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Thread: How do you deal with missing parcels?

  1. #1
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    Default How do you deal with missing parcels?

    I am interested in find out out how other e-commerce Bluepark sites deal with parcels that go missing.

    We post most of our packages via the Royal Mail, and have had a few go missing recently. We have stopped getting them signed for, unless they are particularly large/expensive, so we can't prove one way or another if they really are lost or not.

    Do you wait the recommended 15 days to see if it turns up (you can't put in a claim with the Post Office until 15 working days have elapsed) and then replace, or do you just replace the order anyway? Or do you take another approach?

  2. #2
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    Sep 2007
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    Nottingham
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    Default

    Orders going missing has always been a nightmare. Trying to claim back from Royal Mail is even worse !!

    We used to send everything under 2kg via Recorded/Special delivery via Royal Mail. To cut down on costs we now just send via normal 2nd Class post.
    In the past, when a customer claims non receipt of an order, I normally make them wait for a full 2 weeks before sending out a replacement or offering a refund.
    Orders over 2kg I normally send via Parcels2Go who use DHL for UK, and Fedex for overseas orders. These of course are fully trackable etc.

    We went through a spell a couple of years ago when lots of stuff went missing when sent via Royal Mail. Recently, things have improved somewhat ......... touching wood !

    Martin

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi there

    I use first class recorded Royal Mail have now changed their system so for those of you that did not know recorded is now a fully trackable service. Royal Mail will pay out for lost items although they do not refund postage!

    The downside is that although I use Smartstamp, the counter staff now have to enter the recorded details on their screen so it does take longer if you have lots of stuff.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2007
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    Cumbria
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    Default

    We usually use couriers but for my wife's new business (www.forest-bears.co.uk) we have been using 'Royal Mail Signed For' which so far has gone ok.

    However, I notice on the receipt it says
    "we do not pay compensation for money, jewellery or valuables sent by recorded signed for"

    Any idea what they class as valuables?
    Regards,

    Dave

  5. #5
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    Jun 2008
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    Somerset
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    We use Royal Mail 1st or 2nd Class post for everyhting under 2kg. We use an MS Word version of the old SmartStamp Certificate of Postage (COP) and just cut and paste our names/adresses into it. Take them in a bag to our local Post Office and they sign without checking (we never queue, just drop the bag - get a signature - & pick up the old bag). This gives compensation up to 36 (less postage) and you can claim after 14 days.
    We have only had one claim this year. BUT we have had two irrate customers saying we had not posted their goods. They calmed down when we emailed a scanned copy of the COP! So it's been worth it.

    Regards,

    Mike
    Carhampton eMart

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    890

    Default Royal Mail

    Royal Mail Recorded no longer exists and is now just 'Signed For' it is not a tracked service and just gets dumped in with normal post, the postman at the delivery end is then supposed to get a receipt on delivery! if it goes missing it is no better than ordinary mail.
    What was recorded delivery is now replaced by 'Special Delivery' fully trackable and scanned along the route, is very reliable but expensive for anything over 500gr.
    We use Royal Mail 1st class PPI averaged packet post for normal deliveries and some packeages are lost but the percentage is tiny, perhaps 20 completely lost each year out of 30,000, we added up the cost of sending everything recorded and it amounted to more than my salary!

    As always, if you have got the business, you can get the best prices, can you imagine how little Amazon pay?
    John Ayres

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mikepayn View Post
    We have only had one claim this year. BUT we have had two irrate customers saying we had not posted their goods. They calmed down when we emailed a scanned copy of the COP!
    Did you replace their missing goods, or just prove that you had posted them?

  8. #8
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    Default

    Thanks for all the replies. What I am really interested in is whether and how you compensate your customers who claim their goods did not arrive? Do you replace them, and claim of the PO, or just prove to them that you posted it and it's their bad luck it didn't arrive?

  9. #9
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    Oct 2007
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    Hertfordshire
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    Default

    We use Royal Mail Signed For and have so far found them very reliable with only 2 items going missing in over a year.

    We tried to claim from the PO on the first one but the procedure was so onerous that we didn't pursue it and didn't bother on the second.

    We have replaced the items on both occasions without question as we believe the goodwill created in the eyes of the customer is far more important than the loss of a few pounds and we will continue to do so in the future.

    We replace damaged items without question for the same reason as well.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by petad View Post
    Did you replace their missing goods, or just prove that you had posted them?
    We always ask them to wait until the weekend/end of the week and then replace without question. One turned up and one didn't.
    I have the one Royal Mail claim sitting on my desk now but really can't be bothered to sit down and gather all the information they need and then post it off! We only use Royal Mail for lower value items so with luck you are only talking about a few quid.

    mikepayn
    Carhampton eMart

  11. #11
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    Oct 2008
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    HI, I always ask the customers wait the 15 days that RM allow for a package to be missing and then after this I'll either refund or replace and put the claim in myself.

    In regard to Smartstamp, a few years ago I had a huge row with RM because the point of Smartstamp was to stop us with larger amounts of posting clogging up PO counters and also so that it meant we did not have to wait in queues unless something was urgent (going recorded). I guess I am lucky in that most of my packages are less then 50 but I use my judgement if I am sending something valuable and will 'upgrade' for free.

    Anyway, RM agreed with me and now if I have to make a claim I fill in a form and send the print off to do with that transaction along with the invoice for the goods sent to the customers, decription of what is in the package etc... to this day they have NEVER failed to refund me. If I wanted to stand in the queue then I'd not pay 4.99 a month for the Smartstamp service - especially now that they have to enter the postcodes for each POP.

    They have never annouced that people can do this but they do accept them in the way I was doing it.

    A happy and satisfied customer will always return so while it is a pain to refund or replace before you have the money it keeps the customer happy so they come back and shop again.

