Parcelforce won’t re­im­burse me

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

My case in­volves a pack­age I sent via Parcelforce’s “Ex­press AM” de­liv­ery ser­vice, cost­ing £20.48.

This in­cluded a sep­a­rate pay­ment to pro­vide “in­sur­ance”, which was the word used by the post of­fice em­ployee at the counter.

This was sup­posed to cover me for any dam­age up to the value of £200.

The em­ployee specif­i­cally asked me if I wished to in­sure the item I was send­ing and asked me what it was. I said it was a lamp.

When it was de­liv­ered, the lamp was found to be ir­repara­bly dam­aged.

I sought com­pen­sa­tion from Parcelforce and was in­formed that it was on the list of ex­cluded items and there­fore was not el­i­gi­ble for com­pen­sa­tion.

Can you please in­ter­vene for me in this mat­ter? DT, SUR­REY

There is an ex­ten­sive list of ex­cluded items on Parcelforce’s web­site but your at­ten­tion had not been drawn to it.

In fact, your item was ce­ramic. In your deal­ings with Parcelforce, ap­par­ently, you did not men­tion the ma­te­rial from which it was made.

Even so the Post Of­fice counter staff could and, I ar­gued, should have asked.

Parcelforce had re­jected your claim, stat­ing that on their ex­cluded list were ce­ram­ics or “com­pos­ites wholly or par­tially made of china/pot­tery and/or porce­lain” such as plates, teapots, vases and ornaments.

I con­tacted the Post Of­fice and it then ac­knowl­edged that it is likely that the branch did not pro­vide full in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the re­stric­tions on com­pen­sa­tion cover when send­ing ce­ramic items.

It apol­o­gises to you and is now cov­er­ing the cost of the lamp and the postage.

The Post Of­fice said it wanted to “re­as­sure cus­tomers” that branch staff re­ceived full train­ing

on how to han­dle such trans­ac­tions. It said it had en­sured that the branch con­cerned has been re­minded of the cor­rect pro­cesses in cases such as yours.

This in­cludes mak­ing cus­tomers fully aware of the terms and con­di­tions that ap­ply when send­ing Parcelforce mail items that are ex­empt from com­pen­sa­tion for dam­age or loss.

The Post Of­fice said it wanted to re­mind cus­tomers of the im­por­tance of prop­erly pack­ing del­i­cate items be­fore send­ing.

Fail­ing to do so could af­fect the out­come of a po­ten­tial claim.

You had tried to take the is­sue to the Postal Re­dress

Ser­vice, an in­de­pen­dent postal dis­pute res­o­lu­tion ser­vice (postrs.org.uk, 0207 520 3766).

How­ever, it came back say­ing Parcelforce is not a mem­ber of the scheme – nor for that mat­ter is the Post Of­fice.

Royal Mail Group said: “Of­com only re­quires that reg­u­lated Univer­sal Ser­vice prod­ucts pro­vided by Royal Mail are part of POSTRS.” This does not ap­ply to Parcelforce.

lug­gage was stolen.

This hap­pened shortly be­fore I was due to catch a ferry to Menorca.

I have travel in­sur­ance with In­sure­andGo.

I have paid pre­mi­ums with this com­pany for some years on the in­no­cent as­sump­tion that I was cov­ered for var­i­ous things, cer­tainly stolen lug­gage.

I ad­mit I had not ini­tially read the 22 ex­clu­sions that are listed.

But now I see that any money or valu­ables lost or stolen from an unat­tended mo­tor ve­hi­cle are not cov­ered by my policy.

An­other ex­clu­sion the com­pany has on its list is: “Prop­erty you leave unat­tended (other than in locked ac­com­mo­da­tion).” JS, JERSEY

The first ex­clu­sion on the travel in­sur­ance policy only men­tions money and valu­ables and so might make your claim seem vi­able, while the sec­ond rules it out.

The list of ex­clu­sions have to be gone through with a fine-tooth comb to be un­der­stood.

I couldn’t per­suade In­sure­andGo to change its mind and ac­cept the claim.

It said it was sorry to hear about your case but “as with all in­sur­ance poli­cies, there are cer­tain cir­cum­stances and sit­u­a­tions that are ex­cluded as they’re con­sid­ered high risk”.

A spokesman said: “Although we’re un­able to cover some even­tu­al­i­ties there are many more that

we do, so it is worth­while hav­ing travel in­sur­ance when you go away.”

It may be worth check­ing your house­hold con­tents policy if you have opted for “all risks”.

If that fails you should also check your own car in­sur­ance.

For ex­am­ple, AA In­sur­ance said its car poli­cies will of­ten cover prop­erty stolen from a locked car for up to £500 as long as the goods were hid­den from pub­lic view.

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