A Cautionary Tale
Last September, I returned a pair of Inov8 shoes to Fitness Footwear. I sent the package 2nd class and some weeks later noticed that I had not received a refund. On contacting Fitness Footwear, they maintained that they had no record of receiving the package and that I had to pursue a claim for compensation from the Royal Mail.
I duly filled out a detailed form and sent it to Royal Mail Customer Services, enclosing proof of posting and proof of value (both originals as required). The form promised a response within 30 days. Over 2 months passed and I heard nothing. Earlier this month, I sent a letter by recorded delivery, requesting an update on my claim. A few days later I got a letter back stating that "A significant increase in recent customer enquiries has meant it is taking longer than we would like to respond to customers." Presumably this was management speak for "With lots of pre-Christmas post, our staff are losing / stealing far more of it than usual."
This morning I got a cheque for £43.84, being £41 compensation and the balance being the cost of the postage. Second class postage only covers compensation up to £41.
So, next time you are returning a bit of kit to a supplier, it may be worth paying the extra insurance. I have always objected to this as it smacks of extortion. I am paying the postage fee as consideration for the Royal Mail to deliver my package. Why should I pay extra to cover the incompetence of their staff? If I book a taxi, I don't expect the option of paying an extra fee to insure myself against being robbed by the driver.
This time, I only lost £31 but if the item had been, say, a £250 sleeping bag, I would have been well out of pocket.
I like the Royal Mail. Always excellent, good value service.
Surely it's common sense to try and safeguard a valuable package or do you expect them to absolutely and utterly guarantee that no package will ever go missing out of the millions they handle every day?
Serves you right for being a tight arse.
Mrs. Nesbit wrote (see)
I like the Royal Mail. Always excellent, good value service. Surely it's common sense to try and safeguard a valuable package or do you expect them to absolutely and utterly guarantee that no package will ever go missing out of the millions they handle every day?Serves you right for being a tight arse.
Er, that's what I am paying Royal Mail to do.
As for their customer service, it's utter shite. Did it not occur to them to write, advising me of the delay in responding to claims?
Ah. Clearly you do you expect them to absolutely and utterly guarantee that no package will ever go missing out of the millions they handle every day, then.
Jake wrote (see)
Did it not occur to them to write, advising me of the delay in responding to claims?
I don't know and I care even less. Write to the Daily Mail about it
Who's to say someone at Fitness Footwear wasn't to blame? You're pretty quick to accuse Royal Mail of "losing / stealing"....
If you need to be able to prove that something has been received pay a couple of quid extra for signed for delivery with it's built in insurance. That way you'll get your money back and you won't come across as a bit of an old woman by boring folk with Cautionary Tales.
Who's to say someone at Fitness Footwear wasn't to blame? You're pretty quick to accuse Royal Mail of "losing / stealing"....If you need to be able to prove that something has been received pay a couple of quid extra for signed for delivery with it's built in insurance. That way you'll get your money back and you won't come across as a bit of an old woman by boring folk with Cautionary Tales.
Para 1 - OK, fair point.
Para 2 - sorry if I'm boring you but I object in principle to paying extra for what looks like protection money. Surely it would be more honest for Royal Mail to price the risk of loss or theft into their upfront charges instead of offering it as an optional premium?
The cautionary bit was simply to highlight that loss (by whatever means) is a real possibility and that it is worth paying the extra. I wish I had.
BTW a bloke calling himself Mrs Nesbit comes across as a bit more of an old woman than someone calling himself Jake
Royal Mail handles millions of items each day, it's simple statistics that some will be lost, stolen, misdelivered. No system is perfect. It's testament to the excellence of the service that so few problems occur and it's certainly testament to the vast majority of honest postal workers that theft is not a major issue in sorting centers.
If you are willing to take a chance (which has rather good odds, in 15 years I've lived in the UK, not one parcel I've orderd via Royal Mail has been lost), you can stick to standard service. If you have valuables, you take extra-insurance to reduce even further those odds and if the worse happen, you are insured and don't lose out on anything.
