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Royal Mail “lose” items faster since August 10th

By Chris Dawson October 21, 2015 - 11:13 am

Royal Mail have lowered the time scales for an item to be considered lost from 15 days to 10 days.

In truth this change kicked in back on August the 10th, but we didn’t notice at the time and Tamebay reader Dan has just bought it to out attention. The changes are:

Items sent using 1st Class and 2nd Class services (including Royal Mail Signed For) will be treated as lost if they are not delivered 10 or more working days after the due delivery date. This has been reduced from 15 working days.

Items sent using Special Delivery Guaranteed will be treated as lost if they are not delivered 5 or more working days after the due delivery date. This has been reduced from 10 working days.

It’s helpful to sellers to know that an item’s considered lost in a shorter time frame, especially those that want to wait until they can claim before they replace or refund an item. It’s also fair to point out that in the last reported quarter Royal Mail report that they lost just 47,858 items. Out of something close to 600,000,000 items a year that’s not even a decimal place on the accounts.

Full details are on the Royal Mail website.

  • Dave
    1 year ago

    They claim to have lost 47,858 items but what about customers with OBA that send standard post, it’s not possible to claim for these losses & as such there could be many many more parcels that could be going missing, this figure could be simply, no where near the actual figure.

    • zena
      1 year ago

      Totally agree Dave. We use OBA and quite often items go missing which we have to re-send as we are unable to claim as business customers. They are either sending mail to the wrong depot’s, or they have staff stealing post.
      The figure Roayl mail have provided must be double that with OBA customers.

    • Martin
      1 year ago

      Concur with the other comments on this issue. RM figures are probably nonsense. Add in all the unreported losses from business customers and the figure will be substantially higher. Nevertheless, experience is they lose way less than 1%, and it is certainly manageable..

      The figures for items not delivered within the timeframe are also certain to be skewed and unrealistic. Who ever reports this, business or domestic?

      What I would really like to know is what happens to the very many lost parcels. I used to get some of them back but haven’t had a return for many many months. Could RM provide an answer? I would have thought they had a duty of care to the customer, and just disposing of these without attempting return doesn’t fulfil that duty.

    • Colin Hughes
      1 year ago

      What happens to lost parcels? They hold auctions I think.
      Ebay people go to them……

  • Stuart
    1 year ago

    Be interesting to know how they count ‘lost’ items?

    For example business customers can not longer claim, so does that mean that these are not counted as ‘lost’ and ‘lost’ is counted from the claims that are made?

    Is ‘lost’ counted when it’s left in a wheelie bin or delivered to the wrong address. As a business on an industrial estate, just about every day we receive goods for another business on the estate from Royal Mail!

  • Simon E
    1 year ago

    “It’s also fair to point out that in the last reported quarter Royal Mail report that they lost just 47,858 items. Out of something close to 600,000,000 items a year….”

    I think this is like crime statistics,REPORTED LOSSES.
    Do I bother trying to claim for a £4.50 item lost in the post. No. I suck it up like most sellers. Have you, the reader, ever tried claiming. What would be more interesting would be how much readers have received in compensation. I bet it is a fraction of what they claim.

    RE “It’s helpful to sellers to know that an item’s considered lost in a shorter time frame, especially those that want to wait until they can claim before they replace or refund an item.”

    Why doesn’t ebay only allow a customer to open an INR case after these times then?

    Most of the time Royal Mail do a pretty good job and especially our local posties.
    What I hate is the misconception that is forced down the throats of consumers which is 1st class 1 day and 2nd class 2-3. The words are “from” and “Aim”.

    If a customer selects 1st class and pays extra, BY GOD they want that packet the next day and if they don’t get it no amount of “Please wait 10 days” will cut it.

    Real world and Royal Mail – Ebay world are sometimes quite different.

  • 1 year ago

    The reason why Royal Mail show that they have lost less is that businesses cannot claim on 1st & 2nd Class post. That way 59952142 go undetected. The 47,858 are the ones who have proof of postage which will be the small volume posters who don’t have a contract with Royal Mail or individuals. Easy to manipulate the numbers when you know how.

