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Help needed: £200 LEGO set I sold on eBay got stolen by parcel drop-off staff

TheOneVeyronianTheOneVeyronian Help me, I'm inside the M25! (UK)Member Posts: 1,371
Sorry if this is in the wrong location, but I need advice on this unusual but very distressing situation regarding the sale of a LEGO set on eBay...

Recently I sold my LEGO Technic Porsche on eBay for about £200. Due to the sheer size, I decided to send it via Hermes. I packed it well, and dropped it off at my usual ParcelShop drop off location, a little corner store. HOWEVER... when the recipient received it, the package was completely different, and contained cereal from said corner store. All the evidence points to an unscrupulous employee of the corner store having removed the label on my package, sticking it on another box containing a multipack of cereal from the store, and outright stealing the Porsche that was intended for the recipient. This is also backed up by the fact another Technic Porsche has appeared for sale on eBay in a village near where I live, apparently "wrapped and ready to send".

I had the package insured for £200, but I just gave Hermes a call and they didn't really do anything to help, just gave me a lost claim form (I said the package was specifically stolen, not lost) and claimed they couldn't look into drop-off points, only issues at depots. I've reported the theft to the police as well, but since I don't have a picture of the exact package I sent out... it's my word against theirs unless I'm able to secure CCTV from the corner store.

I really need advice on this, because the buyer put in a case with eBay and now the entire transaction amount is being withheld and has resulted in me being overdrawn. This is really stressing me out and I need some advice because I don't know what to do next.

(if the buyer who bought the Porsche from me happens to be in this forum, then I do sincerely apologise for this mess)

Comments

  • ShropshireShropshire UKMember Posts: 503
    edited June 7
    Police would be able to request\review CCTV from the store but that would need them to be interested enough to assign resource to investigate. sounds like they won't without more proof/evidence.

    Presumably the store is also missing some cereal unless either a) the employee paid for the cereal in which case there would be a transaction in their system or b) it's someone in the store senior enough that missing cereal isn't an issue who may also have ability to wipe CCTV

    You'd think the fraud dept at Hermes should be interested (this can't be first time) as even though a local drop off it's still their brand/name. they need to investigate/suspend their licence at that store..

    but in general though it's unfortunately quite circumstantial i.e. that cereal isn't exclusive so can't prove it came from there, the person in next village may genuinely have this set too. etc etc

    Is there any CCTV from adjacent businesses showing you carrying the parcel in ?

    any evidence your buyer hasn't swapped the contents / claimed it was swapped as in do you have any CCTV of the parcel they actually received, or just what they sent a photo of

    likewise, why do Hermes assume it was done at drop off and not in their network ? do they have evidence of weight etc in the receiving/forwarding/delivering depots that all matches up. Maybe they are just going off your suggestion it was at drop off.
    Yellowcastle
  • todlertodler UK - South WestMember Posts: 88
    Wouldn’t hold out much hope of Hermes investigating or following up, but hopefully you will get your money back. I was lucky enough to get one of the £60 Millennium Falcon sets in the Black Friday sale from Aldi. Sent out via Hermes but on the Sunday night it was out for delivery and then suddenly lost. Obviously nicked by the courier but Hermes weren’t interested and got my money back from Aldi.
    Anyway good luck on at least getting your money back. Also always take pictures of the packaging of the item and final parcel for back-up.

    canon03YellowcastleFizyx
  • gratefulnatgratefulnat SwitzerlandMember Posts: 321
    What a depressing story. I wish you the best of luck in resolving this theft.
    bricktuaryYellowcastle
  • ShropshireShropshire UKMember Posts: 503
    Also worth bearing in mind that Ebay seller protection should cover you as long as shipped to right address (which you have as buyer received something).. just takes time to sort before they release the money to you.
    gratefulnatYellowcastleKungFuKennySumoLegoandhe
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 925
    Step one will be informing police - this is fraud and you have a lead on the thief. Step two will be a small claims case against Hermes, with store named as co-defendant. You can do this online and Hermes probably won't even contest it.
    gratefulnatYellowcastleFizyxKungFuKennyBumblepants
  • TheOneVeyronianTheOneVeyronian Help me, I'm inside the M25! (UK)Member Posts: 1,371
    Update, we've managed to get Hermes to initiate an investigation, but we've reported it to the police but they've already thrown it out. So my last hope is Hermes paying out on the £200 insurance that I paid out for, or eBay will do something. The buyer is also trying to help us but they're not having much luck either
    DeMontesMr_Cross
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 693
    I’m intrigued by the part that says “ This is also backed up by the fact another Technic Porsche has appeared for sale on eBay in a village near where I live, apparently "wrapped and ready to send".

