take out any additional cover with P2G for the return leg?

 

Thanks.

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We consider that the prohibited items list is unfair and therefore unenforceable.


However, that relates to items which are lost where the type of good has obviously no bearing on the fact that the courier service can't find it.

However, it may be that things are different in respect to damaged items.

 

It hasn't been tested particularly. However, the position is that the courier service may consider that it is particularly risky to them to carry certain goods because of their fragility and so they make you aware of this and if you decide to take this risk and send the goods, then if the foreseeable type of damage does occur, then you have no claim.

As I say, this is untested.

 

I'm afraid I think you made a mistake by not allowing UPS to inspect it. This at the very least suggested that UPS were prepared to accept some responsibility.


You may well have lost this opportunity now as your dispute seems to have moved on.

 

In terms of the insurance, if you read through the stories on this sub- forum you will discover very quickly that we consider that the insurance requirement that you protect yourself against the courier's negligence or criminality of their own employees is unfair and therefore unenforceable.

However, in your case if you had accepted the insurance for the turntable it would have indicated that UPS had been prepared to accept a level of risk despite the fact that your turntable appeared on the prohibited items list.

 

This probably doesn't sound very positive for you and if you want to pursue the claim we will certainly help you. However, I'm afraid that I don't think that your position fits the normal profile of claims that we have here which generally speaking refer to items which have been lost or occasionally where they have been damaged but insurance be taken out.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks.

 

I think you've understood this, but just to be 100% clear: The exclusion list I'm referring to relates to the additional cover I took out with Parcel2Go for the outbound journey (note, *not* the return journey during which the damage occurred). There is no exclusion list in terms of the naked shipping (well there is, but it doesn't feature turntables); Indeed, musical equipment like this is referenced specifically in some of P2G's blurb advising you ensure they are packed in flight cases or original packaging if you are shipping them (which they were).

 

The outlook isn't looking great then it seems, and I may be resigned to chalking this up to a very bad mistake. The unnerving thing is: I'm going to have to repeat this whole process in order to get my equipment repaired, it will be with a different courier though and I'll be going direct with them.

 

I am still in dialogue with UPS and as far as I know my claim is still open. I suspect I could probably arrange another inspection with a bit of pushing but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't extremely apprehensive about taking this route. UPS have already told me that they will not share the outcome of the inspection with me (only Parce2Go), and Parcel2Go are not agreeing to liaise with UPS on my behalf. I'm not sure there are many peope that would hand over a £1000 piece of electrical equipment without any assurance as to where it's going, what UPS will be doing with it, or if they'll ever see it again; especially considering UPS broke it last time round without so much as removing it from its box!

 

If it's of any help, I've attached some of the dialogue with UPS (redacted my email address/names and some other identifiable info). Doubt it changes your opinion but would appreciate your thoughts regrdless if you have the time to read through (apologies for awkward line breaks).

 

Edit: FYI, I'm already mindful I am referncing a government act in my complaint that isn't applicable for domestic freight. I didn't realise at the time.

 

 

runstop_ups_dialogue.pdf

Edited by runstop
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What you have said changes things .

You have now told us that the return delivery was not subject to the exclusions.

I find this surprising but if it is correct then you're dealing with a separate contract and everything changes .

Also, I think you should be complaining against  Parcel2go because if you have to sue somebody then it would be them.

 

 

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There are exclusions that apply to the additional cover you can take out with Parcel2Go. See the items only covered for loss section here, where musical equipment is referenced - https://www.parcel2go.com/prohibited-items

 

The outbound and return journeys were two separate transactions with P2G.

 

I purchased additional cover for the outbound journey but Parcel2Go then pro-actively contacted me to advise that because it was a turntable I was shipping, I would not be covered for damages. Because of this, I made the decision not to purchase any additional cover for the return journey (it was too late to renege on the cover I had already purchased for outbound).

 

It was during the return journey - with no additional cover purchased - that the item was damaged.

 

Is it simply the case that without the additional cover, I am up the creek, so to speak? 

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If you are asking that last question, then it means that you haven't read the stories on this sub-forum .

Please will you do the reading

 

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I have spent an hour or so reading the various stories in this board and I was of the impression that even without additional cover, there is laibility.

 

It was your initial reply to my post here that cast some doubt in my mind 😉

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I said that there was a questionmark over liability where the items were damaged rather than lost if those items appeared on their prohibited items list.

We now understand from you that your goods were not subject to a prohibited items list for the return contract.

I also suggested that if an item was on their prohibited items list but they still accepted an insurance premium to cover it, then that probably invalidated the effect of the prohibited items list in any event.