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    I never claim on a lost parcel – I tried it once and found myself chasing a rabbit for months (time is money). Didn’t get a refund. Generally, though, Royal Mail have been reliable – sorry they were privatised – I suspect we’ll get less for more money as time goes on.

  • super
    1 year ago

    life is to short to claim against Royal Mail for lost in post items,

    Gathering together all the information, like proof of postage, cost of item receipt, if you buy in massive bulk of assorted items this is obviously impossible to provide a single item receipt, fill in the stupid form send it all off,

    Then get it back because you have claimed to early, or have the claim refused because I use OBA only to be told by RM adviser you can claim if you use OBA but only with the BPL code,

    So then re send out the form only to have them except the claim when they rejected it the last time,

    All this phaff for £3.00 claim,

    Recorded losses are probably only 10% of actual losses as most lost items are just stolen by customers if there is no signature they know it is not tracked,

    I even get theft by customers when it is sent recorded,

    The real test will be when this new barcode tracking system comes in fully for all post,

    Wouldn’t it be amazing is theft dramatically dropped ?,

    I suspect it will, as I trust the Royal Mail far more than I trust my customers.

    • BigTimeTrader
      1 year ago

      I agree – some days it pains me that we do not claim but like you say, “all this for £3”

      What is your average sale price per item?

      £0-£5
      £5-£10
      £10-£15
      £15-£20
      £20 +

  • BigTimeTrader
    1 year ago

    Wait 10 or 15 working days before we can make a claim?
    and/or
    Then when a claim is successful we will replace/refund?

    Wow.

    Buyers do not tolerate this.

    Vast majority of buyers are not satisfied if the item is not delivered within the ETA.

    Why do we get items RTS (return to sender) when a buyer has previously complained about non-receipt?

    You cannot guarantee that all calling cards are left or read assuming they are left.

    Not tracked/signed for mail is a risk. Build it into your costs (RM and sellers) and absorb it/ cover it.

    Loss, theft, fraud, mistakes, laziness etc is a part of life. Accept and adapt.

  • tinker
    1 year ago

    it would be nice if ebay were less blind to buyer mail fraud

  • Kieran
    1 year ago

    We never claim for lost mail.

    As many point out, the business postal products cannot be claimed against unless tracked.

    We replace approximately 10 items per week out of about 2500 items posted.

    It is not worth the labour cost to claim for the losses and they only pay out cost price of goods if you are eligable, so for our low cost items it is just not worth bothering.

    I imagine that hundreds of thousands of businesses across the country also write off lost mail rather than try and claim, these stats are definately well under the real lost figure, i would love to know where all this mail ends up exactly, of course some of our customers are fraudsters so that accounts for part of it.

    How many lorries of mail is 47,000 items approximately?

    I doubt royal mail have a warehouse big enough to house the real quantity of lost mail.

    Providing our lost figure stays well under 1% it is managable enough, most retailers build the losses into the prices customers pay.

  • 1 year ago

    Let us not forget that the Royal Mail has auctions of mail that it has not been able to deliver and where they cannot return it to sender. These are held I understand in Belfast.

    I always wonder if the parcels that go astray in the post and are complained about on Tamebay are the very same post being auctioned.

    In my case I put prominently on every item I send out the Return Address. So far(touch wood) my loss rate is very low. I wonder does ever shipper put the Return Address on the parcel? I do not include the Return Address being on the address label because if this gets ripped off in some way then the address and the return address has gone. No I write on the item itself the Return Address.

    I only use the Post Office to send items and generally I am very happy. The one example I can remember when an item went missing I believe that the customer had wanted 2 off so ordered 1 off and then claimed that it had not been delivered. But as it was a relatively low value item(less than £20) I sent a replacement and he was happy.

    My advice would always be over mark an item with the address and Return Address and you should be safe from your items ending up in the Belfast Auctions.

  • AndyB
    1 year ago

    Are Royal mail completely deluded or blatantly lying?

