Have you had the “Extra Payment Required” email from Parcel2Go?
As online sellers, we access the services of Hermes/myHermes (2022 edit – now Evri) sometimes direct, and sometimes through parcel2go.com – depending on which platform we are booking from.
Years ago, everyone used to book everything at 0.99kgs and anything up to about 3kgs would go through without a hitch. That was never going to last.
In the last 18 months, Hermes has 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:
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.
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 can’t, 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 manufacturer’s 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 can be sure of is Parcel2Go has 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 you pay for. It’s a cheap service. This means zero competent customer service of any description.
Both organisations 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 you 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 can’t 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.
It’s 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.
Parcel2Go will not even engage with us on the subject of the “Extra Payment Required” subject – despite our trying – they just keep charging us for it.
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……..
2022 Update: As we all probably know, Hermes is now Evri, but not much else has changed since this was written, and people still find it. For this class of parcel, we are now back with Royal Mail. Tracked 48 is a superior service at a similar price. Talk to your Royal Mail account manager if you have one about a deal. You are charged on averages so you can have an average of say 2kg, so if lots are 1.5kg, you can send the odd 5kg, 10kg, etc. Way better than Evri.
If this is happening to you, please use the comment box below to say so.