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Category Archives: Selling Online
Finding good quality long barbecue skewers in the UK can be a drag. But you are in the right place to find out more. BBQ skewers are a sector of the market that cheap Chinese manufacturers and ‘pile em high, sell … Continue reading
Have you had the “Extra Payment Required” email from Parcel2Go?
As online sellers, we access the services of Hermes/myHermes sometimes direct, and sometimes through parcel2go.com – depending which platform we are booking from.
Years ago, everyone used to book everything at 1.99kgs and anything up to about 3kgs would go through without a hitch. That was never going to last.
In the last 18 months, Hermes have started routinely weighing everything, so weights must be accurate. No big deal and not rocket science to make sure which band your parcel falls into, right?
We only use Parcel2Go/Hermes for low value parcels (things you can afford to lose) under two kilos. So there are two bands: 0 – 1kg and 1 – 2kg.
We use digital mail scales, so we know our weights are right. Thus we know that we are booking the correct weight band.
So here is what happens. About once a week, sometimes twice a week, we get this email:
Parcel2Go.com: Door 2 Door Courier Service
Failure to respond to this request could result in delays to your parcel delivery.
Dear [customer name],
Thank you for booking with us and using Hermes to send your parcel.
Unfortunately, Hermes have informed us that your parcel weighed/measured more than was declared when it was booked on our website. The parcel was declared as 1.00kg (20 x 20 x 20), however the actual weight/dimensions are 1.10kg (20 x 20 x 20).
We understand mistakes can be made and we operate tolerances to allow for small mistakes, however due to the size of this discrepancy, we unfortunately need to charge for this misdeclaration.
Also, due to the increased cost in processing misdeclarations, which include identifying and weighing the parcel, an additional handling charge of £2.50 is included in the underpayment total.
The total underpayment due is £ 3.49 + VAT. You can pay this charge now via the link below or find it in your basket and pay it the next time you check out with us.
Pay This Now
The Underpayments TeamParcel2Go.com
Occasionally human error happens, so those of us who send many parcels will expect to make the odd mistake and have this bite us in the arse.
However, I have noticed a pattern here.
It only seems to happen with the under 1kg band with parcels that are over 900g in weight, but under the 1kg threshold. The weight they say they are is always 1.1kgs.
If your parcel was not in fact overweight, how can you prove it? The answer is you cant, because they have your parcel, and Parcel2Go/Hermes have you over a barrel here.
We got another one of these a few days ago, so on the basis that the staff will start having deductions for these “errors” if they continue, I decided to investigate this one.
Using the P2G number, I traced the order, looked at what the item sent was (an item in standard retail packaging that we sell) and weighed another one. Better than that, I took another from our pending orders, taped it myself and added a label. The weight? 975g. I checked the weight stored on our system: 975g. I checked the manufacturers declared weight: 950g. So the 25g is tape and label.
The staff routinely weigh each and every Parcel2Go item because they are aware of this issue. On the day in question, everything that went out was checked.
This means our parcel was NOT overweight.
This probably means none of our parcels were ever overweight since the “Extra Payment Required” emails started arriving.
This smells to me like a quiet little scam by either Parcel2Go or Hermes.
But as we also use Hermes directly, and don’t get these penalties from Hermes directly, it would appear that this is generated at Parcel2Go – but we cannot be sure.
What I an be sure of is Parcel2Go have extracted by now several hundred pounds out of me with this little scam.
For “overweight” parcels that I reckon were nothing of the sort.
So what to do?
Well, here is the problem with Parcel2Go and Hermes. You get what your pay for. Its a cheap service. This means zero competent customer service of any description.
Both organisatons are set up to dissuade you from contacting anyone if something goes wrong. Daft email support (copy and paste replies) and dire “live help” that will have your dripping in cobwebs by the time you get anywhere.
Try and do a claim for a lost/stolen/misdelivered/undelivered item and you will see what I mean. If you have a spare few hours, you may eventually get your money back. The system is designed so you cant be bothered and will write their mistakes off.
Sure you can email “email@example.com” but nothing will happen. When faced with facts and logic, they will simply stop replying.
Customer service is not a hallmark of either Parcel2Go or Hermes – both are totally chronic in this regard. The fact is they simply don’t give a shit – they only want your money.
I estimate that between this “Extra Payment Required” scam and the few items that are stolen, lost, delivered wrongly or not at all, we will have issues with up to 5% of Hermes bookings.
Its probably time for us to start using a better courier or continue to self-indemnify against their mistakes as there are not enough hours in the day to chase them for losses and dishonesty.
