Inspecting ParcelForce deliveries before signing?

11
Posted 20th Sep
Are we allowed/entitled to inspect the contents of boxes/parcels which are delivered from ParcelForce prior to signing for them?

I ask because I was told I was not allowed to and the employee even picked the box up to take it away whilst saying, "Are you therefore refusing deliver?" In the end I had to sign for it but I tried to write unchecked on the electronic device. They are always difficult to scribble a signature on;let alone write something eligible.

The item getting delivered was a vitreous china cistern for my bathroom. Therefore something which could quite easily get broken if the box was manhandled or dropped. In fact the item being delivered was a replacment for one which was broken and had been delivered by a different courier company. They stayed whilst checked the contents of the boxes they delivered and even looked themselves. Then took away the damaged product when they left. I didn't even feel too rushed to inspect the boxes they delivered.

The seller stated to inspect goods for damage before signing. They stated in their T&Cs that signing for goods mean you accept they are fine and if you later find they are damaged then it is basically tough luck.

I vaguely recall moneysavingexpert a few years ago having something about it doesn't matter if your sign and then discover the goods are damaged or not right because you are still legally covered.

The ParcelForce employee said if the goods are damaged then it'll be collected and returned to the seller. However, what would stop ParcelForce claiming that I damaged the goods after delivery and it is my fault and refuse to collect the item?

The other issue is I submitted the ParcelForce redelivery form on the day the original delivery was attempted; to request delivery for a day early next week. The box should not have been getting delivered today. It is all a mess really as the seller was asked to arrange delivery for next week in the first place and didn't. Instead dispatched the goods to arrive on the days I stated were not convenient. Namely yesterday and today.

I have contacted ParcelForce for answers which will probably take a few days to materialise. Does anyone know if ParcelForce can legally stop a person from inspecting goods before signing? Can they refuse an inspection and mark items as refused delivery?

Is there a code of practise for courier companies and/or an ombudsman?

Cheers.
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11 Comments
Parcelforce t&c has no requirement for items to be inspected prior to sig to qualify for damage/loss compensation. The simple qualifiers for compensation up to a specified maximum amount is to claim within a certain timeframe and to retain all packaging parcelforce.com/con…age
Other couriers may/will have different compensation qualification requirements.
You can inspect the parcel from the outside but may not break the seal until you have actually signed for it, that is how both Royal Mail and UPS have always stated it to me.

The seller T&C are unenforceable in court, even if the parcel did have some externally visible damage to it. Transit packaging is there to get scuffed and dented so that the actual goods inside don't.
Edited by: "SUMMONER" 20th Sep
I always sign unchecked instead of my name for everything
nadhaw20/09/2019 18:12

I always sign unchecked instead of my name for everything



I tried to write 'unchecked'. It resembles closer to a toddler's scribble

Received an eBay message from the seller saying goods are signed as unchecked. My scribble couldn't have been too bad after all!

Don't particularly like the electronic signing devices.

Next task is to message the seller.

I do think we should be able to open things to check in front of the Parcelforce delivery person. Unless Parcelforce always believes what parcel receivers say about damage.
Edited by: "thetarget" 20th Sep
thetarget20/09/2019 21:13

I tried to write 'unchecked'. It resembles closer to a toddler's scribble …I tried to write 'unchecked'. It resembles closer to a toddler's scribble Received an eBay message from the seller saying goods are signed as unchecked. My scribble couldn't have been too bad after all! Don't particularly like the electronic signing devices. Next task is to message the seller. I do think we should be able to open things to check in front of the Parcelforce delivery person. Unless Parcelforce always believes what parcel receivers say about damage.


These folks delivering have about 3 seconds to get your parcel out of their possession. It is entirely impossible for them to wait at every delivery for it to be checked. Makes no difference signing for something, if it is damaged when you open it then just report it as such.
Good luck inspecting it, it will be long gone before Usain Bolt gets to the door.
Parcelforce like every other parcel company deliver a package from someone to another. Do you also think that they should have permission to open every package before they accept the job of delivering it to allow them to check the condition? They dont know what it was like before delivering it to you, the drivers are not experts on the expected condition of everything. Cost is everything as another poster pointed out for all this to happen costs time which would increase the cost.
I once received an Amazon parcel which you could clearly hear was broken. They had placed a warning sticker on it about the possible condition but said they still must deliver as that is what they had been paid to do, deliver a parcel.
cecilmcroberts20/09/2019 23:13

Parcelforce like every other parcel company deliver a package from someone …Parcelforce like every other parcel company deliver a package from someone to another. Do you also think that they should have permission to open every package before they accept the job of delivering it to allow them to check the condition? They dont know what it was like before delivering it to you, the drivers are not experts on the expected condition of everything. Cost is everything as another poster pointed out for all this to happen costs time which would increase the cost. I once received an Amazon parcel which you could clearly hear was broken. They had placed a warning sticker on it about the possible condition but said they still must deliver as that is what they had been paid to do, deliver a parcel.



I appreciate it isn't feasible for all items. However for fragile goods, I think it should be inspected before signing. Also, how come the other courier company were happy to see the contents. Probably as it saves them from having to come back to collect a damaged item. Therefore it is a bit swings and roundabouts. Maybe fragile goods should be clearly labelled as such. Even a sticker to say, 'fully inspect contents prior to signing' That way they can be inspected before signing? Ceramics, porcelain, china and glass items; such as ornaments and furniture type of stuff; are likely to have a higher damaged goods percentage when viewed by the receiver than other items.

I had an Amazon delivery where the box was such, that a cardboard flap could be pulled open exposing all the contents. The box also had tears in a couple of places on along the surfaces too. It had to be accepted and then returned for replacement.
Rusty8220/09/2019 23:00

These folks delivering have about 3 seconds to get your parcel out of …These folks delivering have about 3 seconds to get your parcel out of their possession. It is entirely impossible for them to wait at every delivery for it to be checked. Makes no difference signing for something, if it is damaged when you open it then just report it as such.



I am aware some courier people are paid per delivery. Aren't ParcelForce employees on an annual salary like Royal Mail staff?
You say that the seller "stated in their T&Cs that signing for goods mean you accept they are fine and if you later find they are damaged then it is basically tough luck."

That is total nonsense and against the law. It's totally unenforceable. Signing for something doesn't revoke your statutory rights.

At the very best, checking for damage before signing is a minor insurance for the seller's benefit (not the consumer's!) so that if an item does indeed get damaged in transit then the seller has "proof" that it was damaged at some point while in the care of the courier, before it entered the customer's home. It makes it slightly easier for the seller to get their money back from the courier, but regardless that's not the consumer's problem, is it?

If I were you, OP, I would have the item sent back to the seller and get a full refund for all this nonsense. Your seller is clearly a chancer who likes to blame customers for things that go wrong; the courier is clearly totally inept and doesn't care about you either.

There desperately needs to be a courier ombudsman because couriers are one of the worst, most deplorably poor consumer-facing industries in the world and something needs to be done about it.
thetarget21/09/2019 02:00

I am aware some courier people are paid per delivery. Aren't ParcelForce …I am aware some courier people are paid per delivery. Aren't ParcelForce employees on an annual salary like Royal Mail staff?


Yes but Parcel Force would have to hire lots more drivers to cover the time it would take to let people open parcels. Drivers have anywhere between 1 and 200 deliveries to make a day, stopping to let them be checked isn't an option. Time is money, no matter who it is delivering. I've never had a problem reporting damaged goods, just take pictures. If you are that concerned, film the box opening as you are doing it.
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