How to Successfully Claim for Compensation from the Royal Mail Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

How to Successfully Claim for Compensation from the Royal Mail

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The Royal Mail - one of the oldest postal networks in the world. The only postal network that will deliver the length and breadth of the country for a set fee1. Yes, the Royal Mail is one of the top national delivery organisations in the world.

'We Have Obviously Let You Down On This Occasion...'

You didn't think that a company which handles a nation's mail for such a small price would be infallible did you? Well, sometimes letters go missing, become damaged or arrive late. If you want to be compensated for this, then please don't believe the following postal myths (or if you do, don't let the Royal Mail workers know you do):

  • Fragile stickers make packets invulnerable to all damage.

  • Unfortunately, they don't. This is not down to carelessness. It's down to the fact that the Royal Mail uses massive machines to sort mail. An item of mail slips then it gets damaged. It's either that or a slower service!

  • My mail is missing, the postman stole it!

  • Yes, it must have been the postman. Not those scallies who were at the post box last night with some chewing gum and a coathanger trying to fish out birthday cards! And it just couldn't have fallen behind one of those massive sorting machines!

  • I don't have my mail, therefore it must be there! There on your desk!

  • OK, the Customer Service Advisor works in Salford, and you have sent a letter from Aberdeen to Glasgow. Why would it be on the Customer Service Advisor's desk?

'Royal Mail Customer Services, How May We Help You?'

The best way to get some compensation awarded is first of all to consider how and where you are posting your items. You need to take into account the following details:

  • To claim, you need a Certificate of Posting. You can only get these from a Post Office.

  • You cannot claim if you send cash through anything but Special Delivery. The same goes for items of negotiable value, such as vouchers, tickets, or precious metals. It goes without saying that you won't be paid £300 for that cheque that will cost much less to cancel.

  • Compensation for First and Second Class mail and for Recorded Delivery post2 is £28.

So, from this we learn that if we want to be compensated should something go wrong, we need to post items at a Post Office and ask for a Certificate of Posting to prove it. We also learn that should we want to give little Kendall a £10 note in her birthday card but would like that bit of added security, we need to pay extra for Special Delivery! And of course, we learn that to send those £60 trainers in the post, we need to use a service that will give us £60 compensation!

Help the Customer Services, Help Yourself!

To virtually guarantee a successful claim, you need to send in the following items for the following types of claim.

  • All: Certificate of Posting, proof of the item's value (a receipt and a catalogue page. For legal reasons, not an Internet printout) and a completed P58 complaints form.

  • Damaged Item: The damaged item itself, the original packaging of the item (which, by the way, will be kept in the event of a claim being compensated).

  • Delay: The delayed envelope.

'I Hope You Will Accept This with our Compliments'

Once you have been compensated, it won't hurt to use a little bit of that cheque, or one of those complimentary stamps to write a little letter thanking the person who dealt with your claim. It will cheer them up and make them more likely to pay others - plus, it impresses the managers.

1At the time of writing, 28p for First Class and 20p for Second Class.2Also known as the registered post, which is basically the same as First Class - only you can get proof that the item was delivered.

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