So why is this out here?
I wanted to get this out here because I want to see if anyone else has had enough of being overcharged in this way by Parcel2Go and how big a scale this is happening on.
Parcel2Go and/or Hermes might be clawing quite a lot of money in from this little racket. And a racket is what I believe it is.
I suspect it isn’t only happening to us. I suspect there are other sellers out there writing off a fiver once or twice a week, assuming they or their staff made a mistake. Again. But deep down they cannot see how. And they will Google and land here……..
If this is happening to you, please use the comment box below to say so. Continue reading
If you are selling online and using MyHermes as your delivery service, here is a cautionary tale.
We send perhaps 50 parcels a day with Hermes, they seem to get most of them right. We get a few bouts of stupidity such as stuff delivered to completely different addresses, one customer found one on the road outside his house, the odd one gets damaged and the odd one has been stolen in transit (vanished).
But the numbers of those are quite low. MyHermes are as good as any other budget delivery outfit. What do you want for the price?
Anyway, here is a new one on me. A customer contacted us and said this:
This was delivered to a neighbour at number 15 who I don’t know & despite several attempts I have not been able to get a response when knocking at their door. I could have collected from the depot if they had taken it there. Can you help me resolve this please
After an exchange where we suggested she try a little harder, she replied with this:
Yes but the house is up for sale I don’t even know if anyone actually lives there at the moment. I will try again this weekend but wanted to alert you as soon as possible in case I can’t contact them
So we decided to ask Parcel2Go who is the service provider we use to access MyHermes. More out of curiosity really in case said neighbour of recipient decided to keep the free stuff. Handy to know the position when couriers are delivering stuff to neighbours.
So here is the enlightening exchange with Parcel2Go on behalf of MyHermes.
It seems the courier has delivered it to a neighbour and the intended recipient cannot get it from them. How to proceed?
Oh dear 🙁 what is the reason why they can’t get it from their neighbor?
Nobody ever home it seems, they don’t know them and have no number. But ultimately it has been delivered wrong so driver needs to fix it?
Is the neighbor not within their apartment blocks?
Apparently not, it’s number 15 and I think she is 8
She will need to try and contact them as Hermes can deliver to neighbors if the recipient cannot be reached.
That isn’t really a solution. I cannot tell a customer that. It is our job to deliver to customer, not a random house nearby. The driver needs to retrieve and deliver it.
I’m afraid that Hermes can deliver to a neighbor on the same street if the consignee cannot be reached.
So basically with Hermes, we have to accept the possibility we will be giving it away to a neighbour?
This of course is illegal if the neighbour was to take this as it would be theft by finding.
Well isn’t that jolly?
Of course, as an experienced online seller, I know why Hermes deliver to neighbours, and I am sure the vast majority work out just fine. I have no particular complaint about Hermes or Parcel2Go.
I take stuff in for my neighbours, and they for me.
However, not everyone lives somewhere pleasant. Not everyone has nice neighbours.
Some people will have dishonest neighbours who will gleefully accept the free goods, sign with a squiggle and/or a fake name and deny all knowledge and have your stuff on eBay ten minutes later.
So I decided to delve into the legalities of this a little. More for future reference than anything else.
Here is what Which, the consumer rights outfit says about this:
Where do you stand if the delivery company leaves the item you ordered with a neighbour who then denies having it?
Whether you have any legal rights will depend on the delivery instructions you did or didn’t give at the time of purchase.
If you give instructions for your parcel to be left with a specific neighbour and the parcel is delivered to them, the seller is not responsible if something goes wrong.
If you agree more generally that your parcel can be left with a neighbour without specifying which one, then in practice you’ve said you are happy for anyone in close proximity to your home to accept delivery on your behalf.
Well, that seems fair enough but doesn’t cover our situation. But there is more.
If you’re parcel is left with a neighbour without giving instructions to do so, you can argue that the contract said the goods were to be delivered to the address specified, and that by leaving them at a different address the company is in breach of contract.
If you bought your goods online, you’re covered under the Consumer Contracts Regulations.
So, back to us (and you) and MyHermes for future reference.
Your customer by default will not have given permission for their purchase to be left at a random nearby house.
If the courier that you as a seller employ to deliver, leaves the parcel at a random nearby house, and occupants of said random nearby house do not give the parcel to your customer, it looks to me like this is the sellers responsibility.
During the courier booking process, you will have ticked a random box agreeing to some terms and conditions nobody ever reads. I haven’t read them, and I am sure you haven’t. I have no intention of doing so and I bet you have neither.
