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Vagabond wine boss: All major delivery firms are terrible

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vagabond wine boss all major delivery firms are terrible

Many customers have expressed frustration over online orders which have been damaged in transit. 

With millions of Britons still stuck in lockdown, they are relying on the postal system to receive and send items they can currently no longer purchase in shops.

This has led to numerous complaints from customers about fragile purchases arriving damaged – and in some cases completely destroyed. 

But it’s not just customers receiving the goods damaged getting annoyed with delivery firms – one business owner believes that ‘all major couriers are terrible’.  

Some customers have complained their deliveries have been completely smashed in transit

Some customers have complained their deliveries have been completely smashed in transit

Some customers have complained their deliveries have been completely smashed in transit

Stephen Finch, founder of London-based Vagabond Wines, told This is Money: ‘The unfortunate, inescapable reality is all major couriers are terrible. Specified collection/delivery time slots are treated an optional. 

‘Proof of delivery is the opposite of rigorous. And it’s maddening how rarely they admit when they’ve made an obvious mistake. 

‘The sheer volume of time it takes to pursue a claim means most people don’t.

He adds: ‘And, for whatever reason, all major couriers have a policy which basically states “we’re not liable for any alcohol products lost or damaged in transit”. 

‘What is it about wine or beer that justifies them to carry virtual flashing red lights screaming “steal me, no consequences”.’

Stephen Finch, founder of Vagabond Wines, says that couriers are 'all terrible'

Stephen Finch, founder of Vagabond Wines, says that couriers are 'all terrible'

Stephen Finch, founder of Vagabond Wines, says that couriers are ‘all terrible’

His strong words come as Vagabond say around four per cent of their recent orders have been lost or broken. 

It added there nothing it can do insurance wise to cover for these losses and it has to suck up the cost itself and replace the missing items. 

Finch added: ‘We use packaging specially developed for the post, so sending wine by courier should be a doddle by comparison.

‘If we treated our customers like the major courier companies do, we’d be out of business. That simple. 

‘The only reason these companies continue to exist is a massive barrier to competitor entry — it takes gobs of capital to build up the necessary scale of service to become a viable courier option. 

‘Hence we’re stuck with an oligopoly and the horrendous customer service that inevitably comes with it.’

Stephen’s comments also come after one of his loyal customers, Michael Marsden, encountered an issue with DPD after it only delivered two out of eight wine bottles he ordered from Vagabond Wines.

Initially, after the first two bottles arrived, he assumed that the next six would be coming in a separate delivery.

 The unfortunate, inescapable reality is all major couriers are terrible… it’s maddening how rarely they admit when they’ve made an obvious mistake
Stephen Finch – Vagabond Wines 

However, upon querying this with DPD, the delivery company, it claimed that the other six bottles had been broken in transit.

It didn’t offer Michael any apology or explanation for the breakage and, frustratingly, the firm was initially unable to provide evidence of the damage, which made Michael understandably suspicious.

After Michael contacted Vagabond, the wine seller replaced the six bottles at no additional charge. 

It said it had to sign a ‘no liability’ agreement with DPD that says the delivery company are not responsible for costs should anything break.

DPD even had to approve the packaging Vagabond used before it took on the contract.

This is Money contacted DPD who looked into the issue and said the contract with DPD Local is only for the delivery of single bottles of wine, in approved packaging.

Michael was finally sent this photo of the broken bottle of wine due to be delivered

Michael was finally sent this photo of the broken bottle of wine due to be delivered

Michael was finally sent this photo of the broken bottle of wine due to be delivered

After speaking to the courier, it provided Michael with an image of a broken bottle of wine. However, this was an image of just one bottle and not the six due to be delivered. 

A DPD spokesperson said: ‘The two consignments were made up of two bottles and six bottles and were therefore in unapproved packaging.

‘DPD followed standard procedure on discovering the consignment of six bottles was damaged, by returning the goods immediately to the shipper with full photographic evidence.

‘While we have processes in place to settle this with our customer, it is the shipper’s responsibility to communicate with their customer and arrange a refund or a replacement product, in line with their agreement with DPD Local.’

DPD said it is commonplace for wine or liquid customers to have this kind of agreement in place as it can only guarantee safe transit for agreed goods, in fully approved packaging. 

It added it delivers 10,000 wine boxes each week with the vast majority experiencing no issues at all.

If goods aren’t presented exactly as agreed or correctly packaged, it said it increases the chances of something like this happening.

