1st Class Mail

  Pine Man 11:14 12 Jun 2010

I needed to send a letter that contained important (not valuable) information and I needed to know that it arrived.

On the advice of the post office I sent it 1st class recorded delivery on the 2 June and then regularly tracked it on the Royal Mail web site to see when it was delivered.

Today, 12th June, according to their web site 'Item AG********* was posted at 'my local post office' on 02/06/10 and is being progressed through our network for delivery.'

10 days and I don't even know if it has been delivered, yet alone signed for.

I can't complain until it hasn't been delivered until 15 WORKING DAYS have elapsed.

What a waste of space they are!! I suppose I will have to send it again now.

  961 12:49 12 Jun 2010

Well I have to say that your experience is not unusual so far as I am concerned

However, from experience I do know that it is very often the case that the item has arrived, it's just the tracking that has failed. Especially with regard to electronic receipts, and particularly where large companies sign for 637 items with one unintelligible squiggle. The receipt never gets back through the tracking system to your particular tracking number

Some time ago I bit the bullet. If I absolutely NEED to have a cast iron receipt of delivery I send it special delivery. Job done. It works. Expensive, yes. But that, I am afraid, is the choice now

  onthelimit 13:07 12 Jun 2010

I have to say that, over the last few years, I've never had this problem with them. My only gripe is the number of red elastic bands left lying around!

  Pine Man 13:41 12 Jun 2010

The letter was addressed to the Inland Revenue and I suppose that they have sacks of mail everyday and are averse to having someone available to receive all the mail that needs signing for!

You are probably correct in that it may well be there but the aggravating thing is that I don't know and delays with that organisation can turn out to be costly!!

We used to have loads of bands as well but they seem to have stopped. Maybe a cost cutting exercise and they are having to s t r e t c h their resources further;-)

  961 14:01 12 Jun 2010

With Her Maj's dear old Inland Revenue as you know in absolute chaos and with their total inability to even know which sack of mail your letter is in among all those thousands of sacks in that big warehouse next to the office, that is certainly numero uno in line for special delivery/registered post when corresponding with them

Especially with their penchant for slapping large fines upon you regardless of their fault/your fault

DVLA is another that demands special delivery when advising them of sold vehicle etc. And don't for goodness' sake allow the dealer to say he'll do it for you

  onthelimit 14:16 12 Jun 2010

Well, I think they should be 'banned'.

  rickf 15:06 12 Jun 2010

RM Recorded DElivery's tracking is more often than not up to date. I say this from experience. Its hit or miss depending how efficient the person for inputting data is. Often it arrives on time but not posted on the web, and sometimes NEVER. It's a disgrace. I only use this service now for the cover. For up to date tracking, avoid it like the plague.

  BT 16:45 12 Jun 2010

Can't say I had any problem when I recently sold my car. I just sent off the Registration Document correctly filled in by normal 1st class post and received the acknowledgment from them within a couple of weeks. Similarly received the documents for my new(ish) car within a similar period.

Similarly sent off Passport Renewals with Recorded Delivery and got new ones by courier in less than 2 weeks and old ones in the post on the same day.

  961 16:59 12 Jun 2010

Absolutely right. Only a fraction go wrong. But I can well remember a lunch at a friend's when two burly pc s turned up with 30 minutes questions about one DVLA had lost. No persuading otherwise and an uncontestable fine duly rode up and had to be paid.

Featured on Watchdog recently. No apology from the big man. We don't make mistakes. (Same story from head of HMRC on Watchdog last week) And think of the number we get right! One woman had her car CRUSHED! Find the story in the Watchdog files

These guys are dangerous. And totally untouchable.

Use special delivery. At least you can prove they DID get it

  PalaeoBill 19:55 12 Jun 2010

According to BBC Watchdog this week, it is taking the Inland Revenue 40 days to respond to snail mail.

  Big L 266 06:49 13 Jun 2010


I used to work for a well-known firm of Chartered Acountants in the City of London as their full-time head 'Postie'.

I can say that 1st nor 2nd Class Recorded Mail was not worth any due consideration. The Royal Mail do not treat Recorded Delivery mail any differently than they do their 1st or 2nd Class.

It is not a secure way of sending time-sensitive documents.The only thing this dreadful service offers is that you get a receipt to say you've sent it,and the receiver gets (if lucky) a receipt to say they've received it.In between,there is little difference to that of the treatment of ordinary mail.

I always advised people in my old firm to send anything of importance by Special Delivery timed to guarantee delivery either by 8am or 1pm depending on the fees paid. Special delivery was treated as completely secure separate mail from receipt to delivery within Royal Mail, and was trackable throughout its journey.

I would strongly advise you to only use Special Delivery Mail services.Yes you do pay a lot for this,and yes,it is better for you as sender to know that this item is signed for and on screen available to see by 4pm that same afternoon.

I hope this helps.

Big L 266

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