Delivery mess
August 17, 2006 8:09 AM   Subscribe

UK Parcelforce delivery mess: Parcelforce has kindly delivered a package to the wrong address. Is this theft?

We have stayed in for two days waiting for his parcel that never turned up. Then all of a sudden it was marked as delivered on the Parcelforce tracking website. It has been signed for by a name we have never heard of, supposedly next door (where there is no-one home at the moment).

When I call them they ask helpful questions like "Have you asked next door?"

Having had some bad experiences with Parcelforce in the past, I am expecting to waste a lot of time to solve this (if it ever is solved). Given that neither we nor our neighbours have signed for it, but Parcelforce claims it has been delivered, can this be looked upon as theft?

And yes, I am slightly annoyed.
posted by The Carolingian to Work & Money (11 answers total)
Not sure if it's a helpful answer, but while it might or might not be theft, it will never be prosecuted as such. Having not taken possession of the goods in the agreed fashion, your agreement with the vendor has been breached, and they will (based on my similar experiences), resolve the issue directly with Parcelforce (claiming for the package on their insurance, and sending you a replacement). It is fairly common practice I believe - it has certainly happened to me more than once. Both vendor and courier seem comfortable with this unspoken agreement.

I HATE buying online for exactly this reason.
posted by bifter at 8:20 AM on August 17, 2006

Read the Conditions of carriage. Pretty much every clause of section 2 is relevant, especially:

"Parcelforce Worldwide shall not be liable in respect of any Consignment delivered to the delivery address or other address specified by the addressee, where any person misrepresents his authority to receive a Consignment on the addressee’s or Customer’s behalf"

In any case, if the package was something you bought mail order, you should forget about Parcel Force and pressure the company to deliver the goods you paid for. Check your contract with the seller.
posted by cillit bang at 8:59 AM on August 17, 2006


delivered to the delivery address or other address specified by the addressee

It has not been delivered to the correct address. They even admit that themselves by claiming that we were not home.

where any person misrepresents his authority to receive a Consignment on the addressee’s or Customer’s behalf

The only proof that it has been delivered at all is this signature they claim to have. However, this signature is definately not from me nor my neighbours.
posted by The Carolingian at 9:13 AM on August 17, 2006

Why don't you decide? Here's the legal defintion.
posted by dmt at 9:55 AM on August 17, 2006

Second bifter - you don't have a contractual relationship with Parcelforce, the vendor does. Tell the vendor you never received the package and they should replace it. If you bought the item with a credit card (and it cost more than £100) you can charge it back if they don't deliver as promised - which is why a low-limit credit card is best for purchasing on the internet.

It's up to the vendor to then chase Parcelforce for breaking their contract, if they choose to do so.
posted by goo at 9:58 AM on August 17, 2006

It could be theft by the recipient who signed for it (in fact that's quite likely) but it's in no way theft by Parcelforce (companies cannot be liable for that sort of crime - only individuals - as they cannot form the mens rea, the intention to permanently deprive).

The wide ranging disclaimers will raise the bar on any potential court case against them, but if they were negligent you'd have a shot at it. Keep plugging away at their customer services and at the same time report the goods stolen to the police.

Thirding Bifter - I've had this before and the sender replaced the goods. The customer services dept of the delivery company followed it up with me later, presumably for the reasons Bifta and goo mentioned.
posted by patricio at 10:04 AM on August 17, 2006

Yeah, just notify the seller; they deal with this crap all the time.

And am I the only one who keeps reading "parselmouth"?
posted by baylink at 10:50 AM on August 17, 2006

It is unlikely Parcelforce or their agents had any dishonest intent. The person next door, maybe, but good luck proving it unless he fails to give it over when asked.
posted by grouse at 12:49 PM on August 17, 2006

I've had loads of UK deliveries, Parcelforce have caused me more problems than all the other delivery services I've ever used (combined) well worth avoiding if you can!

As they don't answer the phone, the best way to contact them is by letter. It may take a few weeks but I always got an answer eventually.
posted by Lanark at 1:08 PM on August 17, 2006

For those still reading: repeated calls to Parcelforce have just yielded further promises that they will call me back (which they don't).

I have contacted the vendor (Amazon in this case) and they simply tell me that Parcelforce has delivered it and have a signature (which was what I told them!). I sent a strongly worded letter back :)
posted by The Carolingian at 12:53 AM on August 18, 2006

Ah yes, Parcelfarce. They didn't respond for weeks to emails requesting a redelivery of a package for my wife. She finally took buses to a dodgy part of London and picked it up, after which she received daily emails stating that it had been delivered :-)
posted by lukemeister at 1:53 AM on August 19, 2006

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