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TONY HETHERINGTON: The courier, a missing phone…and a flock of flying pigs


TONY HETHERINGTON: The messenger, a lost phone… and a flock of flying pigs

Tony Hetherington is the Financial Mail on Sunday’s star investigator, battling readers’ corners, revealing the truth behind closed doors and winning victories for those left penniless. Find out how to contact him below.

I sent a mobile phone to my cousin in Norfolk, using the Evri courier service.

Two days later, he received an email from Evri informing him that the package had been damaged beyond repair and could not be delivered.

I spoke to Evri and asked him to give me the damaged phone, which was in the original manufacturer’s packaging, or to send me a photo of it.

He did neither. The company then sent me a claim form, asking for a picture of the damaged package, which was exactly what I had been asking for.


Curious story: A.0. write about Evri’s response about a damaged package

He was right to ask Evri for evidence such as a photograph showing the damaged phone, or even to return the phone, which was worth £175.

Evri’s response was to tell him: ‘The contents of your package have been damaged to such an extent that we cannot return it to you. Packages go through various handling and transportation processes and on rare occasions this can happen.’

You complained and this time Evri responded: “We are very sorry that, despite an extensive investigation, we were unable to locate your package.”

This was strange in itself. If Evri couldn’t even find his package, how did he know that it and its contents were damaged beyond repair? It was at that point that he contacted me and I pressed Evri for better answers. The company, which was called Hermes until it changed its name following increasing customer complaints, told him: “Unfortunately, due to the time elapsed we are unable to investigate as items and data are not saved on our network during this period of time”. time.’

What a load of nonsense!

Evri knew within 48 hours that something was very wrong. He first said the phone was damaged beyond repair. Then he said he couldn’t reach it.

And finally he shrugged his shoulders and blamed the passage of time. Evri gave me a statement, apologizing for the inconvenience and adding that she provided guidance on packaging and financial coverage to customers shipping high-value items. Fair enough, but this almost suggests that the packaging was to blame.

So I pressed Evri again. How long are items and data retained? What is the deadline for an investigation? And most important of all: provide a photo of the phone that was damaged beyond repair.

Evri finally admitted that he couldn’t let me have a photo of the phone because when the packaging was damaged, the contents fell off and disappeared.

Then the package opened and the phone just fell out and then disappeared. He never suffered irreparable damage. It has simply disappeared. According to the explanations, this one made me look out the window for flying pigs, which seemed equally likely.

The only thing Evri did get right was deciding that, although he insisted that you had sent the phone at your own risk, he would send you £175 “as a gesture of goodwill”. You have accepted this and donated it to a charity that cares for very sick children, providing them with respite and end-of-life care. Well done.

If you believe you are a victim of financial irregularity, please write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 9 Derry Street, London W8 5HY or email tony.hetherington@mailonsunday.co.uk. Due to the large volume of inquiries, it is not possible to provide personal responses. Please only send copies of the original documents, which we regret cannot be returned.

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Complaints: Ben Revell

Complaints: Ben Revell

As the third installment in a sleazy zombie movie franchise, Winebuyers has returned from the dead.

Of course, only the website with that name has actually returned. The two companies that collapsed, leaving suppliers and customers with huge losses, are beyond revival.

In June, I warned not to pay a penny to Winebuyers because it was about to collapse.

There were debt warrants against them, and people who had prepaid for cases of wine had received nothing.

Worse still, it was a repeat of the action from Winebuyers’ first outing. It had already collapsed in 2021, owing more than £1.5m on top of more than half a million pounds raised from crowdfunding investors.

How is all this allowed to happen? Well, first there was Winebuyers Limited, which failed in 2021.

The website under that name was then taken over by Winebuyers Group Limited, which I warned against in June. It collapsed in July. The man behind both companies was Ben Revell, 34, from Harlow in Essex.

The administrators of the failed Winebuyers Group have since put the company’s few assets, including the website and its name, up for sale. They received an offer of £100,000, paid in instalments, from Ophidian Corporation, an offshore company based in the Seychelles.

Administrators rejected it because handing over customer records to a foreign company would violate data protection rules.

Then along came Elysian Ventures Limited, a new British company, which now owns the Winebuyers website and everything that goes with it. Who owns Elysian? Ophidian does it. And who owns Ophidian? You guessed it: Ben Revell, 34, from Harlow in Essex!

Administrators justified the sale by saying it saved remaining staff. Who were the remaining staff? I bet you’re ahead of me: Ben Revell and no one else. So the website lives on, still boasting favorable media coverage years ago, not to mention unpaid bills or undelivered wine. And the same complaints are already beginning to appear. Beware of the zombie.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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