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Temporary Royal Mail Computer System issue

By Chris Dawson November 16, 2018 - 11:15 am

Royal Mail are having a bad Friday with consequent challenges for online retailers attempting to despatch parcels before the weekend. There’s a Royal Mail computer system issue preventing customers from paying for postage with PayPal.

Those with a Royal Mail credit account will be grateful that they’ll be able to despatch and process orders as normal, but both Paypal payments and OBA manifesting are currently unavailable.

Temporary Royal Mail computer system issue

A critical technical issue has affected Royal mail computer systems. We regret that both Paypal payments and OBA manifesting are currently unavailable. Our OBA (credit account) customers can continue to despatch and process orders as usual.
Our engineers are working hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, and we will provide further updates as soon as we are able.
We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

– Royal Mail at 10:54 16th November 2018

This is without a doubt a major incident as it leaves consumer and those accessing Royal Mail services as a personal customer unable to make payments for their postage. Business customers will be unable to perform manifesting which could have knock on effects for tracking.

Those who use Royal Mail often don’t have a suitable alternative courier they can switch their shipments to. Royal Mail is still the country’s default for small lightweight parcels, large letters and products shipped via letter post. The smaller sellers who rely on Royal Mail are also those most likely to pay via PayPal rather than be an account customer and if they can’t despatch today may well have no alternative other than to go an queue at the Post Office and pay in person. If that’s you then we’d recommend getting to the Post Office as early in the day as possible as queues may be longer than normal.

We’ll keep you updated throughout the day as Royal Mail release more news, but currently there is no indication as to who long the Royal Mail Computer System issue will last or what caused it.

Update – PayPal working again

We can confirm that PayPal payments are working as usual. Our engineers are still working on fixing manifesting. We will provide further updates as soon as we can.
– Royal Mail Nov 16, 11:26

Update 2 – Manifesting working again

We are happy to announce that manifesting is starting to return to normal. Please allow a short while for your manifests to complete. If you have any failures, please attempt to regenerate them when possible.
We will provide further updates as soon as we are able.

– Royal Mail Nov 16, 11:55

  • Darren
    1 month ago

    Things seemed to be going quite well in the last couple of months with Click & Drop, however this shows that they still don’t have a handle of how to create a resilient system.

  • Colin Fry
    1 month ago

    This isn’t a Click & Drop issue, it was down across all of Royal Mail if you actually read the status properly.

  • Simon E
    1 month ago

    Looks like they got it sorted.
    Thanks for the heads up Chris!

    ==========
    Update – We are happy to announce that manifesting is starting to return to normal. Please allow a short while for your manifests to complete. If you have any failures, please attempt to regenerate them when possible.
    We will provide further updates as soon as we are able.
    Nov 16, 11:55 GMT
    Update – We can confirm that PayPal payments are working as usual. Our engineers are still working on fixing manifesting. We will provide further updates as soon as we can.
    Nov 16, 11:26 GMT

  • alan paterson
    1 month ago

    Here is a solution to all these Royal Mail issues ……….. USE HERMES!

    • 4 weeks ago

      @alan paterson Thanks but I think I will give that idea a miss.

      Arrived home on Thursday to find that Hermes had tried to deliver an item for the wife. The card showed the item had been left in the Red recycling bin. Good job we had not gone away for a few days.

    • Rob
      4 weeks ago

      @tyler, RM do the same for me so does that mean you won’t be using RM or MyHermes?
      Some people are happy with parcels being left in recycling bins and actually request them left there. What works for one person does not always work for the other person.

    • 4 weeks ago

      @ Rob I have never had an item left in my Recycling bin by Royal Mail, and yes I do use Royal Mail but would not be happy if they did leave items, that I sent out, in recycling bins, or any other place.

      Some people are happy with many things and we often get requests from buyers to leave items in certain places but we never put those instructions on the parcel as that would just increase the chance of an INR.

      But what ever you are happy with suits the way you run your business.

      As I said, good job we had not gone away for a few days or it would have been emptied.

    • Rob
      4 weeks ago

      @Tyler, I think you will find most parcel companies do the same. The odd parcel I have paid for a signature and when checking the tracking found it was not signed for but delivered and left in a safe place. I think it is an industry problem, the likes of DPD are much better at utilising technology than others where the customer gets to control the delivery by changing the route or where it is left and then picture of this is uploaded. I hardly use RM only for the odd large letter or parcel if it is going to a remote area or channel islands. Rest got MyHermes and UPS as quick and easy to drop off where I deal with.
      Tend to find items are more likely to go missing this time of year and put that down to volume parcel companies are dealing with and seasonal works more likely to not do their job properly.

