/ Money

First-class price for a second-class service?

Letter with first-class stamp

How much compensation would you expect to receive if a parcel you sent went missing or got damaged? £50? £30? Actually, it’s now just £20. Royal Mail has slashed the maximum level of compensation it pays out…

I don’t think I’m alone in believing that compensation for lost or damaged post should at least cover the price you paid to post the item, as well as a hefty chunk of the value of the item inside the parcel.

However, Royal Mail has dramatically reduced the maximum compensation it awards for lost or damaged 1st or 2nd class post, from £46 to £20.

Although Royal Mail automatically covers you for the cost of postage (with a minimum of six times 1st-class stamps), its compensation for the item itself is now subject to a new maximum of £20.

The price of peace of mind

It’s not all bad news – Royal Mail has increased the maximum compensation for parcels and letters that are sent via its signed-for service. This is now £50, up from the previous £46. Since the maximum amount you’ll pay for the signed-for service is £33.50, you’ll definitely be covered for the whole cost of postage and then some.

So, if you’re prepared to fork out extra for the signed-for service when posting items, you’ll receive a better level of cover.

Personally, I send everything via standard delivery, and until now my compensation entitlement was the same as it would be for sending via signed-for delivery.

Royal Mail said that the changes ensure that compensation is proportionate to the service used and postage paid. But how do you feel about Royal Mail’s compensation overhaul? Would you opt for signed-for delivery in order to get access to a higher level of compensation?

[UPDATE 28 JUNE 2013] – This post has been edited due to an inaccuracy – Royal Mail will cover the full cost of postage for lost or damaged post. It’s only the cost of extra compensation that has been cut.

Comments
Sue Mackie says:
17 October 2014

I am currently in dispute with Royal Mail, over an item that was delivered with only half the contents. I had asked and paid for insurance up to a value of £250. I have now been told that after examination that ‘the packaging was not adequate enough’. It was adequate enough to ensure that 1 item arrived, was repaired and returned. Surely if a customer is paying for ‘Special Delivery’ you have a duty of care to inform the client when accepting payment that the packing is likely to be inadequate in the case of a claim. All these transactions take place over the counter. I aim to support royal mail, but in future my parcels will be sent with an alternative carrier – of which there are myriad. I will also be advising people not to bother with SD as Royal Mail take no responsibility for liability. 

Can someone who may know more than me confirm something please?

I send a lot of items through royal mail ‘signed for’.

I pay for the value of the standard stamp cost and then i pay on top the cost of the ‘signed for ‘ service, which is an extra £1.10.

On many occasions I have checked the delivery status of the items on the royal mail ‘track and trace’ page, only to find the page states that there is ‘no delivery information available at the moment’.

This can be 1 week, 2 week, 3 weeks and longer after posting the item and on many many occasions the system never says anything else.

To get to the point – If the service of the signed for element is not completed, ie a signature accepted on delivery, or a delivery status of undelivered awaiting collection/instructions etc etc etc then should i not be entitled to some compensation? at least to the point of my money returned? as i have paid for a service that has not been completed. The signed for element, seperately charged, has not been completed.

I have had hundreds of these cases alone over the years and how many other thousands of cases are there each day?

I remember a long time ago a guy at royal mail when answering such an enquiry mentioned that there was indeed some kind of compensation for this service failure, but that it was a very well kept secret as so many ‘signed for’ packets/parcels/letters never have their delivery status updated, either in the case of missing items or delivered items – surely if you pay for a ‘signed for’ service and you dont get a confirmation or all you get is a status of, ‘no delivery information available at the moment’, and even the guy on the end of the phone line cant tell you more, than they have failed to provide the service you have actually paid and they have actually charged you for.

Anyone in the know?

From the Royal Mail website;-
“For stamped, metered and by account* items a postage refund plus compensation on the basis of actual loss, where evidence of posting and evidence of value can be provided. This compensation is subject to the maximum payable being the lower of the market value of the item and the maximum of £50.00.

Postage refund (a minimum payment of 6 x 1st Class letter stamps at the first weight step) shall be payable where only basic evidence is provided or the item is of no intrinsic value.”

