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Free Delivery Confirmation on every Royal Mail Standard parcel from Summer 2016

By Chris Dawson May 12, 2016 - 11:05 am

Royal Mail Delivery ConfirmationRoyal Mail have confirmed that from this summer they’ll be offering free delivery confirmation on all parcels sent by their standard 24 and 48 hour parcel services. By putting 2D barcoded labels on your parcels you’ll be able to enjoy free Delivery Confirmation when tracking goes live in the Summer.

This is fantastic news for all online retailers who need online delivery confirmation – that’s pretty much anyone that sells on eBay or Amazon as well as other marketplaces. Once the delivery confirmation goes live every parcel you ship with Royal Mail will have delivery confirmation and be eligible of eBay’s on time delivery metric and depending on value automatically qualify for PayPal seller protection.

There are plenty of ways to produce Royal Mail 2D barcode labels, online with tools like Royal Mail’s Despatch Manager Online, through the many multichannel management tools that have integrated Royal Mail services, with (free) bespoke integrations from NetDespatch and of course at your local Post Office with Click and Drop.

Royal Mail have already prepared 8,000 Post Offices for 2D barcodes and rolled out some 70,000 state of the art PDAs across their network. They are currently still testing to make sure that everything works perfectly for the summer launch of free tracking.

There are a ton of other enhancements such as free SMS or email notifications for parcel recipients and an increased compensation level for lost or damaged parcels which is raised to £100.

If you’re not already using Royal Mail 2D barcodes then it’s time to get ready. You can either contact Royal Mail through their website, speak to your third party software integrator or give the guys at NetDespatch a call and they’ll be more than happy to assist you.

  • Stuart
    1 year ago

    What does this mean for the parcels that ‘go missing’ and will business be able to claim for ‘lost’ parcels from then on?

    Also it’s not really going to help much when a customer says it hasn’t arrived and we say it has?

    I will wait to see what happens when it’s ‘live’.

  • Simon E
    1 year ago

    Maybe they will automatically recognise that the parcel is lost and automatically send you compensation, just like they do with recorded delivery.
    B-)

  • Lee Pearce
    1 year ago

    Currently, as a seller of low value, non tracked items using Royal Mail PPI, (OBA through DMO), when items “go missing” there are various reasons, theft from anywhere from point of handing over to after the item being delivered. Also incorrect addresses, delivered to wrong address, put in safe place, the list goes on as well buyer cant be bothered to pick the item up from the delivery office after a failed delivery.

    We have also not been able to claim for lost items, therefore these lost items do not get included in the Royal Mail Performance figures that get released periodically.

    When talking to Royal Mail previously, i have suggested they could just collate the lost item claims form PPI users so that persistent addresses can be identified as well rouge employees, but nothing has ever come of it.

    Royal Mail are in a position of strength, in that they have the infrastructure to blow the competition out of the water by offering a cheap tracked service for low value items, whilst they have the tracked service, it has always been cost prohibitive in the low value order market.

    If this Free Delivery confirmation comes in, then i can see only pluses, however as it is called “Delivery Confirmation” and not “tracked”, i suspect that compensation will still not be offered, but you may get a credit of your original postage cost.

    One area i would like to see the package location recorded is when attempted delivery has happened and its returned to the delivery office, so when the “Where’s my item” message comes in, i can look it up through DMO and let them know its ready for collection.

    Royal Mail want us to use DMO, as it helps with Revenue Protection, by adding Free Delivery Confirmation this should help with Reputation Protection for us and Royal Mail.

    Lee

  • Lee Pearce
    1 year ago

    Currently, as a seller of low value, non tracked items using Royal Mail PPI, (OBA through DMO), when items “go missing” there are various reasons, theft from anywhere from point of handing over to after the item being delivered. Also incorrect addresses, delivered to wrong address, put in safe place, the list goes on as well buyer cant be bothered to pick the item up from the delivery office after a failed delivery.

    We have also not been able to claim for lost items, therefore these lost items do not get included in the Royal Mail Performance figures that get released periodically.

    When talking to Royal Mail previously, i have suggested they could just collate the lost item claims form PPI users so that persistent addresses can be identified as well rouge employees, but nothing has ever come of it.

    Royal Mail are in a position of strength, in that they have the infrastructure to blow the competition out of the water by offering a cheap tracked service for low value items, whilst they have the tracked service, it has always been cost prohibitive in the low value order market.

    If this Free Delivery confirmation comes in, then i can see only pluses, however as it is called “Delivery Confirmation” and not “tracked”, i suspect that compensation will still not be offered, but you may get a credit of your original postage cost.

    One area i am liking is that the package location will be recorded when attempted delivery has happened and its returned to the delivery office, so when the “Where’s my item” message comes in, i can look it up through DMO and let them know its ready for collection.

    Royal Mail want us to use DMO, as it helps with Revenue Protection, by adding Free Delivery Confirmation this should help with Reputation Protection for us and Royal Mail.

