Thank you. Initially, you have a duty to send the item in the condition in which it was advertised. If the item does not arrive int that condition, the buyer has a right to get a refund or repair/replacement. If the damage was caused by the courier in transit, then you have direct rights against them but these will be limited to whatever protection you had with them.
The issue here is that it may appear that the damage was not caused by you or the courier, but potentially by the buyer. If that is the case they would not be entitled to a refund or any other remedy. However, they could potentially take advantage of the buyer protection they get through the site where they purchased the item. That will then depend on the company and if they decide in the buyer’s favour. It could happen even if they were at fault for the damage – remember that the company is not a court of law and they make decisions based on their own rules, not the law.
Should that happen and you are left out of pocket, but strongly believe the damage was caused by the buyer, then you can pursue them directly for compensation for your losses.
If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can potentially do so by making a court claim. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:
1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for compensation. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.
3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome. There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The other side will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the other side that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial payment of the amount sought in the claim.