Most annoyingly I have 2 packages which have exceeded the estimated delivery times (1 to USA the other to Germany). Understandably the customers are not happy that they haven’t arrived yet as am I. My question is, if you have found yourself in this position when do you offer a refund? Do you wait until Royal Mail would class it as ‘lost’?
Royal mail state that you can’t claim for at least 15 days after post date so I’d be inclined to wait until that deadline date unless its longer than that already.
It’s not longer than that yet, Royal Mail won’t accept claims until 25 working days have passed for USA or 20 working days for Europe. Would everyone wait until this time?
No if it has gone past a reasonable time then I would refund your customers. And claim from royal mail after.
Just what I do…
I’d be inclined to go with what Jennifer said.
Out of interest, do you need proof of postage to claim a lost parcel or not with RM?
I always get proof of postage when I’m not sending stuff recorded but I was wondering out if interest.
Yes, @twinkleandgloomart you need to show them proof of postage and proof of the value of the posted item.
yes you do require it so you can fill out the form.
But they won’t even accept the form if you return it before the package is ‘officially deemed to be lost’.
Don’t forget the time given for delivery is only an estimate and only to the country not to the door step in that country.
Also at this time of the year items can take longer to get through airport hubs and through customs.
International mail can take up to 6 to 8 weeks sometimes.
Don’t be too fast to refund as your customer is likely to end up with your money and the goods.
I would agree with Eileen @EileensCraftStudio, unless the order was fairly small and you can afford to accept the loss then I would hang on - at least until such time as you can claim. If you have proof of postage I would show it to your customer and just apologise for the delay explaining that it is beyond your control and that you will be happy to refund once you have submitted your claim.
I have had a similar issue with a large order of xmas cards to the usa over on the other site.
For me if the customer is genuine and for example mine waited 3 weeks - then I won’t risk negative feedback. In fact she thanked me for working with her and is going to order again next year (early!) lol
From now on I am only doing tracked overseas!
Its up to you seems people have different approaches
It’s 15 days for the UK, but posting abroad you have to wait 40 days before making a claim.
I am in the same situation with one parcel sent to UK (inland). I would normally wait 15 working days for a parcel sent within the country (20 working days for any European country and 25 working days for the rest of the world) and sent 1st class (or standard international Royal mail delivery service) to give a refund.
However the parcel that I sent to my UK-based customer was sent 2 weeks ago so this means we would have to wait till next Friday (after Christmas) to give a refund. In this exceptional situation I proposed my customer to give a full refund tomorrow if the parcel has not reach destination. (I thought that this would give my customer some time to purchase a new Christmas gift). But then this is entirely up to you of course and whether your customer is “ok” to wait.
You will just need to ask for a “Lost or Damaged International Mail Claim Form” at your local post-office. It’s seems very straight forward (I haven’t filled in a form yet… it may happen soon!) and you will need to provide the original proof of postage with your form.
I think its worth asking your customer to do a bit of research themselves - parcels are often sent out for delivery and then taken back to the PO as no one is in. The postie usually leaves a card but often, especially at this time of year, it is forgotten and the parcel sits in the sorting office unclaimed. I know its a hassle but try asking your customer to ring/visit their local sorting office.
Yes good idea I asked my customer yo do this, check with neighbors and in the normal places they leave parcels e.g behind a gate ets !
At this time of year, I try to lower the buyers’ expectations by warning them their orders will probably take much longer to arrive than usual. To the USA especially, it can take several weeks to clear customs and get delivered once it has arrived in the country, so allow at least 3-4 weeks, probably longer. I know Germany is also quite slow at processing packages, and there are probably extra security checks at the moment, so I would wait for a good 3 weeks there too before assuming it’s lost.
Reassure your buyers that you will refund if they are definitely lost, but ask them to be a bit more patient and hopefully they will turn up.
The Royal Mail estimated delivery times for overseas mail are optimistic to say the least, even during slower periods, and wildly optimistic for this time of year. I quote my own delivery times based on experience and, especially at this time of year, always tell the customer that it may take longer.
At times of high security, mail - especially to the US - will take even longer. Most customers are happy to wait a little longer if you tell them that their package has most likely been held up by Homeland Security.
The Netherlands is having problems at present with delays and I’ve just had a package sent back to me this morning nearly 3months since I sent it to the Netherlands. For some reason no idea what it just wasn’t delivered to my brother. It was Christmas presents for my little niece now she’ll not get them till the New Year and I’ll have to pay again for postage grrrrrrrr.
So my lost package turned up today! My very honest customer let me know after I had already issued a refund! I deducted postage and discount for inconvenience! There are honest people out there! Yay!
I am pleased. It’s nice to know there are some lovely people out there.
Update my ‘lost’ parcel to the USA was delivered the day after I started this thread - phew! I’ve not heard about the other one but suspect it has been delivered, just after the date the customer wanted it for. Shame but delivery times are out of our hands, especially at this time of year.
Thanks for all your helpful advice folks