Moneywise helps a reader with misleading T&Cs
I returned a TV to Amazon using courier firm Hermes, but it lost it. Even though I took insurance up to £300 (the TV was worth £340), Hermes says that TVs are an “excluded item” and therefore its terms and conditions don’t cover it for loss, damage or delay.
This is in its T&Cs: “We offer cover for the loss, damage or theft of items worth up to the value of £20 as standard. If you are sending items with a higher value, we also offer full cover up to the value of £300 for a small fee. However, there are some items that we do not cover for damage.” That suggests such items would still be covered for loss or theft.
The policy is inconsistently/misleadingly stated across the website and it is not justifiable to treat damage and loss as the same. Are some packages more easily lost or stolen than others?
I always tell people to avoid delivery companies such as Hermes as their compensation policy stinks. Paying just £20 for items the firm loses is seldom going to be enough. So, if you have to use it, taking out insurance for up to £300 seems essential. But your letter seemed to suggest that the company would even find ways to weasel out of meeting its commitment under the cover it flogged you.
The good news is that Hermes saw sense and realised the wording of its terms was misleading. That has now been changed and the company paid out £300 plus the £20.99 postage fee you paid.
You weren’t left terribly happy, though, ending up £40 down on the price of the TV and fed up with the delays. You were also naturally confused as to how Hermes could actually have lost your TV, which was in a 1.5 square metre box. Your summation: “It is a terrible company to deal with.”
OUTCOME: £320.99 returned to reader