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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I sent a parcel with a value of approximately £250 through

Resolved Question:

I sent a parcel with a value of approximately £250 through a courier company called Interparcel. The item was an engine cover and on arrival the cover was broken. I had not taken out their insurance on the item as it seemed expensive. I asked for re-reimbursement but have been refused due to not taking out their insurance on the item., Where do I stand in regards ***** ***** them to the small claims court. I thought there was something in regards ***** ***** about them having to take due care of my item?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know why you did not take out insurance? Was it just the cost?

Customer:

Yes and also I thought that as the engine cover was so strong it would be impossible to damage especially as it was well packaged.

Alex Watts :

How much was the courier and how much was the insurance?

Customer:

I cannot remember what the insurance was, the courier cost was around £6. As a 'goodwill' gesture they have returned this fee.

Alex Watts :

Its bad news I am afraid.

Alex Watts :

Whilst they have a duty of care their terms and conditions generally exclude loss or damage beyond a given figure, usually the cost of sending or £20

Customer:

Really?

Alex Watts :

However they do have the option of insurance. This is a matter for you whether or not you accept it

Alex Watts :

If you decline it then sadly you have no claim

Alex Watts :

You could issue a small claim and see whether they pay up

Alex Watts :

But generally on the basis that they have insurance and you declined it, unless you can show it was damaged on purpose then sadly any claim would fail

Alex Watts :

There is a choice for insurance, like holiday insurance

Alex Watts :

If you dont have holiday insurance and a flight is delayed you can't claim compensation, because you turned it down

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and it is certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

What about the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (AS amended) which is what the citizens advice people said I would be able to claim under?

Alex Watts :

Section 13 - as I said there may be a claim but their terms limit to the extent that they are liable for a loss

Alex Watts :

That is why they have insurance

Alex Watts :

Its the same with Royal Mail. They pay up to about £20 or £30 I think but you can take out extra insurance

Alex Watts :

What you can't do is decline something that gives you extra protection and then claim breach after

Alex Watts :

Otherwise everyone would do it and not bother with insurance

Alex Watts :

You have a duty as a customer to mitigate any loss

Alex Watts :

I am sorry

Alex Watts :

But as I said you can issue a small claim and see how far you get

Alex Watts :

But if it goes to trial my view is that any claim would fail for the reasons given above

Customer:

I have issued a small claim through the courts and it is due to go ahead this friday. Do you think it is worth me persuing this now. The lawyers have already said they are going to charge me £460

Customer:

Do you have any advice as to what best to do now?

Alex Watts :

Well they can't do that

Alex Watts :

If you lose on a small claim then costs are not recoverable generally unless they can show you have acted unreasonably.

Alex Watts :

Given its this close you might as well go ahead with it

Alex Watts :

But I think you will lose

Alex Watts :

I guess they have given the same reasons as me?

Customer:

I have today received a letter tfrom them stating statement of costs in anticipation of the trial and a bill of $460

Customer:

If I lose will I have to pay thier £460 and the court case costs. I am now really worried as I assumed from the information the citizens advice had given mthat i would have a good cause.

Customer:

Sorry that should have been £460 not $

Alex Watts :

Well they can only get costs if they convince the Judge you have acted unreasonable.

Alex Watts :

Its quite a high threshold

Alex Watts :

Its a small claim and Judges are reluctant to make findings against litigants in person in a small claim

Customer:

So if I lose what am I likely to lose? I know I have already paid outr nearly £100 in costs so far not including this chat? If I lose what will happen. I have never been in this situation before

Alex Watts :

You are likely to lose Court fees and the fee for this chat

Alex Watts :

But that is it

Customer:

I am worried that I am now going to be liable for the other parties legal costs IE the £460

Alex Watts :

Don't worry as I said its only if the Judge thinks you have acted unreasonable.

Alex Watts :

They usually make these threats, it is lawyers tricks for you

Customer:

what is the definition of unreasonable? I have never been to court

Alex Watts :

No definition - its up to a Judge.

Alex Watts :

But normally where you have served evidence late

Alex Watts :

Not complied with Court orders etc

Alex Watts :

Rather than just a hopeless claim

Customer:

OK. In regards ***** ***** letter that I received today regarding these costs of £460 they have asked for acknowledgement of service. Does that mean I have to reply and if I do what does it mean? the last line states "Please acknowledge service" Does this mean I have to reply?

Alex Watts :

You don't need to reply

Alex Watts :

You have no obligation to do so

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

OK, I am now desperately worried that I have done the wrong thing! I based it on the information given to me by the citizens advice regarding the Supply of Goods act and I just assumed that as it was thier fault my parcel was smashed that they would be liable.

Alex Watts :

Well there is a difference between a claim with little prospect of winning against being unreasonable

Alex Watts :

I think you will be fine

Alex Watts :

You will probably lose, but wont need to pay their fees

Customer:

If I go to court and loose will I be liable for any additional costs other then those I have already paid to the court upfront?

Alex Watts :

No,#

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

Yes. Wish I had been an solicitor instead of an aircraft engineer!

Alex Watts :

Indeed.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Alex Watts :

Mind you I would like to learn to fly

Customer:

No thanks just wish it had been better news and that the citizens advice hadnt given me false hope.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry its not better news

Alex Watts :

Can I help with anything else today at all?

Customer:

my fault now I realise that. First time I have done anything like this and I made a mess of it. Thanks for your advice.

Alex Watts :

If this does answer your question might I invite you to rate my answer, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Customer:

No thank you for your help

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

No I think that is OK except I have had my hopes dashed, but thats life I guess.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry

Alex Watts :

But better to know what you face than go to Court thinking it was a sure thing

Customer:

At least you haven't given me false hope but you did put my mind at rest over the costs their solicitors are threatening me with

Alex Watts :

Great, have a good weekend and please remember to rate before you go

Customer:

I did think it was a sure think until now!

Alex Watts :

ok

Customer:

and you. Thank you for your help and advice.

Alex Watts :

Have a good weekend

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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