    Lee

  • Will
    1 year ago

    This is great news for marketplace sellers against fraudulent buyers (especially those on eBay) claiming for item “not received”……

    The fraudsters will now need to make the most of their income and allocate the time they used conning sellers out of money into looking for jobs or better paid jobs

    • Steve
      1 year ago

      Don’t worry the fraudsters know plenty of other ways to get their goods for free

      The classic is the cheap item that’s the buyer claims as faulty and the eBay return label is more than the goods are worth some fraudsters try it on every purchase hoping for a refund without return,

    • Will
      1 year ago

      If you provide your own returns label and the product is a “no-fault” return,then sellers can charge buyers for the return postage cost and deduct from the refund

  • Tinker
    1 year ago

    Free delivery confirmation my arse, next will be free postage no doubt

    • Ian
      1 year ago

      believe it…they have been talking about this big leap since late 2014!

  • Andy R
    1 year ago

    There is no good reason why every item posted should not have at least a basic level of tracking.

    Mail already gets a barcode printed on it automatically during processing, even standard 1st and 2nd.

    It’s only a small step more to enable basic proof of posting / delivery to be added.

    As we have found when having problems with RM, their fallback position is always the same – we are not required to do whatever it is.

    The answer then is for the regulator to require some basic tracking on all items and then RM would have to do it.

    The price might rise a little, but not to the bloated levels of the current signed for service, which is more about insurance costs for losses up to
    £50 than actual service costs.

    They sneaked in the reduction to £20 compo for ordinary mail post privatisation, despite the 1971 Postal Services Act enshrining 100 x the first class stamp price as compensation, which today would be £64 compo for even basic mail.

  • Andy R
    1 year ago

    As a follow up, I worked for RM from 1982 to 1997 as a postie, postman higher grade and finally delivery office manager.

    I left when barcoding had come in and the plan, even back then, was to have all mail barcoded eventually (except junk mail shots).

    The problem was that successive governments did not want to invest. It is forgotten that RM contributed money to HMG for many years in the form of profits, instead of reinvesting.

    Basic universal tracking could be done for less than a quid a go, but the regulator will have to force it to come in.

    It would give a better service, items which vanished would leave a trail, making fraud or error at any point in the delivery much easier to detect.

  • Martin
    1 year ago

    In the main this is good news, but the catch is you must use Despatch Manager Online (DMO) or an approved integration. The downside of DMO is that to get your address labels you need to add the shipments before knowing the weight. This may not be a problem for domestic postage because the bands are so wide. However, one user told me that unlike OBA, DMO does not average out the price, but charges per parcel. Is this true? This will increase postage costs.

    The problem with weight is that if you ship multiple items in 1 packet it is very difficult to predict weight in advance because it depends so heavily on the exact mix of product and the packaging required. My products have huge variation in this.

    It also means that whereas it has been unnecessary to know the weight of each individual product up to now (my OBA average weight never exceeds 600g), to put anything into place i will have to come up with a packed weight for nearly 2000 products.

    The second problem is that for international where weight is critical you must either stick with OBA and therefore run 2 systems, or have an inefficient workflow where it will be necessary to write a name on the box, then match the label to the correct parcel when the labels are prepared.

    Am I right in this, or have I misunderstood, and is there a better way of doing it?

    • Lee Pearce
      1 year ago

      The average weight is exactly the same via DMO as through OBA, just think of DMO as the label creating software for OBA.

      What you do not see on DMO until you have done the “End of Day” is the Avge weight so you cant make a decision on adjusting your mail to fall into a better weight band, ie upgrading a 2nd class parcel to 1st class to bring the average weight of the 1st class to below 1KG.

      Personally we used an excel spread sheet to work out our 1 line entries for OBA, so when we moved across to DMO, we still use the spreadsheet to check if we need to do anything.

      We use packing partner (PP) to help generate the file to import into DMO and with PP you can create a file with the shipping weights of your products and for multiple item orders it will add then together automatically, although its not an exact science, we found it is pretty close which is more than fine for domestic mail and we find that we only have to occasionally make minor adjustments to international mail.

      Overall we are happy to have moved over to DMO and find the time difference between the OBA way and DMO is negligible, also DMO has never “gone down” so now shouting at the screen when OBA has a hiccup.

      Lee

  • Jon
    1 year ago

    What happened to the Postmen with Cameras idea from 2015. Has it been scrapped?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/royal-mail/12023289/Postmen-will-take-photographs-on-your-property-when-they-leave-parcels-behind.html

    If proof of postage is good enough to make a claim from RM it should be good enough for proof of dispatch for eBay.

    Their signature machines are all knackered too so creates temting situation for the recipient.