There’s a form you can download, complete and post back (FOC) together with your original proof of postage. You will have to wait 15 working days before you can send the form off and I normally send a copy of the “track and trace” as proof that it has not been received.

Hope that helps!

I am astonished that any one who has been following this conversation should post the royal mail guide lines.
If an item i sell on Ebay is lost rm will not reimburse the sale cost,they will only reimburse what the item cost me even though i have to reimburse the purchase price to the buyer. I only send items below £10 by rm Anyone who uses rm for valuable items is asking for trouble.STOP using rm go to a courier like myhermes who do track and trace,collect from your door and have full value compensation for much the same price as RM

Hi Castle

thanks for your reply, but i think you have completely missed the point.

I post an item signed for, for instance.

I pay the standard postage rate and then a separate charge added on for the ‘signed for’ element.

Even if the item is delivered, have royal mail met their obligations if the track and trace on the website says ‘‘no delivery information available at the moment’?

i paid postage for the delivery of the package BUT i also paid royal mail for a ‘signed for’ element, £1.10, and if royal mail never actually perform this service i paid for that means i paid them for nothing – as the postage element was paid separate anyway.

I have had hundreds of items, mostly delivered but some never delivered, where the ‘signed for’ element still says’ ‘no delivery information available at the moment’, and was never ever updated.

I have bar codes here of packets that have no information, no signature, no delivery or non delivery status, and were sent 6 weeks ago?

So you telling me royal mail can add £1.10 on as a service ( signed for) to the basic postage stamp price and then not bother to perform the service but keep my money>? with no obligations – i dont think so, thats daylight robbery.

How many thousands of customers accross the land each day post signed for but ever check the delivery status? As i say Even if the item is delivered, the signed for element should be used and updated by royal mail, as it is a service element that has been paid for.

I know that quite a few years ago i had a convo with a guy at royal mail and he told me that if the ‘signed for’ part of the service is not performed or used properly as a paid for service then the customer is due compensation of some sort – after all would you pay some one for somthing and then be happy when they didnt do it?

Paul
I have worked for royal mail as a postman for the last 26 years.I also sell a few things on ebay and send most of it 1st class recorded delivery .I was unlucky enough to have a recorded delivery item not turn up (see posting above).By way of compensation royal mail sent me stamps just to cover my postage costs even though the value of the lost item was 16.99 i’m still annoyed even though this happened nearly 6 months ago.Recorded items only show when and where the item has been posted from and if the item has been signed for.If the item is not signed for it will always show ‘no delivery information available at the moment’.I was told this by the lady at the post office counter.

if you arent happy , have been short changed , have been advised comp due then claim . simple

and you are due up to £50 when claiming per recorded item .

Hi Rob

problem is i cant remember who it was i spoke to was years ago which is why i put it out in case anyone else new more;

I post an item signed for, for instance.

I pay the standard postage rate and then a separate charge added on for the ‘signed for’ element.

Even if the item is delivered, have royal mail met their obligations if the track and trace on the website says ‘‘no delivery information available at the moment’?

i paid postage for the delivery of the package BUT i also paid royal mail for a ‘signed for’ element, £1.10, and if royal mail never actually perform this service i paid for that means i paid them for nothing – as the postage element was paid separate anyway.

I have had hundreds of items, mostly delivered but some never delivered, where the ‘signed for’ element still says’ ‘no delivery information available at the moment’, and was never ever updated.

I have bar codes here of packets that have no information, no signature, no delivery or non delivery status, and were sent 6 weeks ago?

So you telling me royal mail can add £1.10 on as a service ( signed for) to the basic postage stamp price and then not bother to perform the service but keep my money>? with no obligations – i dont think so, thats daylight robbery.

How many thousands of customers accross the land each day post signed for but ever check the delivery status? As i say Even if the item is delivered, the signed for element should be used and updated by royal mail, as it is a service element that has been paid for.

I know that quite a few years ago i had a convo with a guy at royal mail and he told me that if the ‘signed for’ part of the service is not performed or used properly as a paid for service then the customer is due compensation of some sort – after all would you pay some one for somthing and then be happy when they didnt do it?

