Courier company damaged a bike and are refusing to pay up - what can I do?


Legendary Member
I take my hat off to you for being able to take the long view, take it on the chin, and take away lessons for the future. In the circumstances, that seems like the sensible thing to do - not least for your sanity.

My mum always used to check the delivery documents, insist on checking the contents thoroughly, and if they wouldn't let her/it wasn't possible, would delete the line about 'in good condition', initial it, then sign against 'received', adding 'unchecked'. The drivers used to get really pissed off about it, but there wasn't a lot they could do.
one place I worked for, I signed for a parcel a day after I'd received it as the box was split and I wanted to check its contents

we used to see this delivery guy a couple of times a week so it wasn't a problem.


Über Member
Thanks for the advice. Strictly speaking I'd have been within my rights to have refused to do anything because the buyer's wife signed for the package in good condition despite obvious penetration damage to the carton. However I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I have already refunded the buyer and even repaid his courier charges for returning the bike to me. The buyer, when he discovered the damage, was furious and accused me of selling him a bike in bad condition - he wasn't in a frame of mind at the time to distinguish between the odd small chips and scratches that you'd expect on a second hand bike and the major impact damage caused by mishandling. I could have insisted he kept the bike as the problem was his but it would have earned me my first bad feedback on an otherwise unblemished Ebay record and since my wife and I use Ebay to sell a lot of unwanted stuff we really value our good record.

I won't be able to inspect the bike until I return home on Sunday afternoon but I'm beginning to think that the best solution is that suggested by Archie_tect above, get it repaired, resell it and put it down to experience; be more careful with descriptions and pictures when selling second hand items and make it clear to buyers that it is their responsibility to inspect the item for damage before they sign. The potential stress of taking action against the courier and other issues including banning of the use of the company courier account by employees make it worth swallowing my pride and just accepting that you can't win against a massive worldwide courier company.

Edit: On Monday I will speak with my Purchasing Director to find out whether we have any relationship with this courier's area sales representative and whether playing the "valued customer" card might get them to change their minds. I doubt it though.
My guess is that the buyer could have asked for a refund under the terms of item not as described


Smile a mile bike provider
That puts a whole new spin on things... if you sell a lot on ebay, and use your work courier every time, it's a very easy going company you work for!
my employee sends around 200+ parcels per day ranging from ones at less than a kilo to others involving multi pallets and are only allowed to claim for a small amount per kilo , so no real cover at all .

i always use an independant courier with no connecton to work ok its more expensive but a lot less aggro

name and shame courier


Legendary Member
It was TNT.

The buyer has emailed to say how thrilled he is that I refunded him with no fuss, full of compliments and praise and says he will give us excellent Ebay feedback so I guess that's something positive.

Back from holiday and I've had a chance to examine the bike - first impressions are: bent derailleur hanger, bent front fork dropout and wrecked paintwork on the downtube. The first two will need to be replaced because you can't straighten alloy components; they work-harden and break later. Not sure what to do about the paint damage though:


Whenever possible, I sign for the parcel and write 'Contents not inspected' on the delivery person's sheet. I've never had to invoke this, but I hope it would afford me some protection if I did.


pre-talced and mighty
The contract was with the courier company and your company and this would be the only way to go in the event of a claim. The question would be why did they signed for this in without any reservations if it was damaged is a matter for them and as the courier would use the clean signature as evidence the package was OK when delivered, there is very little anyone can do.
it is sometimes difficult. I've unpacked a set of wheels sent by my brother, and, he being the kind of person who does things properly, it took almost ten minutes. The courier driver just pushed off - but why should I sign for expensive kit without checking it?


Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby
it is sometimes difficult. I've unpacked a set of wheels sent by my brother, and, he being the kind of person who does things properly, it took almost ten minutes. The courier driver just pushed off - but why should I sign for expensive kit without checking it?
Agreed it is a difficult one however on this one the carton had a hole in it so anyone who signs for this as undamaged is leaving themselves wide open. We find in our business that it is shocking the amount of people who don't pack things (I am not saying this is the case here btw) and are then suprised when they arrive at the destination either damaged or marked and the first thing they do is blame the carrier. A couple of years ago we had an engine arrive for a car with a value of 2k for road shipment to Azerbaijan and it was unpacked on a pallet with the pistons / con rods etc showing, they seemed to think it would be OK to travel in this condition ....
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