  • Toby
    1 year ago

    This is all very well…. but not for everyone. Most of the time i operate on my own and at peak times can be dispatching 300 to 500 parcels a day… We stock over 800 different lines etc etc. We print off our orders, sort in groups of products, take each group and go order pick (saves masses of time in the warehouse), then we pack and label at the same time, with orders that stretch across more than one group put aside to be done separately. Now with this new system it would create a massive nightmare and mean that processing rates would half…. I know this as i did a mock trial and the whole system fell apart due to lack of time and staff. A competitor of mine had the same issue when they had a bumper weekend awith over 3000 orders and had to have amemeber of staff just inputing info all weekend just to avoid an issue on Monday.
    It’s simply too time consuming and impractical for some of us. Now if we had a label gun that scanned the address label on the parcel, then printed off a barcode from the gun that would be great… the gun could then be synced with rm at the end. Sadly i imagine from experience just of epos pdas that they would be hugely expensive. However for us there is no way of doing it… we struggle at peak times as it is!
    What i would like is for posties to leave ‘calling cards’ when they cant leave stuff…. im seriously fed up with the amount of parcels coming back to me as uncollected or buyers saying not recieved…. both never having been carded. Grrrrr

  • Dean Smith
    1 year ago

    This is great news. It was expected to be “Spring” but still great news. Although an email reply from my RM account rep recently told me that October would be the time when the information would be available to sellers so “from the Summer”??
    I guess it will happen when it happens.

    Now for the same with international deliveries. For sellers like myself that send circa £10 value items internationally, the hike in postage cost to add tracking is prohibitive – so standard airmail is used on 95% of shipments. And of course the international shipments give us the most grief in terms of INR e.g Italy, Israel, Russia etc.

    So please RM, give us some good news on 2D barcode information being adopted / utilised by some (or many) of the international post services around the globe.

    • Martin
      1 year ago

      Dean, I stopped selling to Italy. Wasn’t worth the hassle. If you sell on Ebay then I send Israeli buyers a mail saying delivery sometimes takes longer than Ebay estimate, and to allow 1 month for delivery. This has cut down the claims/questions. Russia had improved over recent years, and I don’t have too many problems with items arriving.

    • Gary
      1 year ago

      I have stopped sending to Greece and Italy because too many parcels go missing….Sending goods outside Europe is just not worth it (except: USA,Canada, Australia etc)

  • John
    1 year ago

    Royal Mail Tracked 48 or Standard Parcel 48 …. that is the question?

    • Lesley
      1 year ago

      The tracking and recorded services were options which RM had to offer. Delivery confirmation was going to come sooner or later. If I am honest, if Royal Mail had made this move 2 years ago, Hermes wouldn’t have been so big as they are now.

      Better late than never

  • Antony
    1 year ago

    Whilst this sounds promising the major question that needs answering is whether eBay and Amazon accept the delivery scan as sufficient proof of the delivery in the event of a claim? If not then this system is a waste of time for marketplace sellers and no different to item not received cases that are raised now for items sent 1st class without delivery confirmation.

    Also now that Royal Mail will be acknowledging receipt of mail into their network, will they restore compensation to business customers?

    Finally, on the face of it, surely this is cannibalising their tracked 24/48 and to a degree, recorded services?

  • Craig
    1 year ago

    Brilliant news. Sounds like a lot of people are still working without any of the available software. Linnworks has been working with barcodes for quite a while now and it is great. Scan an order, pick how your shipping it and the thermal label creates the 2D label. No inputting required at all.

    • Antony
      1 year ago

      Craig – could you tell me what information you need to have loaded into Linnworks for the integration to work? i.e. do you have to have package sizes and products weights pre-loaded against your inventory?

      The reason I ask is that we sell a mixture of “on demand” items that are not stock controlled at all n Linnworks (it has not visibility of these items at all and woon’t do as there are far too many variables) and traditionally stocked items that are stock controlled. Currently we only have basic information stored against these – titles, skus, purchase pricing and barcode. We do not have package sizes stored against them or product weights.

      I just want to understand whether we can use their integration for 2D barcoding the way we are set-up.

    • Craig
      1 year ago

      Hi Antony.

      We have the weights in for some products but not all. We weigh the package before we hit print label which you can do with every order on Linnworks. We basically scan the order from a barcode that linnworks prints on the invoice. This brings up the order on screen. From there you can input the weight and select the method of shipping you want to use and just hit print label. It generates the label with the address info from the order in a couple of seconds. Hit process and thats it done. At the same time it is then creating your OBA manifest at the same time.

  • Martin
    1 year ago

    I have to admit I’m pleased to see this coming in although I can also see why some folk are less than appreciative too.

    Couple of things to clear up..

    1. The new service is for RM24 and RM48 standard parcels, and does not require the tracked component.

    2. The article incorrectly attributed the £100 compensation level to this new service.. Incorrect, that is only for Tracked 24/48 service, not standard.

    3. There’s some confusion about what they mean by “barcoded packages”. It took me a while to figure it out but it’s for anyone who is using the new 6×4″ label format that includes the 2D code that looks a little like a QR Code. It’s not the standard 1D barcode you traditionally got on stuff like signed-for, Special Delivery, etc…

    Beyond that, the real benefit here for me is getting rid of the Signed-For service which eBay now require to avoid losing TRS status thanks to their “did it arrive on time” genius moment [read: irony]

    For those asking about Linnworks and getting this to work properly, as noted the key is having your weights worked out and recorded so you get your labels printed quickly. For those who used the old “count packages, weigh sack, average out” method, this is going to be naff all use unfortunately.

    Remains to be seen how the fraudsters will be affected by this but hopefully it will at least deter some of them and who knows maybe we’ll see a few languishing at Her Majestys Pleasure if we’re really lucky. It’s long overdue…

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