Crystal vase smashed in transit  

Similarly, Claire Gallacher, has vented her annoyance after sending a Swarovski crystal vase, originally bought for £376, to a buyer on eBay.

She spoke to the Post Office before sending the item, which was securely packed and fastened, about the best service to send it by.

The vase that Claire sent arrived to her buyer completely smashed, despite the packaging

The vase that Claire sent arrived to her buyer completely smashed, despite the packaging

The vase that Claire sent arrived to her buyer completely smashed, despite the packaging

Claire said: ‘I had a few dealings with different staff over a few trips, buying bubble wrap, parcel tape and a suitable box. 

‘They recommended Express 24 or Express 48 as this would cover me for up to £100 worth of damage.’

She decided to send the vase via Parcelforce’s Express 48 delivery service, which promises to safely deliver parcels within two working days, at a cost of £13.14.

Whilst at the Post Office she ensured to put on fragile stickers and reiterated to the staff that this was an easily breakable item.

However, a couple of days later that, although the vase had arrived, it had done so in multiple pieces.

She proceeded to complain to Parcelforce who said the service that she used didn’t cover glass breakages despite being advised by its staff otherwise.

Claire has since appealed but has been told that she will not be eligible for a refund.

A Parcelforce Worldwide spokesperson said: ‘We have looked again at this case. 

‘Items susceptible to damage including glass can be sent via Parcelforce Worldwide but they are listed as items excluded from compensation for loss and damage.

‘However, since it would appear that the customer did not receive the correct advice from the Post Office at the time of posting, we will be liaising with the Post Office customer care team to pay compensation to the customer.’

While Claire is happy that she may be entitled to some compensation, she is still disappointed that the vase was smashed in the first place and that Parcelforce would not take responsibility for the damage.

Claire and Michael are not the only two to complain about their delivery service. 

There are a number of frustrated customers who have also taken to social media to complain about the poor service from delivery drivers from different services – many from wine merchants who have sent out bottles that were smashed en route.

This independent wine magazine said it had spoken to sellers whose wine had been destroyed

This independent wine magazine said it had spoken to sellers whose wine had been destroyed

This independent wine magazine said it had spoken to sellers whose wine had been destroyed

Another wine seller said couriers had reported breakages but the bottles were not returned

Another wine seller said couriers had reported breakages but the bottles were not returned

Another wine seller said couriers had reported breakages but the bottles were not returned

Disappointing: A customer said his wine delivery arrived completely smashed when en route

Disappointing: A customer said his wine delivery arrived completely smashed when en route

Disappointing: A customer said his wine delivery arrived completely smashed when en route

What to do if you’ve received damaged goods 

If you have received damaged goods in the post, the first thing to do is to tell the retailer you purchased the items from.

This is because, according to the Consumer Rights Act, the retailer is responsible for remedying the situation, even if the item was damaged by your courier. 

Give evidence of the damaged goods when contacting your retailer including attaching pictures and noting what time it was delivered. Ensure you contact them as soon as possible after the delivery takes place. 

You should be entitled to a repair, refund or replacement. 

If the retailer asks you to return the items before they issue a refund, get confirmation that your parcel will be insured against any further damage that could occur. 

Under the Consumer Rights Act, the seller must pay for returning goods that are faulty or damaged. 

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We reveal how quickly batteries in electric and hybrid cars degrade

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we reveal how quickly batteries in electric and hybrid cars degrade

Big announcements have been made this week about electric cars and the batteries that power them.

Tesla’s Battery Day saw ceo Elon Musk promise ‘tabless’ battery in the next three years that will be up to six times more powerful than those currently used in the US firm’s vehicles, while VW said it guarantees that the lithium-ion pack in its new ID.4 SUV will have 70 per cent capacity after 100,000 miles or eight years.

It begs the question: how long do batteries in plug-in vehicles last? A Canadian firm collects data on battery degradation on electrified cars and says that on average they shed two per cent of their performance after 12 months –  we’ve listed the UK-available models in order of how rapidly capacity declines.

Electrified car battery degradation revealed: Analysis of battery performance in electric and hybrid vehicles has outline how much capacity they lose after the first year

Electrified car battery degradation revealed: Analysis of battery performance in electric and hybrid vehicles has outline how much capacity they lose after the first year

Electrified car battery degradation revealed: Analysis of battery performance in electric and hybrid vehicles has outline how much capacity they lose after the first year

With the ban on petrol, diesel ans hybrid cars potentially being fast-tracked by a decade to 2030, demand for electric vehicles is unquestionably going to spike.