    • 4 weeks ago

      @Rob I prefer to use Royal Mail but it really depends on the value of the goods, size of the parcel and the cost.

      I pay Royal Mail £2.07+ for a parcel depending on quantity with very few problems, so that suits my business.

      Hermes is not really an option, they were too useless to even open me an account, despite them trying to.

      DPD may be a better service but I think it is too expensive

  • Gillian f
    4 weeks ago

    Unfortunately I send large letters only for 79p and don’t trust Hermes as they have lost four parcels in one month

    • Jonah
      4 weeks ago

      I wonder where these lost parcels go to? Hermes and RM have both lost parcels of ours in the past- these never turn up despite having correct addressee and return labels clearly visible. Also inside the parcels are receipts, again, with addresses clearly displayed.

    • 4 weeks ago

      @Jonah Years ago they used to get sent to Belfast and would arrive back to you many months later.

      Recently I was told that they get put in containers and are sold on.

      A friend of mine used to buy bulk loads of lost suitcases from Heathrow.

    • Jay
      4 weeks ago

      I believe there was an article on Tamebay about this a while back which suggested that some lost items had appeared on eBay!

      It’s another case of setting things up so you can’t lose. Sounds very eBay like, perhaps they’ll do a deal with RM.

  • alan paterson
    4 weeks ago

    Advantages of Hermes:

    1. Pay for the label up front so not enormous bills in Jan
    2. They leave safe (some people dont like this but I find the majority of our customers do)
    3. When they leave safe they now take a pic that is uploaded to the tracking. This can be seen online by verifying postcode
    4. They are generally cheaper than their competitors.
    5 If they loose a parcel they are fairly good at reimbursements and they refund the RETAIL price – not what we paid for the item.
    6. Their acceptance scans are almost 100%
    7. Their email customer support as 7 days a week
    8. They have pretty colours (I prefer blue to red)
    9. their drivers dont threaten my business with strike action
    10. their business collection service is now very reliable
    11. They can collect far later than their competitors
    12. The local depot has a vending machine with real coke. not Coke Zero, or coke blah…. but real full sugar coke. awesome.

    I am running out of ideas

    13. All the drivers who come to us speak English as their second language
    14. The local driver always laughs at my jokes
    15. their back office does not go down as much as RM click and collect.

    thats all I can think of……..

    • SAM
      4 weeks ago

      Well no 10 in your list certainly was not reliable today failed to pick up…and last week the clowns and thrown a wall mirror over the back gate…

    • 4 weeks ago

      @alan paterson

      1. Paying: quite happy to be billed for my postage as I don’t have a problem with financial control and it aids cash flow.
      1.a I am sure you can choose to pay Royal Mail each day rather than be billed
      2. I prefer to know my items will be delivered not dumped in a bin
      3. Royal Mail scan the item to show it has been delivered
      4. Hermes quoted me about the same as I was paying Royal mail
      5. No compensation for my account, although I have had (without filling in a claim form) if you get on to head office, which is what I do now if I have a problem.
      6. Royal Mails bar code scans are almost 100%
      7. You can email RM 7 days a week, they will take 7-10 days to reply and still not have an answer.
      8. I prefer Red to Blue, although my football team wear blue. my front door is Poppy Red.
      9. Royal mail strike action is rare, but a pain when it happens
      10. Prompt collection everyday by Royal Mail @4pm
      11. Collection everyday or drop off at local post Office by 5pm, latest drop off at Royal Mail yard by 7.30pm
      12 Each to their own but I hate coke of any kind. All local delivery depot staff are friendly and helpful.
      13. Our driver is friendly and English, not that that matters.
      14. I am not a great one for telling jokes. Have you heard the one about the French cat & English cat that swam the channel?
      15. I am not sure Click & Collect goes down that much, not that I have a problem with it, the above shows it was down for an hour, which also shows that when something goes wrong they fix it quickly.

      Not perfect but overall I am very happy with the Royal mail service which is shown in my Performance metrics.

      Item not received requests 1/1,037 = 0.10% – After investigation by the delivery office manager the postman said he had left the item in the porch, in a rural area.

      My LDR is currently showing as 0%

      I think I must use a different RM service to other people, as so many others seem to think RM are unreliable.

      I have no idea what the Hermes service is like, after eventually giving me a quote they were so incompetent at setting up an account it never happened. Should my experience of RM deteriorate then I would chase them up to trial their service.

    • Jum
      4 weeks ago

      Hermes try to improve and correct
      Royal mail think they do no wrong and are infallible