Hi Paul

Sorry, it wasn’t very clear from your original post whether you were talking about mail not being delivered or mail being delivered but not signed for.

I used to send business letters by recorded delivery but gave up as so many were not being signed for. If Track and trace showed “no delivery information available” I assumed that the letter had not been delivered and then submitted my claim for a lost letter. Sometime Track and trace would show delivered but no signature obtained, then I would ask for the difference which you tell me is currently £1.10.

Of course if you know your item has been delivered even though track and trace says otherwise, then it’s up to you whether you claim the 6 stamps or just the £1.10!

PS I don’t work for Royal Mail and I only used recorded delivery for business letters not Ebay or sending other goods.

Hi Castle

thanks for your reply, i think i will have to claim every time an item is delivered or not, if the signed for part of the deal has not been honoured by RM.

I will see how easy it is to claim online.

Just makes me wonder how many people send by signed for, and as long as the item arrives, never check to see if royal mail even bothered to honor the bit they paid an extra £1.10 for, easy money me thinks!

Paul,

When I used to send items via Royal Mail I used to pay an extra 75p for a tracking number (think that is what you use, but the price is now £1.10) and i always put a claim in if i could not track the item online.

I feel if I’m paying for something i should get the service. Royal Mail admitted a few times that postmen sometimes just post recorded letters instead of leaving a “sorry we missed you” card.

Hi Paul

I think there’s an online appeal form now, but I have never used it. I have submitted at least 20 claims over the last 2 years and been paid every time and received the same excuse every time, that post sometimes go missing!
I suspect that most of the letters actually were delivered but I have no way of knowing if they actually went to the right offices/people as most people don’t write to acknowledge receipt of a letter nowadays.

Hughmoz says:
26 November 2014

As ever with the Royal Mail it’s a poor system. Why on earth can’y they just have say 1st or 2nd class recorded with extra insurance on top instead of forcing us to use Special Delivery? Even recorded has now changed its name to “signed for”. We always get excuses instead of a simple straightforward system that suits the customers who at the end of the day pay for it all. So, why are we, the customers, given the run around? The new website, in terms of pricing, is a pain compared to the old one that at least showed you every option rather than narrowing everything down all the time.

Steve says:
2 December 2014

Could someone, preferably who has had experience of, clarify or point me to a P.O. ruling.
I sell vinyl records online. Sometimes ebay mostly discogs.

If my item sells at £20.01 or over and I send it UK Standard 1st Class and goes missing in post.
Will I get at least £20.00 compensation ( assuming I have all the correct proof )

I asked at 2 separate P.O.for clarification and was told with no uncertainty…I would ‘ Not Be Paid One Penny Compensation ‘ unless item went via proper posting ie..Signed For £20-50, or Special Delivery (over £50 )

My own experience is, over the years I had two items Not Delivered..One was £500 the other was £17…Both went by proper posting tariffs..I received full compensation on both.

I ask because I state full P.O.tariffs in my Sellers Terms.
Buyers don’t want to feel ripped off at paying extra on items over £20 esp EU or World zones.
Many sellers are still posting Standard for items over £20 thinking the gamble worthwhile if they expect at least £20 in compensation, or at most up to £50 if Signed For.

Thank you in advance for any help…Steve.

Hughmoz says:
2 December 2014

Well, if you have a valid postage receipt and can verify the transaction how can Royal Mail not pay out up to £20.00 plus postage cost returned? If they offer up to £20.00 compensation it is was it is. Ring Royal Mail and ask them as that is who you have to deal with in the event of a loss 03457 740 740 rather than a post office. You can email Royal Mail on their online form but in my experience talking to them gets a clearer answer on anything.

im doing exactly the same was what you do on ‘ogs . from recently they reduced standard compo , and increased recorded . special remained 500 .
so at present its right what you say =
standard 0-20 with proof of posting and paypal recpt
Signed For £20-50 with slip and paypal
Special Delivery 50-500 with slip and paypal.
claim via online or form , send origs in with form .

