Royal Mail Guaranteed Delivery

  Al94 14:13 09 Jan 2004

Just wasted a whole morning waiting in for a "guaranteed delivery before 12.00 noon" Royal mail website tracking confirmed it should be delivered. Did it come? - NO! Contacted Royal Mail who said it had been delayed and wouldn't br delivered until Monday (when I won't be here). They helpfully told me that the sender would be refunded the postage cost! So what does the inconvenienced recipient get? Nowt!!!

  Forum Editor 14:22 09 Jan 2004

but I'm not sure what you think you should get to be honest.

I use the guaranteed delivery service (sometimes called special delivery) all the time to send stuff to clients, and it works almost every time. On the rare occasion there's a glitch - and it is rare - I get the cost of the postage refunded, which is fair treatment in my book.

We seem to be degenerating into becoming a compensation culture, whereby everyone expects some form of recompense for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. I know that we should strive for perfection in all things, but big postal delivery services are run by human beings, they depend heavily on transport systems run by other human beings, and sometimes people make mistakes - we all do it.

  Mike574 15:11 09 Jan 2004

If you have paid the sender extra money for next day delivery then I would ask for a refund as that seem only far. However if the cost of next day delivery was paid for by the sender there is not alot you can do. Why not contact Royal Mail and explain you won't be in and ask them if they would drop it off at a neighbors house.

  Forum Editor 15:31 09 Jan 2004

at a neighbours - special delivery packages normally need to be signed for by the addressee - or at least someone who is physically at the address. What will happen is that the package will 'fail' the delivery and will be returned to the sorting office. You'll get the usual slip through your door, and you can either collect the package or ask the Post office to redeliver on a specified date. You'll have to take some form of ID if you collect in person.

  Al94 17:05 09 Jan 2004

Seems I'm not allowed a little whinge without being taken off at the knees FE!!!!!

You're absolutely right that service standards can slip for a variety of reasons, I should know as I worked in a service industry for 34 years. What I don't think is necessarily fair is that if anyone should be compensated at all, it is the recipient who has been more put out than the sender. I will have to arrange to get to the nearest sorting office some time at the beginng of the week and I did waste a morning. Yes, I will ask for the postage to be refunded to me as a matter of principle

  Forum Editor 17:41 09 Jan 2004

I'm sorry if I gave that impression - it wasn't intended.

It's the sender who pays (quite a lot)for the service - at least as far as the Post office is concerned - so that's who they're going to compensate. You don't have any contract with the Post Office, so obviously they're not going to offer you anything. Your complaint must be directed to the suppliers.

  Al94 18:12 09 Jan 2004


  only me 20:38 09 Jan 2004

surly it is up to sender to compensate addressee from his/her fee from p/o

  Kilobyte 00:22 10 Jan 2004

I have a recent unsatisfactory experience of royal mail special delivery - when an important document was sent but the web site consistently failed to give any tracking info for the item. This concerned me greatly as i thought the item had been lost. Contacted customer services and after a few days they confirmed the item had been delivered on time but could not explain at all why the delivery had not been updated on the system!

  Forum Editor 08:49 10 Jan 2004

is a wonderful thing when it works, but when it doesn't it's very frustrating.

About a year ago I was asked to set up a tracking system for a large import company. They ship goods into the UK from the Far East, and distribute them to retails outlets all over Europe. The orders have to be picked from a warehouse containing hundreds of stacks of different items, and the company wanted their customers to be able to track orders online.

I quickly realised what a complex process it all was, and how easy it is for the whole thing to go wrong - you only need one person to forget to scan a barcode on a consignment for it all to fall apart (the system, not the consignment!).

The Royal Mail tracking system is enormous by comparison, and from time to time that old enemy of the system planner - the human element - will creep in, particularly at peak times like Christmas. Can you imagine what the courier parcel hubs and Royal Mail sorting offices look like in the week before Christmas?

  A,,W,,B,, 14:33 10 Jan 2004

One of the problems with the Royal Mail tracking system is that all delivered and non delivered items need to be downloaded into the system by around 12:50 pm each day. If the postman/woman is not back at the delivery office by that time then the items are confirmed by acception which means when you look for your item on track & trace it appears to have been delivered.Indeed the human element is basically the only problem with this excellent service.

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