Hermes: the good, the bad and the stupid

Happy 2019 everyone! Here’s my first post of the year.

Right before Christmas, I was doing a major sell-off and clear out of old, unneeded items, including clothing, jewelry and my old Mega Drive games. But once items are sold, the next step is getting them to their new owner.

In the past, I had always used the Royal Mail (RM). Living in Northern Ireland we didn’t- up until recently- have much choice in who we used as a courier. To use any of the other couriers would have cost you around £20 to send anything from N.I. to G.B. No thank you.

Hermes (pronounced Her-mes, thank you very much)– named after the Greek God, who among the rest of his many jobs was the messenger of the Gods– has been on the UK market for a little while, but my goodness has it recently got better. It’s now possible to import your sales directly from eBay into your myHermes account making things quicker and easier. Then comes the difference in price. To have a signed-for parcel through RM, it’s at least £3.95, for Hermes, it’s £2.79.

hermes-768x1680-775757606.jpg
Hermes, messenger of the Gods. Also God of trade and merchants

Then when it comes to the heavier parcels, there are even bigger savings to be made as Hermes doesn’t care about the size of an object (within reason), only the weight. Therefore, when I sent a large soft toy to England, I saved myself around £4 by sending it through Hermes. So far, so frugal. If you’re really looking to save money on your purchases, then this is a good way to go. You may not save a huge amount of money, but every little really does add up.

To use Hermes, you need a printer, as you have to have your labels, complete with barcodes, printed and affixed to your parcels yourself. There’s no such thing as stamps. Everything is arranged online, printed and prepared, and then you simply drop them off at a collection point- often a Co-op or some petrol stations. Which is great, because it generally means that there are no massive waits when you’re behind someone else who wants to post three hundred parcels.

However, the title of this post contains the words, “and the stupid,” because, frankly frugality alone isn’t the be all and end all. Customer service is also important. Let me tell you about the bad customer service experience I had with Hermes, and my utter determination to get a refund when they had messed up. Some of you will find this post exceedingly petty, but frankly, it never needed to be and only was due to them. I wanted my £2.79 back, and I was going to get it.

A buyer in England bought a megadrive game off me, and I decided to use Hermes to deliver it as I was delivering four other parcels that day. Hermes will attempt to deliver an item 3 times before it’s returned to the sender. They attempted two deliveries on the same day to my buyer- which in itself seems daft to me. For the third attempt, the buyer nominated a safe place where the parcel could be left, but the courier ignored this, thus couldn’t complete the delivery and the parcel was therefore returned to me. Thus began the worst and most frustrating customer service farce that I’ve ever come across.

The whole email chain is laid out below (names and details have been changed or removed), but if you want, you can skip to the end of it for the highlights. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

BelfastBudgetBlog email

Hi there,
I have sent a parcel to X in London. The courier apparently tried to deliver three times, but X says that they never followed his safe place instructions (screen shots attached). Under the circumstances, could we try again please? He’ll be in Wednesday, Thursday or Friday,

Many thanks,

BelfastBudgetBlog

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hermes Response By E-mail

Good Morning,

Thank you for emailing us at Hermes.

In order to fully investigate your query we will require some further correct information. Could you please provide any (or all) of the following:

> Sixteen-digit tracking number

> Eight-digit order number

> The bar code number which is on the top right hand corner of the calling card

> Recipients Full name and complete delivery address with postcode

If your item has been ordered through a retailer then you must contact them directly with any queries.

Please contact us again with the relevant information.

Regards,

X

Customer Service Advisor

____________________________________________________________________________________________

BelfastBudgetBlog response

Hi Hermes,

> Sixteen-digit tracking number:

> Eight-digit order number:

> The bar code number which is on the top right hand corner of the calling card:

> Recipients Full name and complete delivery address with postcode:

I’ve just seen that this parcel appears to be on the way back to me- though the tracking in my Hermes account isn’t working. Is there anyway to stop this and send it back, as it sounds as though the fault in this case lies with Hermes. X, who got the calling card also tried repeatedly to call the number on the card and got no response or reply to his phone messages. It hasn’t been fantastic customer service on this occasion.

thanks,

BelfastBudgetblog

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 Hermes Response By E-mail

Good Morning,

Regarding parcel number:

Our service provider has attempted delivery of your parcel on three separate occasions; however they have been unable to successfully complete the delivery.

In this case the parcel will be returned back to the sender, I would request you to contact your retailer as they will surely help you with the refund or a replacement.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Kind regards,

Hermes Customer Service Advisor

____________________________________________________________________________________________

BelfastBudgetBlog response

Dear Hermes,

This query is not resolved. It appears that you haven’t read my query.

