Tag Archives: Nochex

Warning About MyHermes – Delivering To a Nearby Random House is “Delivered”

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.

The Synopsis.

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

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Online Buyers Potential Scam List. Report Item Not Received Fraud here.

When you are an online seller, you are going to get stiffed now and again by a small percentage of your buyers – that’s a given. A small margin needs to be built into your prices to self-indemnify against this.

If you are an eBay seller, and/or a Paypal user, then you are guaranteed to get stiffed more often as their rules are stacked entirely against the seller. And buyers know that, hence those mediums attract many dishonest buyers.

With Paypal users, all they need to do is claim the item didn’t arrive – and they get free money as Paypal will refund them from your account. Simple as that. The seller will always be in the wrong.

You will have sent the item and Paypal will gleefully refund the buyer as well. Nice huh? Yes, it is unfair and maybe corrupt, but that’s the price of using Paypal.

This is called item not received fraud. Yes, its fraud. But, its hard to prove. So many of them get away with it time and time again.

If you are a seller that uses eBay and/or Paypal, unless you send the item tracked, the buyer can claim non-receipt. If you are selling low value items you have good markup on, you may choose to take the risk.

If the seller uses a credit or debit card (with the exception of transactions processed by Nochex that doesn’t allow chargebacks), they can also claim non receipt of goods and chargeback the payment without difficulty.

Certainly, in the USA, chargeback is often used instead of customer service it seems. Many Americans are too lazy to contact you in the event of a genuine problem, they just call their bank and do a chargeback.

If an item you sold, erm…. doesn’t arrive, you may take the view that sending another doesn’t cost you much (assuming that is the case). Most of the time, this will be item not received fraud, and the buyer simply wants two for the price of one.

You may alternatively choose to wash your hands of the buyer and choose to refund them for a quiet life. This way they simply get a free item. Either way, the buyer wins.

So here’s the thing: How many people are there out there enjoying free stuff and/or free refunds for their online shopping this way? And more to the point, what can honest online sellers do about it apart from document them somewhere for others to find?

We know that the amount of items delivered incorrectly and/or lost by the Post Office is minuscule compared to the volumes they handle. In the real world, as a volume online seller, you might expect two or three genuine item not received claims a year. If that.

Some small firms and online sellers get three a week! Gee, there are some unlucky people out there for whom Royal Mail doesn’t appear to work properly, eh?

Our websites take debit/credit cards and Paypal. Don’t you think it odd that almost ALL the item not received stuff we get is from Paypal users? People who know if you don’t cave in, they will get a refund anyway?

What NOT to do with Paypal Transactions:

Never allow an item to be collected. You cant prove delivery so they get free money – kerching!
Never send anything you cant afford to give away untracked. If they claim the item is not received, they get free money – kerching!
Never send to any address that isn’t the one documented on the Paypal transaction. If you do, they get free money – kerching! If they want delivery to another address, refund it and ask them to order/pay again using the correct address.
Never write on an item something like “If out, leave at number 29”. Ignore any requests to do so.
Never not send an item tracked because of buyer excuses about being at work and nobody to sign, etc. That is their problem – not yours.

Risk Profiling:

What we do now is send items tracked or not according to an informal risk profile we have developed.

If we think there may be risk attached to the transaction, and it is over a certain value, it goes by some kind of tracked service.

In reality, this means addresses in known shit holes like Salford, some parts of Newcastle, Manchester and London, and anywhere else most people wouldn’t want to live, is more likely to get sent Recorded Delivery or similar. Simply because we get a lot of item not received fraud from poor areas. Which stands to reason I suppose.

The name and type of address we also look at.

Mr N Nbokumogo, 15 Nelson Mandella Towers, Craptown, East London will have his order sent Recorded Delivery.

Mable Higginthorpe, Butterscotch Cottage, Twee Village, The Cotswolds, will have her order sent by normal mail.

This isn’t foolproof, as the squeezed middle class are now getting in on item not received fraud. Certainly the Quidco, Wowcher and Moneysavingexpert.com brigade. They like something for nothing.

Risk Profiling on International Sales:

It goes without saying that you will be wasting your time selling to the third world – so forget Africa, India, most of South America and such places. Set up your shopping cart to exclude buyers from these locations.

Americans love to charge back, especially on foreigners, and usually before the item will have arrived from an international location anyway. Tracking is standard and cheap to do within the States. They understand no other method. So when they ask for a tracking number, and you haven’t got one, many chargeback fearing scam. Send to the US tracked if you cant afford to give it away.

Ireland (that is southern, not Northern) we seem to get more than our fair share of item not received fraud from. We set up our shopping cart to charge them higher shipping rates now to cover us to send everything there tracked.

Spain we also seem to get a few item not received claims from. Again, send stuff tracked there unless you can afford to give it away.

Heading Off Potential Item Not Received Fraud:

When we get one of these, we ask them to contact their local sorting office in case “a card wasn’t left”. We know they usually are, but it gives them a face-saving get out for the next bit.

We also ask for the location of their local sorting office so we can contact them directly, and perhaps ask them to start an investigation for theft in transit.

At the same time, we ask that they check with neighbours, look in bins, porches, sheds, etc. in case it was left there.

In over 50% of cases, that’s the last we hear of them!

Of course, they don’t want an investigation at their local sorting office in case the postie remembers the big brown box from last week, or someone there says “What again?” down there. These are serial item not received fraudsters who don’t want attention. They will back off from a seller who doesn’t immediately cave in and wants to investigate instead of refund without questions.

The Hard Nosed Ones:

From time to time, despite proof of delivery being available, some claim that they didn’t sign for it (the signature will always be an unintelligible squiggle or the name wont be the same). Others will claim an empty box was received. These are the ones who are narked you sent something tracked unexpectedly.

Invariably, these addresses will be flats or council estates. Often in areas with high immigration. We fight those claims and usually win.

So What to Do?

We routinely Google email addresses, names and addresses of people who claim items haven’t arrived in case they have been named and shamed somewhere. Occasionally they have, and a simple link to that content makes them go away duly rumbled. However, most of that type of content out there is about eBay, not private websites. So lets put that right.

If you have been shafted by someone on eBay, we have a name and shame article for that here: Name and Shame Bad eBayers where you can document the reprobate. There is more information and articles for eBayers also in this section: eBay information. Only document someone below if it is an item not received claim.
However, if you have suffered an item not received claim, or other spurious claim when selling online via any medium (especially your own site), these are the ones that we need to document for the benefit of each other.

If you get a claim and Google brings you here to read your buyer did it to someone else, that is highly unlikely to be a genuine claim. Rather, that is evidence you have encountered a serial fraudster you can then report to eBay, the bank or Paypal.

It is important to note that if we begin to list such people in the comments section below here, not all of them will be scammers and fraudsters. Some will be innocent people whose item genuinely didn’t arrive. For them, it should be no more onerous than being in a telephone directory. We accept that they may simply be the victim of bad luck.

However, if we build up a list below, and Google brings you here for an item not received claim being made against you, and that name and address is here – publish it again!

This can build to be an excellent list of exactly who these people are who don’t receive stuff so often.

Use the comment box below. You want name, address, email address, eBay name (if applicable) and brief outline of the circumstances.
About time online sellers fought back. Continue reading

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