Royal Mail compensation rules for lost coins
Larry, a coin seller on eBay contacted Tamebay to warn others about a loop hole in Royal Mail’s compensation in the event of loss or damage. Larry says that he’s lost nearly £400 worth of coins which were shipped via Special Delivery and Signed For, even though he pursued the claims all the way though to the Postal Review Panel.
99% of dealers selling coins post in cardboard stiffeners with the coin inside sealed and placed in an envelope the envelope is then sealed and taped to protect the edges according to Larry. However he says that Royal mail will only pay compensation if coins are sent in boxes.
Royal Mail’s website states “Coins should never be sent in envelopes – our automated sorting machinery may damage envelopes containing coins, which can lead to delay in delivery and increase the likelihood of the contents being lost“.
Whilst the Royal Mail website doesn’t specify that a box should be used (as opposed to cardboard stiffeners), Larry says that when his coins got lost he was told a box was essential.
The nub of the issue comes down to the definition of a ‘box’. Obviously a cube is a box, but how much can the sides of the box be compressed until it’s a letter? Are the card mailers we typically see the likes of CDs shipped in boxes or are they mailers? How thin can a box be be (20mm, 15mm, 10mm thick) before it’s no longer a box?
In my time selling on eBay I shipped hundreds of items in cruciform mailers (purchased from long time eBay trader Rik of Tramiki Suppliers). These could be as thin as a “mailer” or if a bulkier item was being posted I’ve had them as thick as an inch.
If you’re shipping coins, especially if they are exceptionally valuable, check with your Royal Mail account manager if you’ll be covered in the unlikely event they go missing. Make sure that your packaging is classed as a box and not as an envelope.
if RM havent actually defined what a “box” is, then a box is what you want it to be, within reason.
as far as i’m concerned, a paper envelope is an envelope, if its cardboard it’s a box. height is irrelevent, boxes come in all shapes & sizes.
– if RM havent categorically said otherwise, then i’m legally correct in this regard.
they say “you must use a box”
i say “i did use a box”
they say “ah your box isnt boxy enough”
i say ” so what would be?”
they say “we dont tell, so we can refuse all claims just by saying box”.
if they do define what a box is, as being of minimum size x,y,z, then you must use a box fitting those paramaters, if they havent, whatever box you feel is suitable is legally suitable.
There’s a wider point here about how RM has got away with reducing compensation post-privatisation.
All customers used to get 100 x the first class stamp as standard, but a £20 limit has come in, with a £50 limit you can “buy” via signed for delivery.
Airmail and other services have also seen cuts.
This “box” issue suggests RM is also trying to filter out claims with red tape.
Along with the ludicrous 9am “last” collection time on most post boxes now (7am on Saturdays !!!), customers have been getting a raw deal from RM since it went private.
Maybe Tamebay could look at this.
There is another point about Royal Mail. Over the years items have got lost in the post and for one reason or another not delivered. However if there was a Return Address on the package you stood a chance of getting the item returned.
It appears as if the RM have stopped returning such items. It appears as if they just chuck them in with the other items that for one reason or another cannot be delivered where there is no Return Address. In other words RM take them away and auction them off in Belfast.