Folksy Ltd

Let down by Royal Mail again - stand corrected not let down

(Little Ramstudio) #1

Absolutely fuming with Royal Mail, let down yet again. We have just taken receipt of a returned parcel, sent via Royal Mail UK, Airmail, to a USA address. Question for anyone who has had this happen to them, or anyone with knowledge of the US Postal service, once a parcel reaches USA does it get stamped or marked in any way?

This parcel has no other marks on it other than the blue Airmail sticker and the franked sticker from the PO here plus the customs sticker. There is a yellow sticker attached over the US address which has printed on it return to sender - Attempted/not known - Unable to forward.

Our suspicions are it never left UK.

Anyone have any ideas?

(Helen Smith) #2

Why would you think it hadn’t left the country? How long did it take to come back to you? I had one returned from Canada and the only reason I knew it had been and come back - apart from the time period - was that the return label was in French. Of course, I suppose that means it could have been to France instead but that seems unlikely :wink:

(Little Ramstudio) #3

It’s been 2 weeks since the order was placed. Always had a thought that it got stamped when it past through customs but have just learned that only happens if customs opens the parcel.
Just found out that if I take it to the PO they will send it again without charging me again. That’ll be a first then!

(Helen Smith) #4

2 weeks isn’t very long… I suppose the only way to tell is to get hold of a RM returned mail label and see if it’s the same :wink: Have you checked the address is correct? You can do it here!input.action - it will give you the second part of the zip code that most Americans leave off their address.

(Little Ramstudio) #5

Thanks for that Helen, will check the zipcode.

(Lizzie Gillum, Bedfordshire, Uk ) #6

Parcels I send to USA are normally delivered within 2 weeks. I’ve had one return-to-sender package, which was refused by a relative of the customer, so the US postal service sent it back.

Unless you pay for a fully tracked delivery service, there is no tracking of mail outside UK. I’d think it is likely your package reached the US, but not sure why they should send it back, unless they tried to deliver by their maximum number of attempts and there was no safe place to leave it. Is it definitely addressed correctly - could it have gone to the wrong zipcode?


(Shirley Woosey) #7

I have sent many parcels to USA. Most have been fine and never have any been returned to me.

I do always make sure that I put the 2nd part of the Zip code on and check the address with USPS website!input.action

I did have a few go missing in last December and January - always New York! Also parcels can take longer to get to New York than anywhere else in the States.

I don’t actually think the parcels were lost, I just had some customers who were not very honest.
Royal Mail eventually repaid me the cost of postage and the cost of the item which I had to refund to the customers.

I now send everything overseas using a Tracked / or Tracked & Signed For service. It doesn’t seem to have affected sales at all. Domestic shipping in the USA is very high and so I think that they expect to pay high shipping for items from overseas and I actually think they are more confident because they know the item is Tracked.

Shirley x

(Lizzie Gillum, Bedfordshire, Uk ) #8

That’s a good point, Shirley. I use “Airsure”, which is tracked to delivery (though not signed for). I give the customer their parcel’s tracking number - ostensibly so they can track it themselves, but it also serves the purpose of letting them know their parcel is being followed. I think it’s less likely someone will falsely claim non-delivery, when the tracking shows the package was delivered on a particular date & time!

It does also mean that customers know I did send the parcel when I said it was sent and delivery targets are typically a day or two earlier than “normal” delivery too, which gives them a comfortable feeling. I have had a couple of parcels held up in Customs, but generally they are delivered in USA within 5-7 working days, which is great.


(Little Ramstudio) #9

Update: RM need an apology as on this occasion it seems they did try and do their job.

Just heard back from the buyer… she ordered the item on 22nd April, it was posted on the 23rd April but she was moving house on the 2nd May and forgot to tell us this information and as buyer is in US there would be little to no chance of the item reaching her. So it would seem it did get there and as no one was at the property it came winging it’s way back to us.
She has given us her new address and said as it is a Father’s Day gift as long as it arrives by the 15th June it’s all OK.
Thing is we’ve already sent it once and so will be paying for postage ourselves if we send it to the new address, she made no comment to this in her message. What would you do on this one, send it and absorb the costs, or ask for the extra postage costs? Any ideas?

(Kate Bowles) #10

I feel for you! I had a similar situation recently … I resent the parcel and covered the costs. It may not make the best financial sense but I think that the loss in £’s is made up with goodwill etc. It’s really up to you how you handle this tho’, it was the customer’s mistake and it would be completely reasonable to ask for return postage or £% … apols … bit of a “Sit on the fence” response …

(Jo Sara) #11

I’d have to ask for extra postage because the postage on my bird baths is astronomical, I couldn’t afford to pay again and have that eat into the profit. Even if the customer cancelled the sale that would be better for me to have the bird bath still to sell than send it at what would effectively be a knock down price.

So if you are seriously out of pocket, definitely ask for it. If the postage isn’t too bad, you could always offer a goodwill gesture of paying half, just to get something back and to make sure the customer realises you’ll have to pay again. They may come forward and offer the full amount.

Or if the postage is not really an issue, I’d stick this one down to experience and maybe in future send the sale confirmation email for international ones including a confirmation of the address they’ve given you and that you’ll be sending to, hopefully jog their memories if there is a problem.


(Helen Smith) #12

I’m glad it wasn’t RMs fault, I personally have only ever had good service from them and, I know it’s silly, but it actually makes me quite uncomfortable that people always assume any non-delivery is down to them.

There, that’s not just tempting fate, is it? It’s poking it in the eye with a sharp stick :wink:

(Stephanie Pearce) #13

I’ve had a few I sent internationally returned to me - they all came back with writing and stamp marks on them, I photographed the package and sent it to the customer as proof.

One the customer had given me the wrong address but wouldn’t pay again for postage so I just refunded the stock part of the order and not the postage.

Another was the correct address, no reason why it shouldn’t have been delivered, customer paid postage again and it arrived two weeks later.

One sent to France was to the customers business name and because it didn’t have her actual name on it the postman wouldn’t deliver it. She had words with the postman, repaid the postage and told me to just put the surname and then the address, that arrived safely the next week.

One I sent to Israel in November got there last week!! I’d already refunded her and wouldn’t let her pay again, she said the jiffy bag was shredded but the contents intact.

(Shirley Woosey) #14

I too am glad it wasn’t RM’s fault. I find that their service is nearly always very good.

As for paying the postage again I think it depends on how much you want the goodwill and how much the cost would eat into your profits.

I’ve had several customers accidentally order the wrong size of cover from me. I usually go along the lines of saying that if they post it back to me (at their cost), I will send them the correct size and I will pay the postage to send a new one.

But it really depends on how much the postage is - my items are quite light in weight unlike @JoSara 's birdbaths.
Shirley x

(Little Ramstudio) #15

Have decided to take the hit on postage as it was a personalised pet print, so we couldn’t re-use it.
And we are going to start using the USPS full zip codes as a ‘belts and braces’ measure from now on, thanks for the tip :smile: