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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We are a courier company registered in the UK. We specialize

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Hi, we are a courier company registered in the UK. We specialize in international transport between the UK and Czech Republic and Slovakia. Recently we shipped a consignment for our customer from UK to Czech Republic. The package arrived on time, but customer claims we damaged the iPad and Mac computer inside the package.
When the package arrived it was signed for by some relative, not customer itself. Customer got the package 8 days later and when he opened it, he found two items where damaged. The package was signed for as undamaged by his relative.
We operate as follows: In the UK, all packages are collected by our staff in our vans. We got Goods in Transit insurance in case of damage. Then all packages are stored in our storage - couple of units in Safestore (there is an insurance provided by Safestore). We order a lorry from our subcontractor (based in Slovakia, they have insurance for the transit) who move all packages (couple of tons) to another our subcontractor (based in Czech Republic, they got an insurance for delivery, valid in the Czech Republic only) who actually deliver the packages to final customers. They receive the packages an visually inspect the outer packaging for any damage. If damage is find, they report it to us, so we know who should be responsible for it.
In this case, no damage was found on outer packaging. Our subcontractor requires customers to sign a shipping note, where customer is asked to check the package and sign for it. On the shipping note, where the customer should put his signature, there is in czech language written the following sentence: Upon receipt of consignment, carefully check the condition of the goods and note any deficiencies in the present document. I can confirm receipt of complete and undamaged consignment. This is the translation, the text in actually in czech.
Now, the relative received the package and signed for it. He did not put any comment on the shipping note. Eight days later the customer got to his package and claims, we damaged the parcel.
Our subcontractor states this(based on their insurance in the Czech Republic):
After the departure of the transporter from the drop-off location, and if a record of damaged or incomplete shipment on the shipping note was not made or a damage report was not taken in the transporter's presence, complaints shall be refused due to lack of proof of damage.
So basically the customer has a damaged items (damage is around 370GBP based on quote he received), we says the items where received in good condition as relative who signed for parcel did not raise any complain, the items where 8 days somewhere, whatever could happened to them.
Now customers wants us to pay 370GBP for damage. As this is an international transport, its pretty confusing who is in right. Whats more, customer paid us by PayPal and he made a dispute and he wants his money back. But not only for this shipment (33GBP) but also for one, couple of weeks before this one (that one for fine and he paid us 320GBP for it). Obviously I am fighting with him via PayPal as the first shipment has nothing to do with the second one, where damaged items are. I am pretty crossed because I can loose 350GBP he paid us via PayPal for our service + 370GBP for damage which could occur during those 8 days after his relative received the package.
He wants this case put it trough the court and sent us the Final notice Before Legal Action. What would you recommend us to do?
Thansk Dusan
Hello m make is Alex and I will help you.
Are you insured or did the customer take ou insurance?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, we are insured in the UK only. Our subcontractors insurance is in place once the package is out of the UK
Ok. If it was signed for as no damage, even if it wasn't the customer and your processes have not tracked any damage you are not liable.
This is supported as the customer waited eight days before checking, given the value you would expect a quicker check. So you are not liable
Further I imagine your terms and conditions limit liability, so that also supports that you are not liable.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Alex, if you do not mind, this is the email I sent to him:Hello Mr. xxxx,Thank you for your email. We have examined your claim - damage to the consignment GB50152NW1. The results of our investigation are as follows:The consignment GB50152NW1 was delivered on 13/11/2015 and received and signed for by Mr Trnka. He received the consignment as undamaged as confirmed by signing the shipping note - see the attachment. According to our Conditions of Carriage, point 2.8.h.: Upon delivery of a shipment to a drop-off location in the Czech or Slovak Republics, the recipient shall be obligated to inspect the outer packaging of the shipment's individual items and to indicate incidental damages on the shipping note. The recipient shall be further obligated to confirm acceptance of the shipment by their signature.According to our Conditions of Carriage, point 2.14.e.: The client shall be obligated to ensure that incidental damage or delivery of an incomplete shipment is duly noted on the shipping not or recorded in a damage report directly upon
delivery of the shipment to the recipient at the drop-off location. After the departure of the transporter from the drop-off location, and if a record of damaged or incomplete shipment on the shipping note was not made or a damage report was not taken in the transporter's presence, complaints shall be refused due to lack of proof of damage.According to our Conditions of Carriage, point 2.14.f.: Should damage to the shipment be ascertained upon delivery of the shipment to the drop-off location, the client shall be obligated to provide for preservation of the packaging of the shipment and to facilitate an inspection of the damaged shipment by the transporter's staff.Our investigation shows that the consignment was received by Mr Trnka on 13/11/2015. Taking into consideration that he did not raise any objection, despite the fact that the inspection of consignments is asked directly by the following sentence on the shipping note (in Czech language) "Při převzetí pěčlivě skontrolujte stav zásilky a případné nedostatky zapište do tohoto dokladu. Potvrzuji převzetí úplné a nepoškodené zásielky." (translation: "Upon receipt of consignment, carefully check the condition of the goods and note any deficiencies in the present document. I can confirm receipt of complete and undamaged consignment.", and Mr. Trnka signed the consignment as complete and undamaged, it shall be deemed that the shipment was delivered in order, and without any damage.
According to your statement, you opened the consignment on 21/11/2015, ie eight days later and found you consignment damaged. I am afraid, but we can not be held responsible for what happened with your consignment during these eight days.Whereas, in spite of your obligation to preserve the packaging material at the damaged item, this was thrown away, it can not be determined whether the consignment was packaged as required by our Conditions of Carriage.Any fragile items, such as (for example) mirrors, stemware, dishes, ceramics, vases and other products made of or containing glass or ceramic;or Electronics without their original packaging and without polystyrene protective elements;can be transported only under the condition that, in the event of damage to them, the transporter shall assume no liability for such damages. Anyone sending such items via our service thus does so at their own risk. (Condition of Carriage point 2.3.c.)I am afraid, but since there is no evidence that the consignment was damaged during the transport to the delivery location by our company, and since there is no evidence of packaging material and since the items damaged are of fragile nature, we have to reject your claim. Our decision does not affect your statutory rights.​Kind RegardsDusan Szoke​and this is his response (shortened):Herein, I inform you that I disputed both payments I made to your company by PayPal, since
items were damaged during transit and the buyer is protected under the PayPal Buyer Protection
Act. I will resolve the matter only when I receive a refund of £370.8 for the damages caused or
alternatively if you provide me with your insurer details so I could file a claim.
If you fail to provide me with any of the above within the next 7 working days, regardless of
disputing the payment via PayPal, I will escalate the claim and proceed with a legal action in
Her Magesty’s Court according to the statutory Consumer Protection Act. In addition, I will
initiate an official investigation via the Office of Fair Trading to interrogate the validity of your
business insurance policy as well as the legality of your terms of carriage that are posted on
your website. Should the matter proceed to this phase and the court will decide in my favour,
you will also be required to reimburse me for my loss of earnings (Senior consultant salary of
£450 net per day), international travel and accommodation expenses.
Ok but you are still not liable
You can defend any claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK, thank you. Do you think I should react to his notice, or shall I just wait what is going to happen?
No I would wait.
Does that clarify?
Ash and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK Alex, thank you for your help. Dusan