Friday, 31 October 2014

More Royal Fail


Ah, Royal Fail.

I sent a parcel to a friend. A novel, some DVDs, a magazine, and a 16 GB USB stick with photos on. As usual I took a photo of it all in the packaging before posting, since I've experienced Royal Mail items going missing in the past. This is as much as I can do. Total value to replace: £20-30, them postage (another fiver?)

The items sent

The parcel never reached my friend. I then had to go through the clunky reporting process with Royal Mail (10th October). It takes so much time that it probably cost me an hour of my time, let's say another £6. We'll say Royal Mail has cost me £40 so far.

They state: "For all compensation claims for the contents of a letter or parcel you must provide:
Original proof posting
Original proof value (This evidence must show what it cost the claimant to acquire, purchase or manufacture the original item or repair in the case damaged)"

I included the original proof of posting. I didn't have the original receipts for the items - who does? I imagine most people don't have receipts for 99% of what is in their homes. However, the prices for these items were easy to find. I included printouts as examples of how much they cost, and assumed they would contact me for more information if required.

Today they sent me 6 piddling stamps (which don't even cover the postage costs), and claimed that I hadn't included enough information. I had included everything it was possible to include! They had never got in touch requesting further information or to ask questions, despite having my contact details. So they cost me £40 and wasted my time. That's what I call crappy service.

Oh, they don't include an email address on the letter they send, so there is no easy way to follow this up. They did point out that I could have paid even more money (maybe half the cost of the parcel!) to send it Special Delivery Guaranteed. Of course, according to them I still wouldn't have had enough evidence to get anything back when they lost it. What's more, my friend has a job, so is not there to sign for parcels. They then go back to the depot which is a pain for him to get to (especially in places like mine, where Royal Mail closed their in-town depots, and now people have to go to remote industrial estates). What a bunch of clowns.

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11th November 2014: Another letter off Royal Mail after I queried their crappy response. They still refused my claim for a parcel they lost. They based the refusal on two things.

1. “we need our customers to provide us with an original certificate of posting” – I included that.
2. “and documented evidence of value” – I did that to the best degree possible. Unless something is brand new then no-one will have the receipt for each book and CD a year or so down the line. 99% of things in our homes no longer have receipts. So requiring original receipts is obviously ridiculous. I did the next best thing. I included photos of the items in the parcel (next to the addressed envelope); I included printouts of how much the items cost to buy, for anything over a few pounds; and for the lower-priced items it is easy to check the price on eBay, or I would have done that if asked.

Royal Mail is being obtuse and uncooperative, as usual.

9th December 2014: My continued complaints bore fruit - I was refunded the £20 parcel contents today. Great, a good outcome there, but it's a shame you have to work so hard, and RM still insisted (their get-out clause) that they will only refund with the receipts for each item, even though no-one keeps the original receipts after the first few weeks.

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