I've had over 1000 transactions worldwide on ebay as buyer/seller and a good few transactions with regular retailers including returning stuff and never permanently lost a package. Within the UK I always send 1st Class 'Recorded Signed For', one ebay package didn't reach it's destination so I refunded the buyer and claimed compensation from the Royal Mail, the compensation duly arrived and a few weeks later the package turned up, returned to sender (me)
I don't entirely disagree that if you pay for something to be delivered then thats what should happen but it doesn't so you have the option of paying the extra 70 odd pence for Signed For and insurance and adding extra for items of greater value. If you buy something off a retailer and their method of shipping is 'Special Delivery' I assume you pay it, I doubt that you'd ask them to knock a couple of quid of the shipping and send it standard delivery.
That said, if you made one mistake I'd say you should have been in touch immediately as soon as the 1 month period was up rather than waiting 2 months, I'd have been on their case immediately.
if ebaying, let the customer know what he/she is getting in terms of postal service and insurance if any is what I normally do
I make a calculation when sending stuff whether to go for insurance or not. If its around the £1 to £50 mark I dont normally bother beyond a proof of posting
Above that I and start to consider insurance/special delivery
I have lost one item once in the past umpteen years. The only issue I have with the royal mail is that sometimes things get really delayed/temporarily lost but again sh1t happens
Could be worse... you could try dealing with a cheap courier company. There's nothing like dealing with Citylink or the Home Delivery Network to make you really appreciate the Royal Mail.
In this instance, RM were slow to deal with the issue (which is pretty much par for the course for large companies, no?) but they did in due course pay up to the amount they'd promised they would compensate you by. That's not bad going in my book. I've known people have to threaten couriers with the small claims court before being able to squeeze a penny out of them.
I love it when a thread intended to discredit comes back to bite the OP on the arse!
Second class postage only covers compensation up to £41.
of course if somene offered to take it to Birmingham for 25p you'd expect them to do it.
When Amazon said they were moving to Home Delivery Network, I felt compelled to write to them to complain, not something I do very often. Courier company, unless you are home-based, are worse than useless for domestic deliveries...They turn up when you are at work, their depots are always at the back end of beyond...
Well I am shocked the OP was naive enough to think that the base service from RM even offered any guarantee. He was lucky to get his £41 plus postage back in my book. If you have something more than the £41 then pay for better service.
Its like this, RM openly explains their range of service. It goes from second class up to a fully insured and tracked service. You can even get extra insurance if you goods are worth a bit. You have all the options of their service range open to you. That means it is up to you to live by the service you chose. This service gave you the only guarantee it has namely if it doesn't get delivered they will pay you back your postage and compensation up to £41. Correct me if I'm wrong but that was carried out.Youu lost money because you didn't chose the appropriate service.
Its not like RM have not given you the information to chose the best option. They are open and honest IMHO. It is not like Ryan air who promote a £5 ticket to wherever then you get the final charge and it appears to be say £59!! If you had paid £0.32 to post it then they phoned you up outside the delivery address telling you that you have to pay up £30 or they won't deliver it. They took your money, lost your product (accident or theft or perhaps dishonesty of the recipient company who got it back but lost/stole it blaming RM) then compensated you according to the contract. You have no right to complain.
On the other hand we do for you posting a thread slagging a company off that provided exactly the service it undertook with the guarantees it promises. You lost the goods IMHO through your blind obstinance. Pay more for the right service for the goods you are sending or go to some other courier and pay about £20 to do the same thing!!
Of course you could try parcelforce. They really do have a bad rep and that is from the staff at RM. Although they do have tendancies to offload their work to RM who then make the delivery. If you actually stop to look at what happens to letters and parcels I am sure you will appreciate that it is a good service and you were unlucky. I reckon it will turn up sometime. Probably down the back of somewhere where it fell and wasn't spotted. Only to be found when they have time to clear up properly.
If you want to complain then consider when the consequences have been bad. Like the woman with cancer who had a specialist appointment sent out in December only to arrive last week, after the appointment!! I don't think you'd like that. Perspective please and pay up for the service you want tightwad!!
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