I am the sender. This parcel is being returned to me, though there have been no notifications from Hermes to tell me this. Should there not be some warning that a parcel is being returned?

My original query stated that according to the intended recipient the Courier ignored his “safe place” request. This was the reason that they could not complete the delivery. Had they followed his instructions they could have delivered the item. X also attempted to contact the courier on numerous occasions, but they did not answer the phone or reply to his messages. This is poor customer service and I will now be out if pocket because it appears that instructions were not followed. Could you confirm if X had designated a safe place please? And also if there is a reason why the courier was incommunicado?

It also appears from myHermes that the courier attempted two deliveries on the same day. If a person is away for the day then they have missed two of the three deliveries. This seems unfair. Is this usual practice?

I look forward to hearing back from you with the answer to my queries,

Thanks,

Belfastbudgetblog

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hermes Response By E-mail

Dear Belfast Budget blog,

Thank you for e-mailing Hermes. I apologise for the delay in response.

As per the tracking I see that the recipient requested for a safe place as letterbox. The recipient requested the safe place before the third attempt in the morning however our courier might not have seen the notification as As the couriers spend majority of their day driving.

If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Regards,

Customer Service Advisor

Hermes Support

____________________________________________________________________________________________

BelfastBudgetBlog response

Dear Hermes,

Then, considering that the courier did not complete the delivery as he did not follow the recipients instructions I request a refund for my postage costs please- £2.79.

I would also say that the parcel, when it was returned to me, was in terrible condition, so I don’t feel as though my item has been well cared for. Fortunately the game was well-padded, otherwise I would also be asking for compensation.

Thanks,

BelfastBudgetBlog 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hermes Response By E-mail

Dear BelfastBudgetblog,

Thank you for e-mailing us at Hermes.

We are sorry that the parcel has been returned to you. However the tracking shows the courier has attempted to deliver this parcel but not delivered due to customer was not available.

We do handle all our parcels with care, however during the delivery journey, they go through several handling points and transportation, so on rare occasions this can happen.

We are sorry for the inconvenience has caused.

Please let us know if you need any more information

To make it easier to get in touch, you can also use our live chat on this link

Kind regards,

Hermes Customer Services Advisor

____________________________________________________________________________________________

BelfastBudgetBlog response

Dear MyHermes support,

I realise that the tracking shows that the courier attempted delivery on 3 occasions, but it has already been established that the recipient designated a safe place between the 2nd and 3rd attempts and the courier did not follow this instruction.

It was due to this failure that the parcel was then returned. As the fault therefore lies with your courier, myhermes did not complete the duties for which I paid it. Therefore, under consumer law I am owed a refund. “If a service isn’t provided ‘with reasonable care and skill’ or ‘as agreed’, the seller must bring it into line with what was agreed with the customer.” Please, therefore refund me the price I paid for my parcel- I.e. £2.79.

Many thanks,

BelfastBudgetBlog

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hermes Response By E-mail

Dear Belfastbudgetblog,

Thank you for contacting us at Hermes. I am sorry for the delay in my response and that the parcel was not delivered to recipient.

We are unable to provide your refund however we can apply a 20% discount code to your account. This will automatically be deducted from your next order with us online for a maximum discount of £10.

Please confirm the same so we can apply the discount.

I hope this rare instance will not deter you from using our services in the future.

Once again, please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused and should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us

Regards,

Customer Service Advisor

Hermes Support

____________________________________________________________________________________________

BelfastBudgetBlog response

Dear myHermes support,

I would request that this email be referred to a manager please.

 

Dear manager,

could I please request that you read this entire email chain as in the past some of your customer support advisors have failed to do so, which has compounded my frustration with this whole incident.

Whilst I appreciate that you have offered a 20% on my purchase, this is simply not acceptable. MyHermes did not supply the service for which it was paid- i.e. they did not follow the recipient’s instructions as to a safe place, and it was for this reason that the delivery was not made. The UK consumer right’s act (2015) states that: where a service was inadequate, as it has been in this case,

“The trader should either redo the element of the service that’s inadequate, or perform the whole service again at no extra cost to you, within a reasonable time and without causing you significant inconvenience.

Or, in circumstances where the repeat performance is impossible, or can’t be done within a reasonable time or without causing significant inconvenience, you can claim a price reduction. Depending on how severe the failings are, this could be up to 100% of the cost, and the trader should refund you within 14 days of agreeing that you’re entitled to a refund.”