    Does the seller work at the corner store? have you offered to by it, cash on collection? Could you tell if it was yours or not? Then again, if it’s just coincidence it would frustrating for the seller to find out you were actually not a buyer.


    Brainslugged
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,945
    That's literally what the insurance is for - there was a loss.
    Bumblepants
  • Speedman29Speedman29 UKMember Posts: 1,939
    A friend has been selling his Technic sets as well recently. He rebuilds the set to confirm its all there, splits it down into bags and packages up really well. Sold the Crawler crane recently for £120, buyer contacted him when it arrived to say it was missing loads of parts, demanded a refund. They agreed buyer would pay shipping back, when it arrived it was minus all PF parts and most of the final bag with all the big panels to create the bodywork. My friend had it insured and Hermes paid out £120, which he obviously had to pass on to the buyer.
    He is now down the cost of all the missing pieces and his buyer clearly has a pile of blue and white panels and PF gear they thieved. 
    Hope you get it sorted
    Brainslugged
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 925
    Update, we've managed to get Hermes to initiate an investigation, but we've reported it to the police but they've already thrown it out. So my last hope is Hermes paying out on the £200 insurance that I paid out for, or eBay will do something. The buyer is also trying to help us but they're not having much luck either
    You should complain to the Independent Office of Police Conduct regards their failure to act. A shocking indictment of policing (or lack of) in the UK.
    SumoLego
  • gold682gold682 UKMember Posts: 247
    Hermes.........'nuff said. Worst of a bad bunch. My wife used to have a business account with them but had so many parcels "disappear" and the fight to get the compo she paid for was too much. went back to RM, lesser of the evils. 
  • WatfordScottyMWatfordScottyM Member Posts: 453
    SumoLego said:
    That's literally what the insurance is for - there was a loss.
    You'll be lucky to get Hermes to pay out on that.  You paid them to deliver a parcel, which they collected and delivered.  If something happened to the parcel before they collected it then they'll probably just shrug their shoulders.

    I sold a Medieval Market Village on eBay and posted via Hermes.  It disappeared, not delivered, who knows where it went.  Hermes took an age to agree that they'd "lost" it and pay out on the insurance.  I won't use them again. 
    SumoLego
  • LobotLobot UKMember Posts: 1,000
    I'd always advise anyone to use either Royal Mail or Parcel Force; I've posted a lot of parcels over the last 5 years and have only ever had one supposedly not delivered (it was low value so not tracked!).  They're a bit more expensive, but it's definitely worth it.

    You can also get a 15% discount on Parcel Force by signing up for their free 'Rewards4U' scheme (although it only applies to the basic cost, excluding any additional insurance!).  You get full online tracking and the receipt includes the weight.
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 693
    A friend has been selling his Technic sets as well recently. He rebuilds the set to confirm its all there, splits it down into bags and packages up really well. Sold the Crawler crane recently for £120, buyer contacted him when it arrived to say it was missing loads of parts, demanded a refund. They agreed buyer would pay shipping back, when it arrived it was minus all PF parts and most of the final bag with all the big panels to create the bodywork. My friend had it insured and Hermes paid out £120, which he obviously had to pass on to the buyer.
    He is now down the cost of all the missing pieces and his buyer clearly has a pile of blue and white panels and PF gear they thieved. 
    Hope you get it sorted
    Why did he have to pass the refund to buyer? If Hermes refunded due to damage then your friend refunds buyer and then Hermes refunds your friend. Leaving the buyer with a refund and the stolen parts and your friend with the remaining parts plus the my Hermes refund. The most your friend should have lost is the cost of return postage 🤔 
  • TheOneVeyronianTheOneVeyronian Help me, I'm inside the M25! (UK)Member Posts: 1,371
    edited June 11
    Yeah, I've used Hermes before and never had to deal with this sort of thing. After a lot of phone calls, even being hung up on once, they just told me I needed to fill in a lost claim form. Given I got no other option at this point, I just filled it out. But I have a dreadful feeling they're not gonna pay out (and if they don't, we're gonna fight it to the bitter end, even taking it to small claims court if we have to, because while £200 may not be a lot for some people, it's a huge amount for me to lose). Tbh I've only used Hermes for big stuff because Royal Mail's prices are more than double for things weighing over 5kg (like the Porsche did). But this has put me off using Hermes again that's for sure.
    andhegmonkey76
  • PhoenixioPhoenixio CanadaMember Posts: 32
    From an outsider's point of view, this thread really suggests that people should avoid using Hermes in the UK.  It's a real pity too, for big sets like this.

