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UK Postal Package Delivery

Two attempts - do they leave a pacakge slip?

     
12:50 pm on Jun 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We shipped a international delivery ( package) to the UK. The tracking shows two attempts for delivery ( six weeks apart- plenty of time for customer to pick up), now the package is being returned to us as unclaimed. Not yet received.
Customer now contacts us, wanting to know what we are going to do about it.
Here in the US, the postal carrier leaves a slip in the box regarding attemped delivery - package waiting at the post office for pick up.
Does the UK postal system leave notification of attempted delivery?
1:00 pm on June 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, very much the same thing. However if the customer says it didn't happen you don't have any evidence that it did..
1:25 pm on June 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If it was being delivered as letter post then a card would have been left and the customer could pick it up from the local delivery office.

If it was delivered as a parcel then collection would be from a far less convenient location but all parcel carriers leave a card if delivery is not possible and I have never had any problems arranging an alternative delivery date by phone with any carrier.

Sounds to me as if the customer was just being bloody minded about not making alternative delivery arrangements but you can't prove a thing.

1:40 pm on June 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for your responses. It was a package, and the custon=mer says he has since found out it was at his local post office for over 6 weeks. This is a mess. We emailed shipping confirmation at the time of shipping. Customer says he never received our emails, ( it is a freeserve.co.uk addy) and infers he never received attempted package delivery notification. One would think if over 500.00 was invoiced to your c/c you would be watching for an email and a package. It seems he is receiving our emails now. Very convenient.
Of course, USPS will likely charge us the return package shipping ( over 40.00) Plus it will be another 40.00 to reship. Any suggestions?
2:04 pm on June 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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When the Royal Mail try to deliver a parcel four things can happen -
1) - The postal operatives steal it.
2) - They take it back to the post office after leaving a card through the recipients door.
3) - They find they have run out of cards and so don't bother to leave any indication that they have tried to deliver a parcel.
4) - After the parcel ends up in the local sorting office it will be returned to the sender. The time it takes for this depends on the amount of undelivered parcels thrown on top of it.

I suggest any parcel / valuable items for delivery in the UK are sent requiring a signature on delivery. If the parcel is undelivered after 14 days you can make a claim the the post office will either find the item or pay compensation.

In the 1970's I ran a very small mail order part time business. Every item I sent out was sent signed for and some months I made more money claiming compensation (a fixed sum) than I did from the actual goods lost.

I don't think this would work now. And also the extra work invoved in filling in forms may not make it worth while.

nn :)

10:35 pm on June 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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numnutz has it more or less correct. If I was in this position I would refund the customer and say to myself "I'm happy to have paid a modest sum to learn that a 500.00 order should never be shipped without proof of delivery to the address at which the buyer receives their credit card statements."

[edited by: Patrick_Taylor at 10:50 pm (utc) on June 26, 2007]

10:40 pm on June 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We ship to the UK via USPS Global Priority International. Our UK customers receive a postcard from Parcelforce, listing the costs for VAT, import duty, and Customs Clearance Fee that they owe. They are given the address to mail or drop-off the funds.

The mailing of this post card counts as a "delivery attempt"... no one actually carries the package to the door until money exchanges hands.

Quite possibly, the two delivery attempts were nothing more than two postcards that may have gotten filed by your customer.

An unmotivated customer who doesn't pay their import taxes the first time isn't likely to change their bahavior if you re-ship the package. I'd refund their money and walk away.

12:45 pm on June 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think I would refund to, I suspect they have received the cards from teh post ofice but chose to ignore them as they had decided to cancel the order.

Be firm but polite

1:50 pm on June 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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he never received attempted package delivery notification.

Customers are lying gits sometimes but sometimes so are delivery people.

2:31 pm on June 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Customers are lying gits sometimes but sometimes so are delivery people.

I might stick this up on the wall..
8:41 pm on June 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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<i>I think I would refund to, I suspect they have received the cards from teh post ofice but chose to ignore them as they had decided to cancel the order.
Be firm but polite<i>

I agree. I beleive our emails and the postal notifications were ingnored. I have doubts that a second shipping will produce better results. The postal is still showing the second attempt, but not that the package is enroute back to us. I think I'll wait for the postal to return the package and issue a refund.
numnutz - Perhaps I'll get lucky and they will lose the package! It was insured.

Thank you to all

10:54 pm on June 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In this case, unfortunately the delivery service can be as much to blame as the customer. You do get some fantastic Posties but there are also some terrible ones that just don't want to stand there in the rain filling out "we tried to deliver" cards.

As the item is still in the system (ie, hasn't disappeared with both sides claiming it's not with them) I'd go with the customer on this one and try and get the parcel back out again.

As has been said, Royal Mail offer a couple of service levels:
- Standard post which is pretty much down to luck whether you receive your mail on time if at all.
- Recorded/signed for which as it suggests, requires a signature however this can generally be signed for by anyone and will take days after it has been "delivered" before a signature can be found in the system. I'm lucky enough to have a decent postman who will leave recorded mail in a secure porch and sign for the item himself (obviously not possible in a lot of circumstances and likely to get him fired, but it's a good service for me).
There is also a small reimbursement for claims, but these are generally not worth it as they're unlikely to cover the cost of the item, the amount the customer has paid and the time spent going through the claims process. I believe the claim is also paid out in postage stamps (I may be wrong on this).
- Special delivery is pretty much the daddy of their post service and offers tracking through their network of depots and also needs to be signed for. You can also insure the item for realistic values to ensure neither yourselves or the customer are out of pocket.

Other options may be to use an International courier such as DHL or UPS (haven't UPS just bought out DHL? Or was that TNT? Anyway...) and have the same kind of service that you'd expect anywhere in the world.

10:57 pm on June 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Further to my previous reply, if the item can be sent out again with Royal Mail, try and get a better address from the customer - maybe a place of work or ask if they can collect it from the local depot?

It's an inconvenience for them to collect it, but you're not to blame and it shouldn't reflect on you.

2:36 am on June 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Curious how a US-based company can use Royal Mail in the UK. The only options that I'm aware of are UPS, DHL, and USPS/Parcelforce.
5:57 pm on June 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Incoming USPS packages are simply routed through Royal mails network I expect when they enter the country. This is standard practice between all domestic postal services in almost all countries.

For larger items they may use Parcelforce though.

4:22 pm on June 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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hey come on dont slate the individual posties, they are eth most wonderful and cheerfful people I know. Post office counter staff are diffrent matter
 

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