Steve says:
2 December 2014

Thanks guys…I am going to get this cleared tomorrow with a phone call and a personal from a P.O. manager…but Rob…the nub of my query was this…
If I send out a £25 record via Standard and it gets lost
The P.O. say I won’t get a penny…nothing..zilch…as it should have been sent Signed For.

you should get £20 max compo if 2 proofs . lets know how you get on .

andy says:
3 December 2014

I have asked this a few times now. The post office stance seems to be if the item is over 20quid and its get lost you will not get compensation as you are using the incorrect service. Oe normal 1st or 2nd. I use hermes for alot of things now..they offer 50quid compensation as standard

Steve says:
3 December 2014

There is ‘ NO ‘ minimum compensation of £20.00 paid out if item market value ( with proof of invoice etc ) exceeds £20.00…even by 1 pence.

Spoke to Royal Mail Customer Services and my head post office manager today. When pressed both spelled out in black and white what this COMPENSATION RULING implies.

http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/available-compensation-for-lost-items

”For stamped, metered and by account* items a postage refund plus compensation on the basis of actual loss, where evidence of posting and evidence of value can be provided. This compensation is subject to the maximum payable being the lower of the market value of the item and the maximum of £20.00.”

It is that last sentence which looks like a £20.00 compensation minimum if your £25.00 item you took a gamble on does not arrive. They could have been more forthcoming by adding in brackets ( the invoiced item market value must not exceed £20.00 or NO compensation whatsoever )

Royal Mail state you must use the correct postal service ( with necessary proofs ) to be assured of compensation.
UK examples
1st or 2nd Class Standard… for invoiced items not exceeding £20.00
1st or 2nd Class Signed For… for invoiced items value range £20.01 and not exceeding £50.00
Special Delivery…for invoiced items value range £50.01 to £500.00…for an extra charge they will compensate for up to £10,000

To put some things in perspective.

If your ebay auction item ends at £20.01 and you send it Standard, then is ‘Not Received ‘ or ‘Lost ‘ you have to compensate the bidder and the P.O. will not pay out as you did not use the correct service..ie..Signed For.

As an example in my case selling Vinyl Record LP’s on-line for over £50..Special Delivery is £7.15..Signed For 1st Class is £4.30 and Standard 1st Class is £3.20…BUT i only get compensation if I use Special Delivery.

75% of my on-line sales go to EU or World…here the P.O can make a killing and for irate customers.
IRELAND ( REPUBLIC )..A 20.00 LP is £5.15 postage…A £20.01 LP is £10.15 postage.
USA or JAPAN…A £20.00 LP is £7.45 postage…a £20.01 LP is £12.45 postage.

I prefer to sell ‘ Fixed Price ‘ items where I can specify the appropriate postage.
I avoid selling items at just over £20.00…or just over £50.00

Buyers on other on-line sites such as ‘ discogs ‘ can and do want to take a gamble with postage charges and go Standard.That’s OK by me as I state I am not responsible for Lost or Stolen unless Insured…but if an ebay customer has an undelivered package, you the seller must first compensate him/her then seek compensation from the P.O.

And heaven forbid if your EU or WORLD item when packed is over the 500gram weight tariff.

A standard light weight vinyl record LP in a single fold sleeve just makes packed weight under 500grams.But an older heavy vinyl record LP in a gate fold sleeve, perhaps with a booklet and you just cannot do it.

That £20.01 LP Record to the USA jumps from £7.45 to £15.15 if it is ONE GRAM overweight.
No surprise then the buyer from USA takes the gamble and goes standard and requests you keep the weight under.

Each buyer ( other than ebay ) has a choice if I sell them a £30 LP Record…about 50% go Standard.If I sell a £75 LP Record ( other than ebay ) every buyer has chosen Insured.

Royal Mail have done their homework for on-line average purchases and average weights and are making a fortune.
Thanks everybody.

Hughmoz says:
4 December 2014

I wonder if their stance is actually legal? If you intentionally send something worth more than £20 then you know that the compensation is up to £20. So, in my book that is a risk that you take and accept that they will not pay out more. However I cannot see how they can be judge and jury on items that you do not insure fully. Insurance is to help avoid loss and people can under or over-insure or to the correct amount in reality. That organisations like the Post office have very limited bands of insurance is by their own creation. Are there any legal experts out there who can verify the Post Office stance of refusing to pay out on items worth over £20 when a person has chosen to take that risk and expects to be paid up to that amount of compensation and can prove the item cost?