    As a small seller posting an average of 5 – 10 parcels a day via post office drop and go, just looking at my eBay invoice numbers I am very sure losses equate to 1-2% . As mentioned by Kieran I expect these losses and so pass cost onto the majority of honest customers.
    eBay do have allot to answer for as there is a large discrepancy between eBay and amazon losses even though same postal method used. As also mentioned by BigTimeTrader a fair % of parcels are mysteriously RTS and customers claiming no missed delivery card left …. Just a few months ago I had personal experience of this made even worse by asking postie if anything waiting and he said no …. As I had complete trust in my supplier I raised enquiry in my local post office, sure enough item was delivered next day.

    Ref postal fraud I have been defrauded by another business seller far bigger than myself ordering 3 items to different customers to cover his own inventory shortage but then stupidly claiming 2 INRs (If you read this don’t worry I will never let it drop)
    I called eBay support with evidence and rightly so they said I needed proof from RM ….. It took far longer than eBays 90 days to get this answer from David Gee board of directors office RM

    “Ms M—— from 16 ………….., Bingham, Nottinghamshire NG….. 8……. has replied to my letter. She confirmed that she did receive the cutlery set. She has also advised that she did not contact the seller about the delivery. I have not heard from the other recipient. This may be due to the time that has passed but as we have not heard from them, we would assume the item to be delivered.”

    He then went on to say as they were posted as large letters “Stamp” with no proof of postage there was nothing I could do!!!!
    This is the crap they spin to avoid admitting they do loose parcels and it comes right from the top!

    • AndyB
      1 year ago

      In regards to Post office drop and go
      much down to my afore mentioned example DO NOT BOTHER If you are just starting out or happy small just print your labels online and drop into post office collection bags.

      After 6 yrs my loyalty to the post office stretches no further than my local postmistress, when I passed afore mentioned case to Post office complaints system they just passed case back to RM to self investigate response was due to time elapsed they had no record.

      Keep all your losses on record lets hope one day a ppi like example is set on royal mail…. I live in hope lol

  • 1 year ago

    Like so many others, I don’t bother claiming for items Royal Mail lose; many of our products are low value, high volume ones where it just isn’t cost effective to send them all tracked.

    Luckily, we’re in a sector where the vast majority of customers are decent, honest people. But I keep a record of all loss claims and their outcomes. An interesting statistic is that as a percentage of sales order volumes, eBay losses run at three times the rate of losses on our website or Amazon.

  • Brian M
    1 year ago

    I never claim for lost items anymore (and I send everything tracked), unless the loss is more than £50. That is because RM ensure every single loss claim takes far more time and effort to deal with than the value of the item.

    Also, every single (and I mean every, without exception) claim form I have submitted over the years has been ‘lost’, requiring a re-submission, sometimes twice. Which you can only do if you have a copy of the original postal receipt. I have only ever received ‘ex-gratia’ payments from RM insurance for a loss, with no admission of any fault – I assume this is simply a way of avoiding recording a lost parcel and payout?

    I want to know if the 47,858 is for lost items reported, or for actual claims paid out as lost? If its the latter, then the actual figure for lost parcels must be in the millions. On the other hand, losses are rare, and often turn up at my door a couple of months later.

    • Colin H
      1 year ago

      We have exactly same experience as Brian M. They wear you down. We take it on the head for low item stuff. Dear stuff is signed for. Ebay / Amazon losses in line with what is said on here.

      If RM had a system where you could click an email put a postcode in and say item lost to postcode I think it would run to many100,000’s.

      It would show where the thieving was going on. Where wrong deliveries are taking place

      But its not going to happen is it Royal Mail.

    • Colin H
      1 year ago

      Also insuring parcel with Royal Mail a big big scam. You’ve sold something on Ebay for £200. It gets lost on the way. They want receipts of item sent, from where you bought it. So if you bought lost item at a carboot for 50p you’re on a looser. This I think also applies to any other stuff lost, no proof of item bought no chance.

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