Various studies have analysed consumer appetite for EVs, with the latest being a What Car? poll of 12,029 in-market car buyers.

It found that three in five (59 per cent)  are now considering an electric or a hybrid vehicle as their next motor. 

The results come after the UK automotive trade body revealed that electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle registrations had risen by 157 per cent and 68 per cent year-on-year, respectively in the first eight months of 2020.

But one of the big questions on the minds of drivers is how long the batteries will last – and how quickly they will lose performance.

A report published in December by Plug In America – and analysed by NimbleFins – reviewed the condition of a typical Tesla Model S battery.

It claimed that after seven years of use – and repeat charges – the batteries will have 93 per cent of its original capacity remaining after seven years, suggesting it loses just one per cent a year.  

However, Canadian company Geotab says that, on average, drivers should expect electric vehicle batteries to degrade almost twice as rapidly.

Its EV Battery Degradation Tool assess the average depletion in capacity of electric vehicle batteries over time by measuring the performance of 6,300 fleet and consumer plug-in cars. 

Select Car Leasing has reviewed its database of information, identifying which models are sold in the UK and ordered the cars by how quickly capacity disappears in the first 12 months of use.

33620842 8772669 image a 39 1601048503419

33620842 8772669 image a 39 1601048503419

The electrified models that lose the most battery capacity in year one 

Geotab says its data offers ‘insight into average battery health over time’, but it ‘should not be interpreted as a precise prediction for any specific vehicle’. 

That said, comparing the findings on its tool, Select Car Leasing said the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was most likely to shed capacity, losing around four per cent in the first year.

The Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid was next on the list, degrading by 3.5 per cent on average, ahead of the Toyota Prius ‘Prime’, with the Prime distinction in the US being the Prius Plug-in Hybrid in the UK.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the analysis shows that Teslas lose around one per cent capacity.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was found to shed over 4% battery capacity in the first year, making this the worst performer of all the vehicles analysed

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was found to shed over 4% battery capacity in the first year, making this the worst performer of all the vehicles analysed

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was found to shed over 4% battery capacity in the first year, making this the worst performer of all the vehicles analysed 

The Audi e-tron Sportback, which is no longer on sale in the UK, was found to have the slowest battery degradation of all electrified cars reviewed

The Audi e-tron Sportback, which is no longer on sale in the UK, was found to have the slowest battery degradation of all electrified cars reviewed

The Audi e-tron Sportback, which is no longer on sale in the UK, was found to have the slowest battery degradation of all electrified cars reviewed

The older Audi A3 e-tron topped the charts with just 0.3 per cent degradation, while it’s sister brand Volkswagen also performed adequately with the previous generation Golf GTE plug-in hybrid and the now defunct e-Golf, which has since been replaced with the all-new ID.3 hatchback. 

While these figures suggest battery degradation will be part of EV ownership, advances in technology should see capacities retained at a higher rate.

And all electric and hybrid car makers provide separate warranties for the batteries in their vehicles.

For instance, Nissan’s Leaf comes with eight-year 100,000 cover for the batteries while the Hyundai Kona Electric warranty is for eight years or 125,000 miles of usage.

As for Tesla, customers received a new-vehicle warranty for a period of eight years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first, with minimum 70 per cent retention of battery capacity over this period.

If batteries are found to have dropped below a certain performance level, the manufacturer is responsible to replace it with a new one at no cost.

Tesla cars - like the Model 3 pictured - lose around 1% battery capacity in the first year, according to Geotab. That level of degradation is consistent with other reports

Tesla cars - like the Model 3 pictured - lose around 1% battery capacity in the first year, according to Geotab. That level of degradation is consistent with other reports

Tesla cars – like the Model 3 pictured – lose around 1% battery capacity in the first year, according to Geotab. That level of degradation is consistent with other reports

Nissan's Leaf comes with eight-year 100,000 cover for the batteries

Nissan's Leaf comes with eight-year 100,000 cover for the batteries

Nissan’s Leaf comes with eight-year 100,000 cover for the batteries

Emergency EV roadside charging services are becoming the norm 

LV= General Insurance  is this week rolling out a new, market leading service offering roadside charging for electric vehicles that run out of charge.

The pilot, which has been launched in partnership with AFF, the national roadside electric vehicle charging assistance company, will see 10 AFF recharge vans provide mobile charging facilities on roads across England and Wales, including the hard shoulder and emergency refuge areas of motorways.