Darren says:
26 December 2014

The sentence

“This compensation is subject to the maximum payable being the lower of the market value of the item and the maximum of £20.00.”

is not very well written, but the only possible interpretation I can see is that the compensation will be the item value if this is less than £20 or £20 if the item value is at least £20. In particular, the circumstance that £20 will be paid for an item of greater value is clearly implied (otherwise it would simply say “compensation will be paid to the value of your item if this is at most £20”).
Therefore adding in brackets ‘… must not exceed £20.00 or NO compensation whatsoever …’ would not be so much ‘more forthcoming’ as flatly contradictory.

Denying £20 compensation because an item is worth more is therefore clearly fraudulent.

Unfortunately RM have their own Act absolving them of any real ‘duty of care’, I ferreted throug some of my old textbooks to find:

“The position of the Post Office is somewhat anomalous. It was once a department
of government but it is now a statutory corporation, and under the Post
Office Act 1969 it is immune from liability in tort. Neither can it be sued in
contract because no contract exists between the Post Office and the sender of
a postal packet. The Post Office is, however, liable for loss of or damage to a
registered inland postal packet when the loss or damage is caused by the wrongful
act, neglect or default of a servant or agent of the Post Office. The maximum
amount recoverable by the sender is the market value of the packet.”

So there you are, you don’t even have a contract and, as my local counter told me there is actually no such thing as a ‘registered packet’ any more.

Time for the Guy Fawkes masks methinks, it really is unacceptable.

Eluiana says:
6 December 2014

Hundreds of items going missing in Brixham, Devon.

So, Royal Mail, what have you got to say for yourselves about the masses of mail going missing in Brixham – as discussed today on the Spotted Brixham facebook page.?

Convo thread thus far:

Spotted Brixham
12 hrs ·

Had a few items of mail both inbound and outbound go missing recently – various parcels, mainly. Both things I have sent out, and things that I was waiting for. The latest, my replacement debit card which the bank say was posted to me in October. And best of all, a claim form for a lost letter went missing itself, it seems! (at least, Royal mail have not replied for five weeks!)
Just a warning, whoever is being light fingered. Full records are being kept as to the missing things and if it carries on I will be going to the press. As some of the missing items are inbound from various places, and some of them ones I posted, and two of them even had tracking from abroad, that went awol when they had been processed into the UK, it is pretty obvious that it is somewhere in Devon that the sticky fingered persons are.
A fed up resident in Brixham.

South Devon Drama
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Marion Pryor, Dawn Quinonostante, Ang Mckinnell and 21 others like this.
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Helen Keates Pratt We have had so much post go missing in ward and out that we are now tracking everything through the post office. But still things are not getting through its a nightmare.
Like · Reply · 2 · 12 hrs

Ang Mckinnell This happened to me many years ago now, but I wrote a letter to myself every day for a week or so with different envelopes and handwriting on them and a message to the oppertunist…. and believe it or not… it stopped.
Like · Reply · 8 · 12 hrs

Morgan Ring same here,have had 2 inbound parcels go missing,one ended up at a neighbors tho but the other has disappeared.
Like · Reply · 12 hrs

Becky Chatburn We have had post bot turn up and stuff that has taken longer that normal to arrive i was told you can put a compensation sation claim to the sorting office,
Like · Reply · 11 hrs

James A Goree Are courier services being affected as well
Like · Reply · 11 hrs

Susan Rogers Daniel Rogers
Like · Reply · 11 hrs

Dawn Quinonostante Post is dreadful where I am too. It either doesn’t show up or it gets completely misdelivered to another house with my number, in the next street. The woman whose house it goes to is very elderly and confused. She throws it out. She threw out my daughter’s replacement driving licence and more. A package of mine from Debenhams, the Tor bin folk rescued and returned to me. I have complained sooooo many times to the sorting office, postie is a nice guy, but they need to sort it out (sort it, see what I did there?). A couple of weeks ago the lady who gets my missing mail turned up at my door demanding to know why I was “using her address”.
Like · Reply · 11 hrs

