Royal Mail

Just wanted to throw this one out there. I had cause to send an item via Special Delivery at a cost of £6.85. Item was posted at Post Office on a Sunday afternoon for pick up on Monday morning (which occurred) so obviously guaranteed next day delivery by 1pm would be Tuesday. I put tracking details in the Royal Mail app on my phone, and the package didn’t get to the destination until the Wednesday, 24 hours later than RM’s contractual obligation.

Anyway, filled in claim form online for ‘Royal Mail investigation’ and clearly they admitted they’d broken their contract and refunded me by cheque within 48 hours of submitting the claim. No explanation from Royal Mail why they didn’t deliver on time. Uploaded cheque via Starling which cleared within 24 hours.

Just so readers are aware if you don’t already know, Royal Mail it seems will not inform you if they don’t deliver the item within the paid time frame, even when they are at fault. A customer only has 14 days to submit a claim, otherwise, you’ve had it and just have to suck it up. Basically, if you send anything via Special Delivery, keep a good eye on the tracking and make sure you’re getting the service you’ve paid for.


A few months back I paid a fair chunk of money for something extremely time sensitive to be delivered via Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm. I was therefore not too pleased when it ended up arriving at 3.50pm in the afternoon, and was ready to submit a claim until I read the small print of the RM website and saw that ‘due to coronavirus’ (which had been well and truly with us for over a year at this point - nothing new), Guaranteed by 1pm would now be delivered anytime up to 4pm. But instead of relabelling the service ‘Guaranteed by 4pm,’ they kept the same name that you select on their website and at online store checkouts as ‘Guaranteed by 1pm,’ despite the fact that this was now completely inaccurate. Really misleading imo.

(RM says that they’ve gone back to actually delivering at the time the name of the service implies as of 31st August)

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Yes, I saw that they had reverted to their promised delivery times as from the 31st August 2021. As it turns out, it was my passport that I sent off which still had six months remaining on it, but I’m supposed to be going abroad in a few weeks time and of course when is a ten year passport not a ten year passport? when the country you’re visiting insists on 6 months remaining as a condition of entry, and that applies to a lot of countries. So I had little choice but to send it off Special Delivery for security reasons.

I think the Government should force Royal Mail to contact customers directly when they’ve breached their contract regarding delivery times where a service such as Special Delivery has been utilised. After all, Royal Mail will have known they’d failed to deliver on time. It just seems (to me) that they hope that if the delivery doesn’t make it on time, then the customer won’t notice and with the 14 day time limit, also hope the customer doesn’t realise until it’s too late to claim. I know that’s a rather cynical view, but there it is.

Anyway, mustn’t grumble too much, I’ve ultimately ended up with free delivery.

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At the height of the first lockdown, I sold a few items on eBay and sent them by RM Special Delivery. Using their tracking, 3 out of 5 items didn’t show as being delivered - no signature, basically said the item was moving through their network. I was a bit worried but none of the buyers complained, so presumably they were actually delivered. I would have complained to RM but I assumed at the time they would invoke the blanket coronavirus caveat, so I let it go. It is annoying though when you pay extra for the time guarantee, signature, tracking, etc. but don’t get what you’ve paid for.

I believe they don’t even do the signature bit anymore (again, ‘because of coronavirus’). I thought they were instead supposed to take a photo of the item at the destination, but I haven’t even received that as of late.

If you have the Royal Mail App, when the item is delivered, the person who signs for it does their ‘squiggle’ on the PDA that the post person hands to them. I have a signed for ‘squiggle’ on my app but of course the signature is completely meaningless because who actually signs their name properly on a PDA that you have to use your finger on?

DPD certainly take a photo of the delivery when they deliver to my home. Not sure about other companies though. I had a tracked delivery from Amazon just this morning that was delivered by Royal Mail, knock on the door, no signature required but my Royal Mail App pushed me a notification almost immediately to say it had been delivered.

I’m still awaiting a parcel from Amazon EU, coming from Deutche I think. It’s already showing on my Royal Mail app as in transit.

I personally haven’t had the little signature device handed to me since coronavirus started last year. And their website says that they aren’t collecting signatures upon receipt anymore:

Government should not force Royal Mail to do anything more lest they’re going to nationalise them

My uncle works for Royal Mail at a level where he has a good bit of internal understanding on the difficulties of everything

Royal Mail gets fined by their regulator for stupid things and having to send post something like 5-6 days a week to tens of millions of homes actually costs a lot and they struggle to meet those targets, any further financial burden and the government will need to take over the company

Oh no, poor privatised, profit-oriented companies, how dare the public ask they’re held a bit more accountable!?

Royal Mail would need the sender’s contact details - which on the whole, they don’t have.

Since the start of Covid, post men/women have been told to write XP1 instead of getting a signature.