  12. #12
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    London UK, the world capital of magnetic therapy.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by petad View Post
    What I am really interested in is whether and how you compensate your customers who claim their goods did not arrive? Do you replace them, and claim of the PO, or just prove to them that you posted it and it's their bad luck it didn't arrive?
    I post all parcel with regular first class, ans re-send with Special delivery when lost.

    I than refuse to sell them.
    Eran, selling magnetic bracelets from http://www.magnetic-products-store.com/ The house of magnetic jewellery. Blogging at http://magnetictherapyuk.wordpress.com/ about all issues of magnetic therapy UK.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adva Trading View Post
    I post all parcel with regular first class, ans re-send with Special delivery when lost.

    I than refuse to sell them.
    Why would you do that? Flag up that customer and if they re-order then just pay the additional 70p to send the package Recorded Delivery so you have a record of it arriving. It's daft to blame a customer for a RM MIstake - and having had quite a few parcels go missing in the past it is not all down to the customer.

  14. #14
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    We've had a lot of parcels go walkabouts in the past. I started sending anything of low value out as recorded and larger more expensive items with a courier and adjusted my postage costs accordingly. Think the extra 70p is worth it from a customers point of view just for peace of mind.

  15. #15
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    We find it seems to happen in bouts of a bunch of parcels go missing. Most are sent out ordinary 1st class, but for higher value orders are now making more use of signed for or special delivery.

    If a customer complains about not receiving a parcel, it depends a bit on how long after sending they complain, but generally ask them to wait a few more days to give it a chance to arrive. And tell them if it still hasn't by 'x day' then to get back in touch and we will send out a replacement if need be. On a few occasions we made a refund instead.

    We also always double check with them that we have the correct address for them. This has created a few interesting situations where actually they had provided a wrong delivery address, either by their typo error, or for example mixing up work address and home postcode.

    There has been a few cases where the parcel had ended up at the customers local collection depot, not been collected, and we have then got the original item back a couple of months later. There seems to be a double problem of customers not noticing the red 'we tried to deliver' cards (probably get caught up in all the junk mail and just thrown out together) and also the postman not actually providing one of these cards when they should have.

    It is frustrating when customers are getting an impression of bad service from us, when actually we are very good at always sending out all orders next business day (including Saturdays). Royal Mail are reluctant to admit how many parcels (versus total mail which includes letters and junk mail) actually go 'missing'.
    The New Zealand Honey Shop
    real goodness from mother nature

  16. #16
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    Default

    Why would you do that? Flag up that customer and if they re-order then just pay the additional 70p to send the package Recorded Delivery so you have a record of it arriving. It's daft to blame a customer for a RM MIstake - and having had quite a few parcels go missing in the past it is not all down to the customer.

    The reason:
    99% of the times, there is a sinister reason for a lost parcel:
    1. Stolen by a sorting centre personnel or the delivery postmen.
    2. Incompetance by some element of the Royal Mail between me and the buyer.
    3. Stolen by a neighbour.

    In any of the above, there is a good channce that the problem will repeat in the future. More, if neighbours starts to purchase as well, I have a penetration of my business into a bad area.

    I do not use Recorded Service. It is a waste of time, as it comes with no guarantee (I sell jewellery), and it simply elert 'bad elements' in the Royal Mail that there is someting worth looking in that parcel...

    The cost of Special Delivery is so high - With the cost of the item and the cost of the posting it shave off most of my profit - I rather do a clean cut and stay away from that bad place.

    It works like magic to me:

    1. Since I use regular first class, my rate of lost drop to near zero (I used to use Recorded service and hade massive rate of lost parcels).

    2. When I do send Special Delivery following a lose, I never yet had any customer complaining for being banned - They simply never answer after their initial approch to me about the refusal to sell to them!
    Eran, selling magnetic bracelets from http://www.magnetic-products-store.com/ The house of magnetic jewellery. Blogging at http://magnetictherapyuk.wordpress.com/ about all issues of magnetic therapy UK.

  17. #17
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    The recommended action is to push the recipient to kick and scream like mad to the PO, as that is the ONLY party that the PO takes any notice of. As far as the PO are concerned the sender has no status.

    In many many instances of the hundreds we send out a week, the parcel is missing but when the recipient kicks and screams a miracle happens and lo it turns up. Twice this WEEK alone when the recipent has got stroppy at the sorting office the parcel mysteriously arrived at their door within 2 hours.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudley View Post
    The recommended action is to push the recipient to kick and scream like mad to the PO, as that is the ONLY party that the PO takes any notice of. As far as the PO are concerned the sender has no status.

    In many many instances of the hundreds we send out a week, the parcel is missing but when the recipient kicks and screams a miracle happens and lo it turns up. Twice this WEEK alone when the recipent has got stroppy at the sorting office the parcel mysteriously arrived at their door within 2 hours.
    Now that's very interesting. Will have to look into this, as replacement items are costing us a fortune at the moment.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudley View Post
    The recommended action is to push the recipient to kick and scream like mad to the PO, as that is the ONLY party that the PO takes any notice of. As far as the PO are concerned the sender has no status.

    In many many instances of the hundreds we send out a week, the parcel is missing but when the recipient kicks and screams a miracle happens and lo it turns up. Twice this WEEK alone when the recipent has got stroppy at the sorting office the parcel mysteriously arrived at their door within 2 hours.
    But it does not make happy customers.

    (And from leagal point of view, it is the seller's responsibility until it arrives)
    Eran, selling magnetic bracelets from http://www.magnetic-products-store.com/ The house of magnetic jewellery. Blogging at http://magnetictherapyuk.wordpress.com/ about all issues of magnetic therapy UK.

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