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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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I employed a company to move our furniture ,they have lost a

Customer Question

I employed a company to move our furniture ,they have lost a expensive piece of furniture and now offer me £350 compensation. what should I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What was the value of the lost furniture?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The replacement cost is £1500 plus the transport to Australia plus Customs clearing cost. They lost just the one piece and others were damaged
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Have you checked their terms to see what liability they have and if they have limited it to any specific amount?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No ,The company is Pickfords, The cost to us were £8000.00 for their services.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

At what stage of the service was the item lost - was it whilst it was under their care or when it was being shipped and was under the care of the sea transport company?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would suggest it was in their care as they packed the container in the UK and unpacked it here in Australia.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Looking at the company’s standard terms and conditions, which you would have agreed to when you took out their services, they state:

“We limit Our liability to a fixed limit per item. The amount of risk We accept under this condition is reflected in Our price for the Work. If You wish Us to increase Our limit of liability per item You agree to pay a higher price for the Work. Unless agreed otherwise in writing, if We are negligent or in breach of contract We will pay You up to £40 for each item which is either lost or damaged to cover the cost of repairing or replacing that item.

Where Goods are being transported by sea air or rail the shipping line, airline or railway company will be responsible for the safe custody of the Goods in accordance with international conventions and protocols. We will not be liable for any loss or damage whilst the Goods are in their care. We will transfer to You the benefits of any rights We have against them under their terms and conditions of business.”

So first of all you need to consider whether you had advised them that there was a high value item included and took out additional cover for that in the event it was lost or damaged. If you did, then you would be covered up to whatever value you had decided to insure it to. If you did not then they would only be liable to pay you £40 for it, even if it was lost in their care. That is because they have specifically limited their liability under the contract you had agreed with them.

If the item was damaged whilst in the care of the shipping company they contracted to transport the items, then that company would be liable although Pickfords have said that they would pass on any rights they have against them to you. So for example, if that company was liable to pay more for the loss of an item to Pickfords then they would pay that directly to you, although again it would depend on what the agreement was between them and how much they have limited their liability to.

In summary, had you not declared the value of the high value item and taken out extra insurance with them to cover any potential loss or damage, your rights would be limited to the above terms, which would be £40, unless it was lost by the partner shipping company in which case you would only get whatever they were liable to Pickfords for in the event of a loss. You may want to check that before you decide whether the £350 offered is a reasonable amount.

I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.