Keen musician Tom Armstrong is quids in after Raw Deal put the squeeze on a courier company that lost a vintage accordion he had sold online.
In October, Tom, from Kelso, Roxburghshire, sold the instrument to a buyer in Wembley, London, via Gumtree.
“I wanted a quick sale, so I parted with it for £300, which was way less than half of what it was actually worth,” he said.
Tom, 84, took the Hohner piano accordion, in its case, to his nearest Post Office to have it couriered to the buyer via Royal Mail’s Parcelforce service.
“I paid £30 for next day delivery and for it to be insured up to the value of £500,” he said.
Tom became concerned when, over the next few days, the buyer contacted him a number of times to say the accordion had never arrived.
“Despite frequent emails and phone calls to Parcelforce, the best I got back was messages saying they were still looking for it,” he said.
“I kept asking them how it was possible to lose a big accordion in its case but I just kept getting fobbed off with excuse after excuse.”
The grandfather of five is a retired civil engineer who has been playing the accordion for 70 years.
He still enjoys entertaining people when he can, with traditional Scottish music at parties.
However, Parcelforce hit a sour note with Tom when he tried to claim compensation for the missing accordion.
“Because I had taken out insurance, I submitted a claim for the instrument,” he said. “But I kept getting pushed from pillar to post for three months, with no joy.
“I was asked for proof of the value of the accordion so I sent Parcelforce adverts for similar models that cost almost twice as much as mine, but they wouldn’t accept that.
“I was then asked for a receipt from when I had originally bought the accordion.
“I got it 10 years ago from a friend who has since died, so there was no way I could supply any receipt.”
The final straw came when Tom was offered a refund of just £50 from Parcelforce for his troubles.
“I had agreed to sell the accordion for £300 and I paid £30 on top for the postage, so I felt their offer was an insult. I felt it was unfair to charge me for insurance cover then not pay up when something went wrong with the delivery.”
In frustration, Tom wrote to Raw Deal for help and we asked Parcelforce to investigate.
The company soon put its hands up to the error and has refunded Tom the full amount.
Parcelforce Worldwide said: “We have looked again at this case and have compensated the customer for all relevant items including postage.
“This is a rare occurrence. Every item we handle is important to us and we always strive to provide the best possible service for all of our customers.
“If anyone has concerns about their parcel delivery they should contact the Parcelforce Worldwide customer service team.”
Tom said he was grateful to Raw Deal for stepping in.
“It has been a horrible past three months trying to deal with all the hassle and stress that this has caused me,” he said. “Well done to Raw Deal for sorting this out.”