Sandra Singleton Duffy I received a disc that was posted to me in August from Australia yesturday what does that say about the post.
Like · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs

Rachel Fox At Xmas time there is a heck of a lot of post going through so some things will go missing but also get delayed if in doubt send special delivery covers the cost of item and postage refunded if not delivered. But as it is tracked from a to b should be able to find out where it is going missing. Or if delivered to the wrong place you can see a signature of who took it in. I recommend that especially as the post is so busy at the moment. If you have lost an item pick up a form from the post office, however they will not look into it until you have waited 15 days from the date of posting. Hope this helps
Like · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs

Muffet Kelly-Visser Which areas of Brixham are these items going missing?
Like · Reply · 11 hrs

George Adamson Were the missing parcels carried by the post office or a different carrier. The items that were tracked from abroad to the UK, why can’t you track them using the same tracking? I would contact the border force on them as they may have been stopped. With regards to the post office delivering your mail have you registered that you do not want them left with a neughbour? With regards to lost claim form phone or email them to find out whats happening
Like · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs · Edited

Marion Pryor Waiting for parcel should have been here,Wednesday,track out of warehouse,then vanished,never made it to the carrier,s
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Morgan Ring both my parcels were tracked, two different people signed for them,got one back from the neighbor,the other has obviously become an early Xmas present for someone.Complained many times to Royal Fail, never really get anywhere…
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Sian Way I also have had parcels and letters go missing not happy!!
Like · Reply · 8 hrs

Lianne Parker weve had all ours
Like · Reply · 8 hrs

Nanny Jan We have had parcels and letters go missing x
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Rose Emily Perrett This keeps happening to me, it’s driving me mad, and when I do get post it goes to one of my neighbours, who keep opening it!https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=478423082296116&id=276700279135065
(Spotted Brixham page)

Jill says:
11 January 2015

Quote “The Post Office is, however, liable for loss of or damage to a
registered inland postal packet when the loss or damage is caused by the wrongful
act, neglect or default of a servant or agent of the Post Office. The maximum
amount recoverable by the sender is the market value of the packet”

So what is the position when the item itself has no intrinsic value but to replace it (posted but never arrived) is going to cost me over £75. TBH the level of £20 is so low it isn’t worth RM investigating to any real extent, they just bung you £20 and a few stamps to cover your postage and walk away wiping their hands. It stinks. And for letters or small packets outside of a big city there is no real alternative – nor for Signed For letters as a legal notice, especially in rural areas.

Oh dear !!!! Seems that royal mail has lost yet another recorded delivery package of mine.Tracking number showing it’s still in the royal mail network.Customer saying she has not received when it was posted on the 2nd of jan 1st class this time to the value of £12.95.Looks like it’s a book of stamps to cover my postage costs as compensation yet again.Second lost recorded item in the past 7 months Outrageous!!!! What annoys me most is that i am a postman and have been for the last 26 yrs and they are losing my packages not just recorded packages either grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

please refer to post: Posted 30 July 2014

Hi I posted a Birthday card on Fri 23 Jan 2015, for Daughters Birthday on 28th Jan 2015, and she still has not received it, with 1st class stamp, it was posted in LANGLEY MILL NOTTS, AND WAS GOING TO AYLESBURY IN BUCKS, WITH THE POSTCODE ON.. AND ALSO I POSTED A PARCEL SIGNED FOR 1ST CLASS, ON 28 jAN 2015, TO SHEFFIELD AND SHE STILL HAS NOT RECEIVED IT, I AM REALLY UNHAPPY WITH ROYAL MAIL AT THE MOMENT, SO MUCH THAT I WILL CERTAINLY THINK TWICE ABOUT SENDING ANYTHING AT ALL WITH THEM…. I KNOW WE HAD SOME BAD WEATHER, LAST WEEK AND I REALLY DO APPRECIATE OUR POSTPEOPLE WHO DELIVER THEM….. NOT THEIR FAULT, BRING BACK THE OLD DAYS, WHEN ROYAL MAIL WAS ROYAL MAIL AND NOT PRIVATISED!!!!!

yvo, I remember when you could post a birthday card for 2d the evening before, and it would arrive in the follwing morning’s post. My relatives used to communicate by post card and I believe if you caught the early morning post it could arrive in the lunchtime delivery. “Please come for tea”!