Explaining the reason for the new service, Tom Clarke from LV said: ‘As people still run out of fuel in their petrol cars the same will happen with EV’s but to support the electrification shift we want to provide this additional support. 

‘Our own research shows range anxiety as the third biggest reason why customers are put off owning an EV with 17 per cent stating this puts them off buying one. By us improving our current offering further we hope to ease those concerns so for the few people who do claim they have the comfort of knowing they won’t be left in the lurch.’ 

Around 80 RAC patrol vehicles across the country are now fitted with an EV Boost unit to provide 10% charge to electric cars that have ran out of juice

Around 80 RAC patrol vehicles across the country are now fitted with an EV Boost unit to provide 10% charge to electric cars that have ran out of juice

Around 80 RAC patrol vehicles across the country are now fitted with an EV Boost unit to provide 10% charge to electric cars that have ran out of juice

Do motorists really run out of juice in their EVs? 

The UK’s biggest breakdown provider, AA, says less than 4 per cent of EV breakdowns it attends are for motorists running out of battery charge – a figure that’s dropping year on year. 

The majority of breakdowns involving plug-in cars is due to punctures, which is the most common cause of call-outs for all fuel types. 

EV breakdowns are around 2 per cent of the AA’s overall workload but understandably this is increasing as the EV parc increases, it said.

The RAC reports a similarly low volume of EVs running out of charge on the road.

However, a spokesman for the provider said 80 of its patrol vans across the country are now fitted with an EV Boost unit.

This is a the first lightweight, mobile electric vehicle charger system capable of giving stranded out-of-charge vehicles an up to 10-mile power boost from a generator in the breakdown van. 

‘Most EVs can’t be towed normally and need to be transported with all wheels off the ground which usually requires a flatbed vehicle,’ the RAC explains. 

‘So if an electric vehicle runs out of charge in a busy urban locations like red routes in London or even just a narrow road, it can be very problematic.

‘This enables our patrols to help stranded EV drivers at the roadside with a power boost, equivalent to a top-up from a fuel can for a petrol or diesel vehicle, to get them on their way again.’

Want to know which EVs currently on sale in the UK have the longest (claimed) driving ranges? Read our full top 10 report here. 

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Tech Nation beefs up board as it strives to help economy

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tech nation beefs up board as it strives to help economy
Boost: Tech Nation helps nurture British technology companies

Boost: Tech Nation helps nurture British technology companies

Tech Nation – the Government-backed technology industry body – has beefed up its board as it strives to help the economy recover from the coronavirus crisis. 

Eric Collins, a black entrepreneur who helped Barack Obama’s start-up diversity drive, is among the four new directors. 

Collins, who served on Obama’s Small Business Administration’s Council on Underserved Communities, runs London-based Impact X, an investment firm that backs companies run by or for minority groups and women. 

The other directors are Hussein Kanji, a partner at venture capital firm Hoxton Ventures, Annette Wilson, the European chair of venture capital firm Antler, and Trecilla Lobo of BenevolentAI, the biotech firm with artificial intelligence technology. 

Tech Nation said the merit-based appointments took into account the ‘benefits of diversity’. 

Tech Nation helps nurture British technology companies. It is aiming to help the tech sector boost the economy by an extra $1billion by March 2022.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Pizza duo snap up bargain sites for expansion

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pizza duo snap up bargain sites for

Two former Pizza Express chiefs are snapping up cut-price high street sites as they spot the biggest expansion opportunity for 25 years. 

Hugh Osmond, who runs Coppa Club owner Various Eateries, and David Page, who owns Franco Manca and The Real Greek restaurants, have been eyeing venues vacated by struggling businesses. 

Expansion plans: Hugh Osmond and David Page have been eyeing venues vacated by struggling businesses

Expansion plans: Hugh Osmond and David Page have been eyeing venues vacated by struggling businesses

Entrepreneur Osmond, who built up Pizza Express in the 1990s recession alongside Page and Luke Johnson said he spent last week fielding calls from landlords offering sites facing closure due to Covid restrictions. 

He listed Various Eateries on the stock exchange on Friday after raising £25million and will open a new 5,000 sq ft Coppa Club in Cobham, Surrey this autumn. 

He said there are hundreds of other available sites in prime towns and and plans to eventually open up to 20 restaurants a year. 

Page is looking at buying the leases for former Byron Burger, Carluccio’s and Le Pain Quotidien outlets in London, Bath and Cambridge. 

He said: ‘The rents are all falling by the week.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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