It has already been established that myHermes is at fault, therefore I am entitled to a refund.

As the failing is entire, i.e. the parcel was not delivered due to your courier’s fault, and that due care and attention was not taken with my item (I refer you to the photographs further down the email chain) then I will accept nothing less than a full refund or a coupon to cover the entire amount of a similar delivery (i.e. £2.79), as the recipient refused that I use Hermes again.

If this is unacceptable to you then I must write to Paypal to refund me the money for your payment as the service I paid for has not been delivered.

I would add that up until this point I have been exceedingly satisfied with your company. However, since this has all happened I have not used your company, and will continue to use an alternative until a resolution has been achieved.

many thanks,

BelfastBudgetblog
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hermes Response By E-mail

Dear Belfastbudgetblog,

 

Thanks for getting in touch with us about parcel number

I have checked the tracking details and can see the parcel has been delivered to the customer on 24/11/18 at 12:08:00. I would request you to please check the POD/Signature attached:

“Here they showed a picture of my husband’s signature, when he had signed for the returning parcel.”

and also the parcel is delivered within the vicinity of the Geo which is in the radius 9 of meters.

I would request you to please confirm with the recipient regarding this.

To make it easier to get in touch, you can also use our live chat on this link

Thanks

 

Hermes Customer Services

____________________________________________________________________________________________BelfastBudgetBlog response

Dear Hermes,

I would like to raise a formal complaint. Please start your response to me by confirming that you have read this entire email chain. If you do not I shall bounce it straight back to you. I am also now opening a case through Paypal as you have failed to actually listen to my query.

Here are the salient points

  • I am the sender of a parcel
  • The parcel was not delivered as your courier did not follow the safe place instructions.
  • The parcel was returned to me and signed by my husband.
  • The parcel was returned in terrible condition.
  • I have attempted on more occasions than should be acceptable to communicate the above points to customer service, and you keep failing to read and have gone over the same issues again and again.

I require a full refund of my payment £2.79. I also want to state categorically that myHermes customer service has been truly abysmal throughout this entire affair.

thank you,

Belfastbudgetblog

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 Hermes response By E-mail

Dear Belfastbudgetblog,

 

Thank you for contacting us at Hermes.

I am sorry for the delay in my response and that the parcel returned to you.

We are unable to provide you a refund however we can apply a 50% discount code to your account. This will automatically be deducted from your next order with us online for a maximum discount of £10.

Please confirm the same so we can apply the discount.

I hope this rare instance will not deter you from using our services in the future.

Once again, please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused and should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

To make it easier to get in touch, you can also use our live chat on this link

Kind regards,

Customer Service Advisor
Hermes Customer Services

 

Ok, so you can see that I’d totally lost my temper with the useless customer service. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t 100% sure of the laws I was quoting, but they did sound pretty good, and I was at least getting somewhere. They admitted early on that they had made the mistake, and so that gave me grounds for my argument. The main problem was that I felt that they were either a) attempting to fob me off by making life difficult, or b) they had exceedingly limited power to do anything.

Even the offer of 50% off was pretty poor. I was out of pocket because their courier hadn’t followed instructions, and whilst arguing with them was vaguely helpful, in that they had raised their offer from nothing to 20% to 50% off voucher (in both cases to a maximum of £10), it wasn’t what I was owed. Fortunately, as I’d paid through PayPal, I had another means of getting my refund.  Paypal offer protection when you do not get what you pay for. And so I opened a case there. I laid out everything that had gone wrong, and I asked again for my refund of £2.79.

Within a day or two, I had an email telling me that they would be happy to refund my claim. What a difference! I’d finally won. If only I’d come to PayPal first, I would have saved myself so much hassle. And honestly, I believe that the difference in response was due to the fact that, via email I had no power, but here at PayPal I was protected, and I had power to hit them in the wallet.

And then, when that hadn’t come through within a week, I reminded them.

And they sent me a full refund. And by that, I mean that they refunded my entire transaction which had been for four parcels, rather than just the one that I had requested. Instead of my £2.79 that I’d been asking for, they gave me £12.36.

Frankly, after all of the hassle they’d put me to, I felt that was fair. Guys, it’s the little victories in life!

Hermes

Whilst this whole episode has damaged my opinion of Hermes, I will continue to use them again in future because one bad courier shouldn’t reflect on the whole company, and particularly where I’m sending large parcels, I will be saving considerable money.

But needless to say, I’ll make sure I pay through Paypal.

 

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