But you can bet your bottom dollar that there is a term in there that absolves them of responsibility for this type of thing.
As I said above, its obvious why couriers need to leave stuff with neighbours. And I have no particular complaint about MyHermes. All couriers sometimes get it wrong, so my thinking is you may as well use a cheap one, as even UPS smash stuff up and lose stuff too nowadays. Parcel2Go are a reasonable outfit to deal with as well. MyHermes are actually much better than they used to be FWIW.
But the take away is this: If you send something that matters, or is expensive, by the bog standard MyHermes service, and the local driver gives it to someone else, and for whatever reason the intended recipient doesn’t get it, you are liable.
If an eBay or Amazon sale, or transacted through Paypal, the tracking will show “delivered” so in the event of chargeback, seller protection should cover you. The platform will cough up to the buyer without debiting you most likely.
On your own site, unless using Nochex that cannot be charged back, you will pay for the loss or theft of the item.
However, as an honest seller, you don’t want your customer jumping through hoops and having to try to do chargebacks do you? That isn’t going to help your reputation at all. Your courier didn’t deliver it, so you have got to make good on that by sending another item by another service to an address the customer nominates where somebody actually will be.
The take away is this: When using MyHermes, KNOW that the driver can leave the item anywhere he likes. With any random neighbour, in a porch, shed, bin or wherever. SO do not send anything expensive or that matters with the basic service. Continue reading
Chargeback and Fraud.
With Paypal users, all they need to do is pretend the item hasn’t arrived – and they get free cash as Paypal will gleefully refund them from your account. Simple as that. No ifs or buts.
Proofs of posting are meaningless.
The seller will always always always be in the wrong with Paypal.
This is called item not received fraud. Yes, its certainly fraud. But, its almost impossible to prove. So many of them get away with it time and time again. Its a hobby for some of them. Free shopping!
If sending untracked, buy some fake tracked barcode stickers online and stick on the envelope (yes, they exist). That will fool some and dissuade some fraud.
Americans can also charge a credit card transaction back (reverse the payment) on a whim, and on a single phone call with no burden of proof of any wrongdoing at all.
They have no grasp of Sofort, IBAN numbers or other international bank transfer systems, and will think anything other than a credit card or Paypal is a scam. So you won’t get them to pay by any secure, irreversible means.
Accept that you will be giving some stuff away and write it into your pricing.
Fear of Other Currencies.
Americans understand American dollars (Canadians grasp CAD and USD but they are pretty much the same value). And that is about all they understand. Trying to have them shop in Australian dollars, Pounds or Euros will confuse them.
They only understand dollars and will happily shop in dollars. A shopping cart in anything but dollars will result in a ton of emails asking about currency conversions, “How much does this work out to in dollars?” type questions, how to use a credit card in another currency and other silly stuff.
If it isn’t in dollars, its out of the comfort zone of most.
Charge them only in dollars to avoid that complication. If that means mirror sites or different landing pages, so be it. If eBay, list on the .com site in dollars. Don’t use the pay option on eBay of “US and Canada visibility” from the UK site.
Remember, if using Paypal, Paypal will shaft you on the exchange rate, so take that into account.
Customer Service Issues.
Another problem with selling to Americans: Americans use chargeback instead of customer service.
They have no concept of time zones outside of the US so cannot grasp why you haven’t replied their email in three minutes at 4am your time.
They will not make international phone calls, so forget that.
As demanding consumers, they expect bells and whistles, including free returns and exchanges (thank Amazon for that). Most sellers want to sell to other continents on a ‘no returns’ basis. Or at best, buyer pays return postage.
That doesn’t go down well there. You will get screamers because of that.
Remember, the first sniff of something that doesn’t suit them or is outside of their normal sphere of experience, you will get the chargeback.
If they are unhappy, and you are an eBay seller, they will gladly one star and/or negative feedback you. Bad DSR’s mean you lose your Power Seller discounts. Continue reading
Are you having problems with your Paypal Access MasterCard?
I have started to refer to mine as the “no access” card. Rather often I am getting ‘transaction declined’ notices for no clear reason. Who needs a debit card that is unreliable?
If you have a Paypal Access Mastercard (PrePay Solutions), do PLEASE be aware that it wont always work and you must always have back up funds on you! Never rely on this card for subscriptions to anything either. Continue reading
Looking for a user review of Nochex? Looking for a UK alternative to Paypal? Read on.