    I'm moving soon and need to transfer all my modulars, and this is getting me quite worried.  I care about the damn things, it's not even for resale of anything!
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 712
    I never trusted the parcel shops. Way better to leave the parcels in one of those inpost parcel lockers that are starting to appear in more and more places
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,604
    I've recently sold 10 or so large sets in the range of £300 to £500. Every time I used Dx... the driver brings the label. All delivered with no hitches. Decent prices too. Balls to Hermes or is it Herpes?
    560HeliportAddicted2OxygenSirBrickalotOfLego
  • colaycolay OxfordshireMember Posts: 541
    My ex used to work for UPS. They were at times, a bad employer, but, the service is fantastic. Im aware of the odd instances where things happened, BUT, they have a massive fraud and security team and they look into things, they take customer service seriously. However, it ain't cheap. But, I suppose, you get what you pay for

    Im so sorry to read your story though. When I come to sell, (if I do) it will be face to face I think, or, I'll sell it to Toy Planet in Wantage, maybe take less for it, but not the hassle of sale
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,402
    Any news, @TheOneVeyronian ?
    More importantly, anything we can do to help?
    Mr_Cross
  • PhoenixioPhoenixio CanadaMember Posts: 32
    colay said:
    UPS
    ...
    However, it ain't cheap. But, I suppose, you get what you pay for
    If it wasn't for the CRAZY administrative fees they charge when importing (and I'm not talking about customs taxes which I'd gladly pay), I could see them being useful.  But as it is, they might only be relevant within a few select countries where their prices might be competitive with the alternative.

    But the argument holds as well for those government regulated mail services.  Canada Post is really good and worth going to, and they're cheaper than most private carriers.  Same for USPS in the USA, and their network is insane (always a joy to follow tracking within the US).  I don't know if there are similar services in Europe, but from my experience in North America I'd give them a shot as well!
  • legomentallegomental UkMember Posts: 346
    Hermes are horrendous to deal with I wish you luck. 

    They have no emails, they don't answer the phone. I sent them a recorded delivery letter and no response. Report them to trading standards as they have a dossier on them 
  • TheOneVeyronianTheOneVeyronian Help me, I'm inside the M25! (UK)Member Posts: 1,371
    Any news, @TheOneVeyronian ?
    More importantly, anything we can do to help?
    Sadly no news yet, I did submit a claim form last Friday but it could be a month or even more before I hear anything back. And although I may be leaving the hobby to chase other pursuits, I am reminded of why I still love this amazing community here as the support has been overwhelming, with someone even going as far as to help me out financially which I am really grateful for

    Hermes are horrendous to deal with I wish you luck. 

    They have no emails, they don't answer the phone. I sent them a recorded delivery letter and no response. Report them to trading standards as they have a dossier on them 
    Oh, I know. I've been fobbed off, received generic answers to my specific enquiries, one of their CS staff even hung up on me mid call when I tried to explain what was going on. Now I know Hermes themselves aren't directly to blame, it's rather the fault of the parcel shop I left it at originally, but Hermes still has an obligation to investigate what happened (and I believe are liable for its loss) because at the end of the day, it is their parcel drop off shop that they are paying money to in order for them to be able to provide the drop off service so...
    Mr_CrossRedbullgivesuwindgratefulnatgmonkey76Brainslugged
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 925
    Given the difficulty of contacting Hermes, I'd jump straight to small claims court. Send Hermes a letter saying you'll proceed with legal action without further delay or contact, if they fail to respond within 2 weeks. Your contract is with Hermes not the shop. They likely won't even contest, then you'll have the joy of sending in the bailiffs.
  • FireFox31FireFox31 NH, USAMember Posts: 81
    Surely the weight of the package changed between when you sent it and when it was received.  Your shipping receipt probably has the sent weight.  The buyer has the box of cereal and could give you the received weight.  That's a piece of evidence that you did ship the Porsche and it got switched somewhere.  The buyer can rest assured knowing you didn't cause this, and eBay may use this information to help you.
    Bobflip
  • PisceanPetPisceanPet UKMember Posts: 39
    Hermes don't weigh the packages at the drop off point, only when they get processed at the depot.  I dropped 3 small low value parcels off at a Hermes Parcelshop this week (a convenience store) and was just told to add them to the pile of parcels sitting in the middle of an aisle, there for anyone to take or tamper with.  I'll go back to my usual one in future that at least puts them behind the counter. 
    I had to put in a claim to them a couple of months ago when they only managed to deliver bits of something I sent.  After accepting the claim form they say it can 'up to' 28 days for it to be processed and on exactly the 28th day a £25 refund came back to me.
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