I believe the longer term plan is that each letter posted has its own barcode - so they can track mail more efficiently.

Would be valid if Royal Mail didn’t only make £620m on 12bn revenue

On top of that, workers at Royal Mail get shares or got them (I’m not actually really sure, but my uncle has some from working there) so this isn’t going into the pockets of billionaires as so much the large workforce they have

Especially after the tough year they’ve had with postmen having to isolate and their responsibilities not being downgraded at all, meaning they got penalised due to missing targets that were unreasonable, it’s time we cut them some slack especially when their competition is so fierce.

When you send something by Special Delivery, which was effectively the subject of what I was talking about, Royal Mail does have the senders details because the sender has to write their name and address on the package, or in my case, an official Royal Mail Special Delivery envelope. I get it that once they hand the package over to the recipient, they then probably don’t have access to the senders details, however, their own automated systems would be able to detect if they’ve failed to deliver a Special Delivery package because I’m assuming everything is recorded via barcodes. Well something must be recorded because the person in the Post Office scans the barcode into the Royal Mail system and it is subsequently available for the sender to see in the Royal Mail App if they can be bothered to have the App that is.

Yes, I see that now I’ve turned my iphone upside down, it does say XP1, so clearly that indicates to me that the post person has self signed when handing the package over to the Passport Office, undoubtedly aware that the package was delivered 24 hours later than it was supposed to have been.

I’m afraid we’re just going to have to agree to disagree. I paid money and entered into a contract and the provider failed to meet it’s obligation. If I hadn’t noticed that Royal Mail had broken their contract, I would have just been another customer that ended up with a piss poor service with no recompense. The only reason I queried the delay, was because it was a passport otherwise I may well not have bothered because most things just aren’t as important as a passport, well at least in my life anyway.

I’m afraid my sympathies with Covid being used as an excuse for delays have long gone down the pan. That might not sit well with folks, but there it is.

For the most part I think Royal Mail do a great job, but they deserve criticism where it’s due.

I don’t mean you, your reason for complaint was valid. I mean I don’t like the idea of the government forcing more burden upon Royal Mail.

People who pay and don’t even notice, paid for a performative service. It didn’t matter.

Eh, unfortunately for Royal Mail, they have a lot of cross contact between people so staff getting kept at home was very frequent.

Interestingly, so we’ve had two deliveries today, one for me and one for my Wife, both from Royal Mail. Post person knocked door for my delivery, but my Wife’s, he just chucked her parcel down on the floor in our car port. We have him on camera doing just that, so he hardly put himself at risk. We were both in at the time!

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I don’t mean you, I mean when he gets deliveries. My uncle had several people off from his own office due to being exposed to COVID / being positive.

:rofl: I know you don’t mean me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I was merely pointing out that there’s being wary of being around the public when making deliveries, but to not even bother knocking the door and just leaving the parcel outside without even putting a card through the door, is being just plain bloody lazy in my book.

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I really don’t know what to make of the Royal Mail just lately.
I received some mail last week, which I definitely wasn’t expecting so contacted the sender.
It turns out that it was actually posted LAST NOVEMBER!
Now I know there have been delays due to Covid, but almost a year is an absolute joke.

I’m pretty sure this isn’t a requirement. I have posted/received things by Special Delivery without the sender’s address on it.

Besides the key is that the information would need to be recorded somewhere electronically - probably at the point of sending so any system as you propose could be automated - leading to bigger queues/slower transactions at post offices.

I imagine the person delivering the item doesn’t care about when it was posted either - just that they have to deliver it.

Whether it is standard operating procedures or not for the sender to put their own name and address details on the item to be despatched, I can 100 percent assure you that the Post Office employee who handled my own transaction, told me to put my name and address on the envelope before she scanned it and placed it in the bag. As I understand it, there’s a reason for doing that, it’s so if there’s a problem, Royal Mail can contact the sender if there’s a problem, or if Royal Mail believe the package is suspicious, they can trace the sender and contact the authorities as necessary.

Undoubtedly you are correct, they probably don’t give a crap, after all, they’re just delivering it and that’s what they’re paid to do. Meanwhile, the mug who’s sent an item expecting it to get to the destination on time, just has to hope it does, or, do as I did, check and ultimately claim for what was a clear breach of contract.

My entire view is, if a company can’t fulfil its service as advertised, especially when payment is taken, they may as well not bother. And to be honest, I don’t care for excuses. I’ve read the tracking info on my own parcel and it reached the Royal Mail delivery centre in Warrington on the day it was supposed to. It could have and should have been delivered to the Passport Office in Liverpool within a couple of hours of landing there but instead it was delivered a full 24 hours later. That is not as advertised and it wasn’t what I paid for.

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It’s mainly so that the package can be sent back to you if it can’t be delivered for some reason.