The position now from what we have come to understand from you is that if your turntable was not on the prohibited items list in the attempt to fall back on the fact that that you didn't insure it, then because of the unenforceability of the insurance requirement, they would probably not be entitled to decline liability

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Apologies for the confusion and thanks again.

 

Are you still of the opinion that my primary route to resolution/complaint should be via Parcel2Go, or would you recommend continuing to apply the pressure on UPS directly, given that they are ultimately the ones culpable?

 

My main gripe about the whole situation is having one entity own the situation. Parcel2Go don't seem to want to talk to UPS. UPS will deal with me insofar that I can probably get them to pick the item up for inspection, but what happens beyond that point is anybody's guess as they're telling me they'll only communicate outcomes/next steps with  Parcel2Go 🤷‍♂️

 

It just feels to me like a recipe for further problems/losses.

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Because the argument against you is likely to be that you had no insurance, then I would suggest that you claim against parcel2go and I would suggest sending them a letter of claim immediately.

Refer to the complaint that you've already made. The fact that they've declined. Tell them that this is not acceptable and that if they don't reimburse you in full within 14 days then you will issue a claim.

I suggest that you post the draft here and then you can send it off this evening.
We may as well get going.

Spend the next two weeks opening an account on the County Court money claim system. Start preparing your claim although post a draft here.

Read around the stories on this sub- forum. You say that you've done one hour. I suggest that a couple of days is probably more appropriate.

Understand the basic steps in taking County Court claim.

You will acquire a level of confidence and also transferable skills so that you will be able to sue anybody else who gets in your way at any time. There is no downside

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I've drafted a Letter of Claim (attached) which I will both email and snail mail if you believe it's the sensible route forward? I welcome your comments.

 

I've also registered on the Money Claim site but am yet to complete any of the paperwork. I'm also planning to spend more time reading up on things (spent another hour or two earlier).

 

I doubt you've read the full email dialogue I attached previously, however it seems P2G are hiding behind Section 54 (3) of the Consumer rights:-
 

If the service does not conform to the contract, the consumer’s rights (and the provisions about them and when they are available) are—

(a)the right to require repeat performance (see section 55);
(b)the right to a price reduction (see section 56).

 

They deduce from this that are only obligated to refund me the courier costs (which they have offered to do). What are your thoughts on that?

[email protected]

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No.

I don't understand why you are even raising at all the issue of the prohibited items list or giving any mention at all.

According to you hasn't been a factor in the return delivery and so you should not bring the matter up.

Also it is extremely wordy. You made the complaint already they've got all the details and you can simply get them to refer back to that as long as you give the tracking/claim number.

Please try again

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Posted (edited)

Any better?

 

Quote

On 23/02/2022 I used your service to arrange return delivery of two audio turntables that I had previously shipped to a service centre in the UK for servicing/maintenance.

 

One of these audio turntables was returned to me damaged, and this damage can only have occurred through gross negligence/mishandling of the package by your contracting partner (UPS). I also have video evidence showing failure of the courier to handle the parcel with due care when it was delivered.

 

You have concluded that because I did not take out any further parcel protection for the contents then the item was only protected to the value of £20, and that by declining this extra protection, you limit your liability for damages per your terms and conditions.

 

My position is that I have paid the delivery fee and it is not for me to insure against the negligence of Parcel2Go, nor any of your contracting partners. I see this requirement as an unenforceable unfair term designed to exclude liability and to prevent me from taking any legal action.

 

I am therefore seeking full reimbursement of the cost of repairing the turntable to the value of £450.00, plus the incremental courier costs required to ship the unit to and from the service centre again of £37.78.


If I do not have reimbursement in full within 14 days then I intend to issue a claim in the County Court to recover this money from you plus interest and court costs without any further notice.

 

Edited by runstop
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Well, I haven't looked through through the whole thing but the first thing that does catch my eye is that you are referring to both the collection and the return .

You have told us that these are separate and unconnected contracts, so you should restrict yourself simply to the contract at issue

 

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The collection was referring to the pickup of the parcel from the service centre for return delivery but I can see how that could be misconstrued.

 

I've edited my post.

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You need to understand that by referring to the first contract when you are only concerned with the second contract, you are inviting a lawyer or a judge to accept the position that the terms and conditions of the first contract are implied into the instant contract which is in dispute .

 

This means that if the  excluded categories don't apply in the second contract, it could be argued that as they were included in the first contract, that logic dictates that they are also present in the second contract .

 

We are trying our best to protect your interest, but you're making it rather difficult

 

 

 

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Understood, and rest assured my intent isn't to make things difficult.

 

I can't edit the previous post so I tried to remove even further scope for ambiguity with the following:-

 

Quote

On 23/02/2022 I used your service to arrange return delivery of two audio turntables from a service centre in the UK where they had been booked in for servicing/maintenance.