I’ll give a positive shout here for the Nochex SELLER ACCOUNT. We use it on our site for small parts orders, but it is limited to £100 per transaction, and UK cards only unless you open the Merchant Account.
DO NOT open a Nochex Merchant Account. We got stung this way when asking them for a larger transaction limit on our seller account (trying to escape the awful Paypal). They ask you your likely monthly turnover, you tell them, and they then want to retain that much forever as security against chargebacks! This means depositing maybe thousands of pounds with them, and then just kissing it goodbye as long as you use the account (ie forever)!
They tried to sting us this way. They don’t tell you all this until you have opened the account and they have had your £50 setup fee. I asked them to revert the account back to seller status when I found this out; they wouldn’t. So I closed it and my wife opened another the same day.
They then held our money in the old account frozen for 6 months in case of a chargeback (that we have never had anyway). Big thumbs down for the Nochex Merchant Account.
However, the basic seller account, for small orders from UK customers below £100 each, is not too bad. That said, there is a £1000 a week withdrawl limit. They charge less fees than Paypal, have a UK call centre, the money is in your account faster, and no account freezing or silly chargebacks like Paypal as well. If you are a small UK seller with UK customers, the SELLER ACCOUNT is just fine.
We use Paypal for some larger and overseas transactions, but currently have hundreds of pounds reversed, frozen or whatever they call it, for spurious chargebacks where we can prove the item was delivered by courier. I am seriously searching for a viable alternative to Paypal, preferably one that doesn’t have the fraudulent chargebacks that Paypal allow people to get away with.
When selling with Paypal, you must accept that there is always the possibility that you will be giving the stuff away. If you can accept that, then Paypal is for you. Why is this? Because they will take your money back at the drop of a hat on teh slightest whim of any buyer. If it isnt in your account, they will steal it from any linked accounts. (Hint: never load a Paypal account from a card or account if you are a seller, or if you must, use an empty account, one you intend to close or a card you can cancel or “lose” and get a replacement [with a new number] tomorrow). Paypal WILL steal your money. It’s not a matter of “if” — its a matter of when, how often and how much. Can you afford that risk? I cant. Continue reading
Here is Eddie in case you encounter him:
EDDIE ANDERSON, 23 SKYE PLACE, RAVENSWOOD, CUMBERNAULD, G67 1PF.
His email address is:
His ebay ID is:
His phone number is:
01236 731515 Continue reading
As a seller, what can you do about this? Well, often times, it seems to be the same miscreants over and over again who are stiffing sellers. I think it must be a hobby for some of them. Google is your friend, and sellers are starting to Google. Many sellers are incorporating the blocked bidder lists of others to prevent these people from stiffing them over too. Block them before they bid.
Did you know you can block people buying or bidding on your eBay auctions? eBay do not trumpet the facility but after a dozen or so clicks in the help pages you might find the page. Here, let me make it easy for you, it is here: Block eBay Bidders (You may be prompted to log in to see the page). Continue reading
After three days go to “Advanced Search” from any eBay page, then “Find Contact Information”. (You need to have 2 windows open to copy and paste the details from one page to the other — they make it hard on purpose). Then fill it in and you will get an email with their contact info on.
Call the punter up, introduce yourself, make some story about how you are “going away” and want to get all your sales mailed before you do. They are the only one of many who hasn’t paid despite reminders. Be polite. You want to help them to get their item quickly as you are going away. You care about your reputation blah blah……
Expect a bunch of excuses about dead dogs, sick relatives, volcanic ash, relatives bidding on their behalf, broken computers, changed passwords and all kinds of other crap. Laugh along and agree with them and make sure you end the call with a plan of when they will pay. This type usually pay within the hour then.
Some folks have non reachable numbers or permanent answer phone numbers lodged with eBay — assume these are serial non payers and revert to the sub £25 plan then.
The sub £25 and/or after 4 days plan: After four days exactly you go to “Open Unpaid Item Case / Cancel Transaction” from the item listing, select “The buyer has not paid for the item” [if the listing does not let you select that option wait until the time of day the sale ended has passed — it must be 4 days EXACTLY]. From the drop down menu select “Buyer is unresponsive”. Then “Submit”. Continue reading
Now, we cant expect that all eBayers actually have a reasonable command of English — they simply don’t. Some of them no doubt think this bastardised form of English is trendy computer speak and is acceptable. Its the text message culture spreading onto eBay.
As we know, addresses all in lower-case are hard to read. But addresses all in capital letters are easier to read. So the simple route is to convert the garbled crap they sent you to something we can all read automatically. Continue reading