My £5,500 bike has been lost by Hermes. Should I call the police?

13 September 2019

Moneywise helps a reader who had a valuable bike go missing

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My £5,500 bike has been lost by Hermes. Should I call the police?

I sent my mountain bike to a bike shop in Bristol as it had a recurring issue with the frame alignment. This was resolved and the fee was £50 including return postage, which I paid.

I tracked the process, and Hermes stated it was out for delivery on 18 July. However, the day passed and not one attempt to deliver was made. Even so, it marked it as attempted with no-one available to receive. The same thing went on for the next few days until finally on 23 July it delivered something.

However, I was out so my mum signed for the parcel not knowing what it was supposed to be. When I arrived home, to my surprise and anger I had received a small cardboard tube with a water bottle inside. It was from a completely different business based 30 miles away from the bike shop, with someone else’s details inside. Yet it had my address label on it, meaning my mountain bike, worth £5,500, was missing!

I let the shop know and contacted the charity the bottle had came from. They asked the customer, but she said she had not received my bike. I have been in contact with Hermes, the bike shop and the charity almost every day trying to resolve this but I keep getting fobbed off and told to wait up to 14 days for an investigation.

Either someone has stolen the bike or it genuinely has gone missing. It’s very frustrating as I got it for my 21st birthday so it has a large amount of sentimental value too.

I am not sure where to go from here and it’s really upsetting. I have contacted the police and they said if it isn’t resolved to call back and report it as stolen.

I hope you can help – I can’t let them get away with it as the bike is worth far too much in money and sentimental value. I am only able to contact the companies by live chat and they will not give me any details to escalate it.

SM/Scotland

This is a very distressing situation for you and, sadly, all too common. A company like Hermes deals with millions of parcels so there is bound to be the occasional missing package. But the way to judge a firm, I always believe, is how it deals with a problem and frustratingly you got nowhere. Despite your repeated attempts to speak to a real person, you got lost in the horror of live chat – a nightmare I suspect many readers have had to experience.

You were ready to call the police but I asked you to wait until I tried to resolve things. I spoke to Hermes at length and it agreed to do a thorough search of its distribution centre. Unfortunately there was no trace of your bike. Has it been stolen? I don’t know.

Pleasingly, Hermes agreed that you had been let down and it wanted to try to put things right. It wasn’t able to return your treasured bike, but it agreed to replace it, including all the extras you had added over the years.

The company told me: “We have apologised to SM as, despite a full investigation of our network, including an extensive review of CCTV footage, we have been unable to determine what happened. As a gesture of goodwill we will be providing a full replacement, working carefully to match the exact specifications. We successfully deliver over 390 million parcels each year, however, occasionally things do go wrong and we recommend that customers take additional cover up to a maximum of £300 for valuable items.”

You were happy with the outcome, telling me: “Thanks very much for your help, I don’t believe we’d have come to this resolution without you. Although I am gutted Hermes lost my actual bike as it was a present, I’m extremely grateful for you providing the nudge it needed.”

OUTCOME: Hermes agrees to pay for a replacement bike and accessories

Shame

Its a shame it took Moneywise's intervention to get this resolved. I've had similar issues with Hermes twice. You shouldnt have to pay more to have your item insured to whatever it's worth. If they lose it in their possession they should be liable.

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