So, when I wanted to buy some chef shoes for the nephew as an early Christmas pressie, I went straight for eBay- on there, the one's he needed were £24.99, with £3.99 for packaging, rather over £50 anywhere offline.
I bought them on the 29th of October, and the company didn't have 100% feedback but with 97.2% out of thousands of transactions I thought we'd be all good. They even boasted 48 hour delivery. Excellent- just in time for the interviews he had lined up.
I let him know they were on their way, and he was very chuffed.
By Friday, they hadn't arrived so I dropped the company a quick email to ask for the delivery information. They replied with a tracking number for Hermes.
On Saturday, they still hadn't shown up. Number 1 interview was missed. So I checked the tracking.
According to Hermes, the shoes had been delivered. On Friday. At 8.20pm, to my nephew. They'd been signed for.
Thinking that perhaps they'd been given to someone else in the building, I told my nephew to look. No shoes.
So, at that point, I asked the company on eBay for a refund, as they'd failed to provide the promised 48 delivery, and the company they used had clearly cocked up.
On searching Google, Hermes are notorious for cock ups. Amazon used to use them and they would deliver to several streets away and then lie and say they'd delivered correctly. Or put things in rubbish bins on bin day. Or throw stuff over fences that was then broken despite the gate being open and the item being clearly marked as fragile.
I started to think we were not going to get what we paid for.
The eBay seller declined to help, telling me to take it up with Hermes.
My general experience is that companies will have a contact button on site. Not Hermes- only business customers are allowed to contact them apparently, not lowly customers like me. So I found them on Twitter. Again, usually this means that you moan, they sort it, and it's all done and dusted.
Not, surprise surprise, with Hermes.
I asked to see the signature- they refused.
I asked why the shoes had been marked as delivered when they clearly hadn't been. "Because we have delivered them it's on the tracking" was the response.
I asked them to cover a refund as the brand on eBay refused- as they'd done their bit.
I was told no, that they wont refund, I should have used an eBay seller and then I would get a refund from them. 4 TIMES I told them the seller was via eBay. They didn't care.
Meanwhile, the nephew missed out on another interview, and his agency was not happy with him. Not his fault, but they aren't going to want to set up interviews which go unattended.
Monday, still no shoes, still no answers, still no refund. I started a case on eBay. However, I was told via Customer Services chat that I was unlikely to get a refund from the seller, despite them choosing Hermes, not me, as they'd provided tracking. Their advice? Take it up with Hermes.
On Tuesday, I ranted again. Asking how they could lose a pair of shoes, why they were marked as delivered. On being asked for a screenshot of the transaction I found that- suddenly and inexplicably- the "delivered on Friday" shoes were out for delivery.
I let my nephew know, he was so cross, as yet again he'd missed out on work. In this day and age, any work is hard to come by, so having to miss it is a joke.
He sat in. Again.
They were then marked as carried forward.
So, let's review- the shoes were dispatched to Hermes on the 30th. They were "delivered" but not delivered on the Friday. They went missing until Monday, and yet on Tuesday they were out again for delivery, but not delivered despite going out at just after 5am.
At that point, and with Hermes telling me that they tell people who use their services that should they lose or break your goods the company will have to pay for them, or refund you, not Hermes (says alot doesn't it?) I went back to the original seller.
They offered me a partial £15 refund, or a full refund if I sent the shoes back. So I got very cross and sent back that I was unable to send back thin bloody air, and that £15 was not good enough, I wanted a full refund as they had broken their own promise regards 48 hour delivery, they had cost my nephew 4 jobs, caused nothing but grief, and quoted what Hermes said, and promised should I not receive a refund in full, I would contact Trading Standards.
I suddenly got a full refund.
The shoes, meanwhile, were out for delivery again. And not delivered but carried forward again, despite this time being out at 4.06am.
They then just stayed at the depot.
I bought the nephew another pair from a company using Royal Mail.
Meanwhile, the shoes were now out again! And this time, yesterday, they- according to Hermes but not my nephew- were refused at door!
So that's twice now the shoes have been delivered according to Hermes, but not been delivered at all. Or refused.
Hermes do not care. They simply couldn't care less. They have no customer services, at all, they have not a shred of faith in their own company in that they feel warning companies that they wont refund or take responsibilty for items lost by them, they are a farce. And not to mention a bunch of liars.
What do I think went on with the shoes when they went missing after apparently being delivered successfully last Friday? I wonder if the weight meant the courier- prone and happy to lie that they had been handed over- took them home to see if they were worth pinching, and on seeing they were the work equivalent of Crocs, took them back when their Head Office Twitter lot asked questions.
With all of you probably about to embark on mass Christmas shopping, save yourself grief and find out if the company you use has Hermes as their courier.
Or expect a Christmas devoid of presents and a never ending cycle of a parcel disappearing round in circles.