When Christopher Cook withdrew a £20 note from a Sainsbury’s cash machine in Sherborne, Dorset last April, he noticed there were two wavy lines on the Queen’s neck.
The 75-year-old immediately felt a surge of excitement: either he was holding a fake – or, more likely, an extremely rare, misprinted note that was worth far more than its face value.
Local company Charterhouse Auctioneers confirmed it was a printing error that could fetch up to £2,000 under the hammer, but no proper auction was scheduled.
Complaints: Evri is the UK’s largest parcel carrier, delivering over three million parcels a day to 80% of the UK’s biggest retailers
So Christopher found a specialist auctioneer 14 miles away – Lawrences, in Crewkerne, Somerset – and posted the note for an auction scheduled for November as he didn’t want to make the trip himself.
Unfortunately, that’s when his luck turned. Because Christopher chose to send the precious £20 note with delivery company Evri, from a ParcelShop in Sherborne.
He posted it on September 27 but, to his dismay, the note never made it to the auction house. Evri says the small packet is lost and not found. And since Christopher did not pay for the delivery against signature, he is not entitled to any financial compensation.
Christopher, a former chartered accountant, is among tens of thousands of people who have filed complaints against Evri in recent months.
Evri is the UK’s largest parcel carrier, delivering over three million parcels a day from 80% of the UK’s largest retailers, including Debenhams, John Lewis and eBay.
Formerly known as Hermès, the firm changed its name last March, promising top-notch service. Yet in November the company was voted the worst delivery company in a poll of 8,421 people by Citizens Advice.
Earlier this month the delivery company apologized for major delays over the festive season, after a number of retailers diverted deliveries to Evri and rival businesses due to Royal Mail strikes .
The situation has become so serious that Labor MP Carolyn Harris even asked if the Prime Minister should “take action” against Evri after receiving more than 40,000 complaints.
Ofcom, the regulator, said it was carrying out a review of the whole delivery industry after complaints rose by 40% compared to last year.
Christopher filed a formal complaint with Evri about his lost banknote in October. He was still awaiting a response when he contacted Money Mail this month.
A spokesperson for Evri now says Christopher’s case has been dismissed because the currency is excluded from compensation in its terms and conditions.
Christopher says, “I would never use Evri again – and would advise against anyone else using them.”
Missing: Victoria Capel paid £19.25 to ship her scooter to the auction winner – but two weeks later it had still not arrived
lost electric scooter
Victoria Capel was shocked to learn that the electric scooter she had sold on eBay had been “removed” by Evri.
To top it off, she was told that she would not be fully compensated.
The 53-year-old paid £19.25 to ship her scooter to the highest bidder – who had paid £235 – from her home in Dorset, Somerset on November 19.
But two weeks later, he still hadn’t arrived. When she emailed the general manager of Evri, the company admitted that her package had been damaged beyond repair in transit.
Victoria says: ‘I was given a lot of different explanations. First it was lost, then it was damaged beyond repair. When I asked for proof of damage they said they do not take pictures of damaged goods and they are disposed of immediately for health and safety reasons.
After filing a lost item claim, she was only given £25 in compensation for the electric scooter on December 14, despite being told she would also be reimbursed for postage.
Evri claims the package was ordered through eBay, which is responsible for decisions about compensation for items sold on its website.
Victoria had no choice but to reimburse the private buyer on eBay.
She says, “It’s excruciating, but we’re supposed to accept it and forget about it. The whole experience was extremely frustrating.
Boxes of endangered cookies
Sarah Dale, 45, sent four boxes of £10 Marks & Spencer biscuits as Christmas treats to two of her friends, her sister-in-law and her mother-in-law in various parts of Britain.
She used Evri at her local Tesco Express in Derby on December 14. However, only her sister-in-law in Slough received the gift. The other three boxes were lost in transit.
She found herself going around in circles with an online chatbot Evri. Then the company emailed to say they couldn’t seek repair as the items were posted over 28 days ago.
Complaints: Evri delivers over three million parcels a day to 80% of the UK’s largest retailers
A spokesperson for Evri said Sarah has now been fully compensated.
Former courier service owner Jeffrey Axon, 78, has lost nearly £60 after a vacuum cleaner he listed on eBay went missing in the post.
The father-of-two, from Stoke-on-Trent, had put his Dyson V6 Animal Extra on the online market and secured a sale.
Yet when he sent the device to his buyer in Dumfriesshire with Evri, it didn’t arrive. Instead, the buyer received a bottle of pink strawberry-flavored liquid.
When Jeffrey tried to contact Evri, he said he couldn’t speak to anyone.
Couriers came under additional pressure as Royal Mail strikes in December led to deliveries being diverted to other providers.
A spokesperson for Evri said: ‘We are sorry that some customers are experiencing short delays in receiving their packages.
“We have invested over £60 million in our network infrastructure to ensure our service remains robust with no delays or backlogs across the majority of our network.”
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