DPD/ASUS lost my item...

leamingtonspaceman
leamingtonspaceman Posts: 129
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Bit of a long one, so buckle up.

Back in June I bought an ASUS ROG Ally gaming handheld. It was £699. I bought it through ASUS via PayPal although it was supplied by a third party company.

There is a common fault with the unit, so common in fact that ASUS had to issue a statement about it, and apply a firmware update to fix it. This doesn't appear to have worked and my unit failed a couple of weeks ago.

I contacted ASUS and initiated a return to their designated repair centre in Glasgow. This was via DPD collection from my home.

I packed it in its original box. I placed the manuals and broken SD card in a bag inside the box along with a printout of the repair confirmation email. I wrapped it carefully in plain paper and placed white and red 'FRAGILE' tape around the parcel.

As it was an expensive item, I took photographs of the box once packaged on all sides in case of any issues.

The DPD driver arrived.

He had a 'tote box' for the package and once inside he had to attach security tags. I told him I wanted to take photographs of the item being packed. The driver got quite aggressive with me and started shouting about having his photograph taken. This despite him ringing my RING doorbell and being aware this would record him, something he must encounter hundreds of times a day. I explained I was only taking photographs of him packing the item, and not including his face. He turned his back on me still complaining. I continued to take pictures, he finished packing the parcel and left.

Two days later, at 9:50am, I received an email stating that my faulty unit had arrived and would now be repaired.

Literally half an hour later I received a telephone call. The person introduced themselves as someone high up within ASUS. He said they'd just opened the parcel and there was no ROG Ally inside. Instead there was a plastic bag with what looked like flour inside, and a handwritten note saying "thanks. we stole the rog ally."

He told me police had been called and had attended and that the bag of 'flour' would be sent for analysis along with the packaging for DNA, fingerprint and handwriting analysis. He then started to talk about people trying this kind of thing before and being found out and ending up in prison.

I assured him I'd sent the item but he sounded like he'd already decided what had happened and was stating that he was one hundred percent certain the package had not been tampered with and that the security tags were still present when they received the item.

The repair centre actually make video recordings of the packages being opened. He sent this to me. When I watched it, I could clearly see that some clear tape was removed during the unpacking. I placed NO clear tape on the package at all, so I was certain the package had been tampered with.

I emailed back to explain this, but only received a response saying that there is no way the package had been tampered with.

I was sent a crime incident number and called Police Scotland. They had a record of the incident number and the lady I spoke to asked me to describe what had happened from my perspective and I did. She said she'd pass this on to the officer dealing with it and to expect a call.

Later that day the officer who attended when the parcel was opened called me. He was calm and sensible and listened to my version of events. He said that the repair centre had jumped to all sorts of crazy conclusions about what was in the bag, but it turned out to be flour. He told me they would close the case.

I emailed ASUS again to explain I'd co-operated with the police.

I received a response that contained a document sent by DPD. This document said the driver who picked up the item said there was no clear tape on the package when he took it from me.

The document then went on to say that "This is the customer being dishonest. The ROG ALLY was never in the box."

This was late on Friday.

Over the weekend I was able to view the unpacking video on a laptop screen. Clear tape was evident being ripped from the box. There were also signs of the packing being cut and the clear tape covering these cuts.

I emailed back with screenshots from the video highlighting this.

I also explained that the clear tape was covering the fragile tape I had used, so my fingerprints from the non-adhesive side of the fragile tape could have transferred to the clear tape. Likewise, I bit the fragile tape to cut it, so my saliva could have transferred to the clear tape.

I could also see that the flour had been placed in the bag I'd placed inside the box with the manuals, SD card and email printout, so the bag would have my prints on it. Likewise, it looked like the note had been written on a piece of the paper I'd printed the email on, so again would have my prints on it.

I explained that the driver confirmed there was no tape on the parcel when he received it, but there was when it was unwrapped, so this was unequivocal proof of tampering.

I also stated that nobody should be making definitive accusations as DPD have done.

I received a response saying that DPD wanted photos of the parcel before I taped it up. They are also still adamant that I never sent the item. The guy was also explaining that he was going on holiday from 11th December to 2nd January so would not respond to any emails between those dates.

I replied and explained that asking for photographs of the box contents before packaging was absurd, as I could have taken pictures with the unit present and then replaced it with a bag of flour. I explained that photographs of the final package were different as these would be able to be compared to the package received. And in this case, there is a difference... clear tape and signs of cutting present on the delivered  package but not on my images before it was collected. I also explained that there was no obligation for me to provide any photos and that I'd only taken pictures as proof it had been packaged and collected.

Not wanting to engage in any further 'back and forth' emails, I stated that I did not want to be contacted again until ASUS made a final decision about this situation. I stated that they should supply this decision within ten days, otherwise I would consider the item lost in transit AFTER it left my possession.

That was today and I did not get a response.

My own feeling is that the package had a flap cut into it and this was lifted and the box with the ROG ALLY in it removed and the ROG ALLY taken and replaced with the flour to add weight to make it feel like the unit was still inside. The flap has then been sealed with clear tape.

I've told ASUS that if this were to go to court, they would be asked how the clear tape came to be stuck to the parcel, given I didn't put any on it and my photos demonstrate this and the DPD driver has confirmed this?

I've also asked several times for images of the packaging after it was removed. They've sent images of the unwrapped box, the bag of flour and the handwritten note. No sign of images of the packaging though.

I'm just wondering what the next stage might be with this?

My expensive item has gone missing and I have shown that the parcel sent had differences to the parcel they received.

Obviously I know that I sent the item, but I feel that ASUS and DPD seem to be trying to construct some kind of false case against me.

I'd be interested to know what others feel about this case and what might happen next.

I've put in a PayPal dispute based on sending an item back within warranty and it being lost by ASUS via DPD. I haven't said it was stolen. I've submitted all emails exchanged and all the images I've submitted. The PayPal dispute goes back to the retailer so they'll probably have no idea whats happened, but that's not my issue, surely?

Comments

  • Anyone got any thoughts?
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,905
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    Anyone got any thoughts?
    This sounds like an impossible situation and I have no advice at all except I think you need proper legal advice rather than casual advice from forums. This is a serious matter especially as allegations have been made against you.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
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