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Parcel cover complaints soar as couriers wriggle out of paying claims

Parcel cover isn’t the full package: Complaints soar as couriers wriggle out of paying claims, leaving customers out of pocket

  • Most firms say you can pay extra to cover packages against theft & damage 
  • But the small print is often littered with dozens of exclusions 
  • Experts have slammed the plans as ‘virtually useless’ for many customers 

Complaints about parcel delivery cover are rocketing as couriers wriggle out of paying customer claims.

Most major delivery firms offer people the option to pay extra to cover their packages against theft and damage. 

But the small print is littered with dozens of exclusions, leaving customers out of pocket when they try to get their money back.

While it’s common for couriers to offer free cover for low-value parcels, some will charge £100 for more valuable items.

Most major delivery firms offer people the option to pay extra to cover their packages against theft and damage. But the small print is littered with dozens of exclusions

Experts have slammed the plans as ‘virtually useless’ for many customers.

One of the companies, DPD, refuses to pay out for more than 170 selected items, including alcoholic drinks, watches and tickets for events.

In some cases, customers have reported being sold worthless cover online even after specifying the item they are sending.

Complaints about parcel cover have soared 139 per cent over the past two years, with 1,989 gripes recorded by complaints site Resolver last year.

Each courier has its own excluded items list; this typically includes plants, glasses and jewellery. 

But TNT will not cover the full value of laptops, while DHL has antiques, works of art and silverware on its list. Royal Mail courier Parcelforce excludes electric scooters and hoverboards.

Alex Neill, Resolver chief executive, says: ‘People are increasingly reliant on delivery companies for sending gifts to loved ones and arranging the safe delivery of vital supplies. 

TNT will not cover the full value of laptops whilst Parcelforce excludes electric scooters

TNT will not cover the full value of laptops whilst Parcelforce excludes electric scooters

So, it’s disappointing to see big-name firms with pages of sneaky exclusions that render this cover virtually useless.’

As such companies offer ‘compensation cover’, rather than insurance, unhappy customers cannot take their complaints to the Financial Ombudsman.

Dean Griffin was left almost £1,300 out of pocket after a camera he sent to Denmark was damaged.

He had paid Parcelforce Worldwide £42.75 for extra cover. But the firm rejected his claim because cameras were excluded in its small print.

Dean, 57, a business consultant from Kent, says: ‘I couldn’t believe it. I had stated what I was sending on the form.’

Parcelforce has since said that cameras are not in fact excluded, and now Dean has received a full payout.

A Parcelforce spokesman says: ‘We have apologised to Mr Griffin. Although such errors are rare, we are making changes to our processes to prevent mistakes from happening in the future.’

f.parker@dailymail.co.uk

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