 

One of these audio turntables was returned to me damaged, and this damage can only have occurred through gross negligence/mishandling of the package by your contracting partner (UPS). I also have video evidence showing failure of the courier to handle the parcel with due care when it was delivered.

 

You have concluded that because I did not take out any further parcel protection for the contents then the item was only protected to the value of £20, and that by declining this extra protection, you limit your liability for damages per your terms and conditions.

 

My position is that I have paid the delivery fee and it is not for me to insure against the negligence of Parcel2Go, nor any of your contracting partners. I see this requirement as an unenforceable unfair term designed to exclude liability and to prevent me from taking any legal action.

 

I am therefore seeking full reimbursement of the cost of repairing the turntable to the value of £450.00, plus the incremental courier costs required to ship the unit to and from the service centre again of £37.78.


If I do not have reimbursement in full within 14 days then I intend to issue a claim in the County Court to recover this money from you plus interest and court costs without any further notice.

 

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Try this:

 

Quote

Dear XXX

On XXX date, you agree to carry a parcel containing a record turntable to a UK address. Tracking number XXX refers.

The turntable was eventually delivered in a damaged state. I brought this to your attention – claim reference number XXX – and you refused to reimburse me on the grounds that I had not purchased insurance.

We both know that the requirement that your own customers protect themselves against your negligence or the criminality of your employees is unfair and therefore unenforceable under the consumer rights act 2015.

If you do not reimburse me within 14 days, I shall start an action in the County Court and without any further notice.

Believe me

 

And I hope you're right that there was no prohibited items list in respect of this contract. I'm rather surprised

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Appreciated.

 

As mentioned previously, there is a prohibited items list and it explicitly mentions turntables. They fall under the 'Items protected for loss only' section -

https://www.parcel2go.com/prohibited-items 

 

The original claim I filed with P2G only stated the combined value of both turntables (separate parcels, same order - inherited from the declared value I think), which is well in excess of what I am claiming damages for. Because of this, is it not prudent to still include the monetary amount I am pursuing?

 

The situation is a little unusual as repair is the only remediation route as this equipment has not been manufactured for many years so cannot be outright replaced.

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Sorry I misunderstood. I had gathered from you that the return contract did not refer to any prohibited items.

I have that wrong??

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That's right. When booking the return contract, I was signposted to the link that shows the prohibited items. In short: it says that they will ship turntables but they will only be covered for outright loss, not damage. And even then, only if I take out the additional cover (which I did not).

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In that case I have to apologise. I lost the plot somewhere along the way.

It's absolutely correct that there should be liable for the complete loss of the turntable – but damage suggests a certain fragility in respect of which they don't want to take the risk.

What was the damage to your turntable?

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Posted (edited)

I had the tone arm assembly completely replaced for new as part of servicing. This brand new tonearm has a moulded metal part that almost completely snapped off during return shipment.

 

The counterweight that sits on the back of the tonearm, which was separated in the packaging and separately protected with bubble wrap etc. was also cracked (a plastic dial that screws onto a metal body).

 

Honestly, the parcel must have been subjected to some serious force to have caused the damage it did as everything remained well packaged on reciept (with a few 'dings' on the box).

 

The parcel was covered in labels advising that it was kept upright during transit and when it was delivered it was rocked/dropped from a small height on its side against my door (I have video footage of this). Don't get me wrong, it was definitely packaged well enough to sustain this sort of treatment, but it hardly fills you with confidence when you see the courier handling things like that.

 

I have a video of the turntable in working, fully serviced state before it made its way back to me that clearly shows the serial number.

 

Edit: Forgot to mention, I have a formal quote/invoice from the service centre for the repair, which is where the £450 comes from. 

Edited by runstop
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I'm sorry if I have wasted your time that I don't feel as confident now as I did when I had mistakenly understood that there was no exclusion list.

In fact I think I referred to this earlier and told you that I was surprised that that didn't seem to draw any comment from you.

We will help you all the way if you want to try it. If they rely on the insurance issue then they will lose. If they want to rely on the prohibited items list then I think your chances of success are reduced – probably 50/50

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Thanks, not to worry. Appreciate your time.

 

P2G have admitted some liability in one of their responses to my complaint. This is what they said (don't know if this changes things?): -

 

" Section 49 (reasonable care and skill) we agree this has not happened following the damage. Section 54 (3) states the consumer is entitled to a repeat performance or price reduction on the service booked. Our offer is a full carriage refund and a settlement for the protection purchased when booking with us to the value of £20.00."

 

Interestingly, P2G contracted to UPS; and UPS do not have turntables on any exclusion list as far as I am aware.

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