What a result! There is justice in the world after all. I detailed my claim for the inverter that I sold on eBay from Spain and which was wrecked by UK Customs in this blog http://courier-spain.co.uk/blog/sad-tale-ebay-courier-parcel-spain-uk-customs/ . Now Customs have agreed to pay for the damage. The really important point to this is that it closes the loophole of FedEx from Spain not protecting your goods while they are out of their hands in the hands of a government agency. Thank you to HMRC who have behaved most honorably. Here is a copy of their letter with only personal names XXXXXed out.
|Border Force Complaints TeamPriory Court
St John’s Road
Tel +44(0)1304 664511
Fax +44(0)1304 664459
Mr C E Coote Sykes
Date 18 May 2010
Our Ref XXXXXXXXXXXXX
Dear Mr Coote Sykes
Thank you for your email dated 23 April regarding damage to an inverter sent from Spain on 17 March 2010 at Stanstead Airport. I have been asked to reply as a Complaints Officer on behalf of the Senior Manager with responsibility for this area of work.
Before I look at your specific concerns I would like to assure you all complaints about the UK Border Agency’s Border Force services are treated seriously and a Complaints Officer initially looks into each one. Details of our complaints procedures are on our website at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/contact/makingacomplaint. If you believe your complaint has not been dealt with in the right way you may write to the Complaints Manager at the address above. The Complaints Manager will then check the process used to look into your complaint, to ensure it was both appropriate and followed correctly.
It may help if I explain that one of the UK Border Agency’s responsibilities is preventing the smuggling of excise goods, drugs, crime related money, firearms and other prohibited or restricted items into or out of the UK. In the course of these activities, it is sometimes necessary to examine parcels entering the UK. Our staff are trained to take great care when examining items and also to show the owner, if present, any damage they may inadvertently cause when it occurs.
If damage has been caused, the owner of the items will be able to apply to Border Force for reimbursement. It may help if I explain that when we cause damage, we will try and put things right for the individual. Financial redress can be considered when damage caused directly results in the claimant being out of pocket. The purpose of financial redress is, as far as is reasonably possible, to put the individual in the same position as they would have been in if the damage had not occurred at that time.
Following your letter I have established damage was caused to the inverter during the course of the examination. In light of this we are prepared to re-imburse the amount the recipient is claiming, namely £373.33.
However, departmental procedure allows us to re-imburse the owner of the goods, who has normally suffered the financial loss. As XXXXXXXXX paid you for the goods via Paypal, and is also the holder of the goods, he is considered the owner. However, if XXXXXXXX has been re-imbursed by you or Paypal, then payment is proper to you.
Before we can process this claim I will need evidence of who is the rightful owner of the goods and who has suffered financial loss. For payment to be sent to XXXXXXXX he will need to supply written authority to this effect.
I apologise for any inconvenience this matter has caused.