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Lost Magazines - Newsagent Should Pay Compensation?

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by Hebe, 8 October 2014.

  1. Hebe

    Hebe Member

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    Hi there,
    I am an owner of a sub newsagent and post office. Because our opening hour is between 8:30 to 5 pm everyday, we asked our neighbor, a cafe shop who opens at 4 am everyday, to take those newspapers and magazine deliveries for us.
    Just yesterday I found out we did not receive any magazine and when I called my supplier, a central newsagent manager, he told me that they actually deliver those magazines and newspapers at 2 am and just leave them in front of the cafe. He refused to pay for the lost magazines and insisted we asked for it so we should pay for it.
    Now I am 100% sure he never told me about their delivery time and from what I know they have delivered to the cafe people before. Under commercial law, do I have the right to ask this central newsagent to pay for the lost magazines as compensation?

    Thanks a lot for your help.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    The core question is - who is assuming the risk of loss of the magazines
    during the delivery process (ie when they are left in the open at 2am).
     
  3. Hebe

    Hebe Member

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    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for your attention.

    To be honest I do not quite understand your question. Based on what the manager said, they have been doing this early delivery for a while and this is not the first time they have been reported as lost. They do not have any proof of delivery, I have in-store footage records what we have received on that morning.
    I hope that make sense.
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Fair enough.

    My comments here are based on the assumptions that
    • your central agent ordered them from a publisher or a distributor
    • your central agent arranged for delivery (probably by adding your shop to an existing run)
    • either the magazines didn't arrive, or, they were stolen before you could collect them
    So ask yourself.... who is responsible for the safekeeping of the magazines
    from the time they leave the depot, to the time you receive them?
    (note that the time they are delivered (eg dropped off at 2am) might be
    different to the time you actually take possession of them (eg when you open up at 6am)).

    My guess is that everybody in your delivery chain will, one way or another, be
    "all care and no responsibility" in respect of your magazines.
    For some, this will be in the contract (eg the truck driver), and for some of them
    it will be by implication (eg the cafe next door).
    It might also be relevant if you are the buyer of the magazines (eg if your central agent is not a retailer, but simply a distributor), or simply dealing in them on consignment from the central agent.

    You should look closely at the T&Cs of your sub-agency agreement - there might be something in there that covers it.
    Also, you should be sure about whether or not the magazines were in fact delivered. Your footage may help with that.

    What you do next will be informed, in part, by whether or not the magazines were stolen, compared to simply not being delivered.
     
  5. Hebe

    Hebe Member

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    Hi Tim,

    Thanks very much for your clear analysis. It is really helpful. At least I know what to look for now.

    Best Regards,
    Hebe
     

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