I was speaking to a friend just before lunchtime yesterday, asking if he had a historical document dating from 1969. He said he should be able to find it and send me a copy. The postman delivered it about 9.30 this morning.

Maciej says:
2 February 2015

Hi,
I submitted a claim for a lost item and received 12 x 1st class stamps. I’d rather have a cheque because the stamps are of no use to me. I usually send parcels and they are always “signed for”. Do you know if the stamps can be used in this case?

You can put any combination of postage stamps on a parcel [as well as on letters] to make up the price. If the total value you have used is short of the amount required, the Post Office can top it up with a label or with extra stamps to the correct sum and you just pay the additional amount.

Martin Sylvester says:
14 February 2015

They are a shambles and inept, it is of no surprise to me that they are going under. Any and all businesses who offer a service (such as my own small business) have a duty of care and responsibility. It seems to be open day on the public of this country, we are sitting ducks and targets for shoddy service and goods, the post office are not alone in this. When I get a consistent service from anyone, I have taken time out to write and praise the company. My regular post person is great and works hard to circumvent the system and provide a brilliant service to my neighborhood with out him it would be in turmoil.

The only time he was away, just before xmas 2014 I sent for a rare cup and saucer (a marketing product from the Friends TV series circa 1996 central perk). These are very hard to find, my daughter is a huge fan of the series. So I finally found one, the usual card ‘failed delivery’ it then dragged on so much as they failed to redeliver and then when it finally arrived (3 weeks later) it was just in the nick of time. But of course it was damaged and no good as a present. I finally found another one and was literally held to ransom to get it. But I did and she was over the moon.

The lady who I bought the item from had packed it with great care, no issues there. The box had clearly been through the mill and totally mishandled. I gathered every bit of paper work possible, proof of everything. It took ages to sort out, even copies of pictures taken immediately after it was opened (and dated on pics) showing the damage. Sent it all in. Did not hear anything at all not even an acknowledgment. Way after the 30 day period I received a letter with 6 1st class stamps and a fob off, they even used the phrase ‘ I am afraid the best we can offer is 6 1st class stamps’ and more blurb. If you wish to take this further then please send the parcel and item etc etc. Why not ask for this in the first place. Because it is all a scam, they have no concept of customer relations or management. They do this based on the principle that most people will just give up and not pursue the matter, it is to wear you down.

We just do not seem to have any champions anymore, no one looks out for the public and it is a sad indictment on our selfish society. What is the point of people paying to try and get the best from the postal service when they really do not care.

I sent a time-sensitive letter by first class recorded delivery for £1.73. Two weeks later, it has still not been delivered. Consequently I had to re-send the letter by special delivery for £6.45. I reckon the Post Office should refund me the £6.45 as they failed to meet their commitment to deliver my original letter. However, they refuse to accept liability!

E.M.O.

Presumably the first letter you sent has disappeared without trace. There ought to be some redress for that because presumably the Royal Mail cannot prove that they delivered it to the addressee. As Maciej has said above, if you make a formal claim, depending on the circumstances, you might receive “compensation” in the form of 12 First Class stamps [value £7.56].

Unfortunately, the “Signed For ” service [previously known as “Recorded Delivery”] does not guarantee delivery by a specific date; even if you send it First Class it is not reliable enough to ensure next day delivery. For certain delivery you have to use the “Special Delivery Guaranteed” service. It is more expensive but worth it if a letter is time-sensitive and on-line tracking is also available with that service.

billy says:
5 September 2015

Buying a property in Lagos Portugal and need to send a power of attorney certificate over to Portugal so posted a tracked letter to him, track status said it arrived but no one to sign, then the second track says it is the wrong address, which it is not. My solicitor says no card has been left as they do in England to say we tried to deliver etc come and collect or arrange for another delivery. The certificate cost me £90 in the UK getting the notary and authentication signatures and the sale is suppose to take place in 10 days time. What a disaster and any suggestions of who I contact in Lagos Portugal to stop it being sent back to me?