Parcelforce let me down when my package was lost in Athens

The company refused to meet a £600 insurance claim because I’d missed the deadline – through their fault

I sent a parcel containing a new iPhone5 and a used iPhone4 to Athens using Parcelforce Worldwide. I paid an extra £48 to insure it against loss or damage to the value of £600.

When the parcel failed to arrive, Parcelforce told me it was in the FedEx warehouse in Paris. I was given a tracking number and told to call them, but they could not divulge any information because my contract was with Parcelforce.

Parcelforce then promised to investigate and claims that it tried to call me 11 days later, but no message was left.

They eventually admitted that the parcel had been lost in an Athens depot two weeks previously, but when I tried to claim on my insurance I was told I should have done so within two weeks of sending the parcel.

At no stage was I told of this deadline. If Parcelforce had admitted earlier that the parcel was lost I would have claimed immediately and been within the time limit. DA, London

Parcelforce’s website makes clear the 15-day deadline for claiming for Globalexpress items, but it would have been helpful if you’d been warned of this at point of sale. In any case, since Parcelforce gave you misleading information about the whereabouts of the package, the deadline should not apply.

Happily, Royal Mail’s press office realises this and is now sending you the £600 payout plus a refund of the £48.20 you paid to send it. “We fully accept that the customer initiated inquiries within the deadline period and that the information we had at that stage indicated a delayed rather than a missing item,” says a spokesman. Less happily, it’s doubtful it would have seen reason if you hadn’t invoked the media.

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