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The internet has revolutionised the way that we human beings talk to one another. In an instant, almost any of us can send a message to almost anyone else. With that in mind, it’s remarkable that the old-fashioned snail-mail service still endures. But it does – and it’s largely thanks to the fact that we still need to post physical items to one another.
If you’re a customer or a small business owner, you might have bought or sold something online and had it delivered. If the package hasn’t arrived – or it has arrived, but does so in a state of disrepair, then you might justifiably be panicking. Fortunately, there’s a way to handle this that’ll maximise the chance of any claim being successful.
If you’ve bought something online, then it’s the responsibility of the sending party to get the package to you intact. As such, you’ll want to make them aware of the problem and get them to compensate you while making their own claim behind the scenes. They might need some information from you in order to give the claim the best possible chance of success, and there’s no real reason why you shouldn’t be forthcoming with this information.
Different courier companies offer slightly different degrees of compensation, which can surely be found on their respective websites. Let’s consider first the procedure when dealing with missing packages sent through the Royal Mail.
If you’re using the Royal Mail, you’ll automatically get a certain level of coverage. This might be twenty pounds if you’re sending first or second class, and fifty pounds if you’re using a sighed-for service. Shell out for special delivery and you’ll get still more generous cover – up to a maximum of £500. If you’re sending something more valuable than this, you might wish to go for what’s called ‘enhanced compensation’. This cover is only available for special delivery, and it’ll stretch all the way up to £2,500 per consignment. If you’re shipping pre-built computers and 4K televisions, it’s sure to be the way forward. If you’ve opted for special delivery, then you’ll also be able to claim for consequential loss – the loss you make as a result of not having the item to hand on time. This loss must be claimed for within 14 days – while the compensation for the item itself can be claimed for on a more generous timescale of 80 days.
Making a claim
The procedure for making a claim is quite straightforward: simply get in touch with them and let them know the circumstances under which you find yourself. Depending on the sort of failure you’ve encountered, you’ll need to provide slightly different information. Let’s consider the possible failures.
If your parcel has been delayed, you’ll need to provide the full name and address both of the sending party and the receiving one. Moreover, you’ll need to stipulate how much you’ve paid for delivery, and where you posted the item from (be it a post-box or a post office). If you’re using a trackable service, you’ll want the unique reference number to hand.
Crucially, and uniquely, you’ll need to provide the date of postage and that of delivery. You’ll be entitled to compensation if the gap between the two dates is sufficiently large.
If your parcel has gotten lost in the post, then you’ll need to provide much of the same detail that you would if it had simply been delayed. The only exception is that won’t be able to provide the date of reception, and you’ll instead have to provide proof of postage and of the value of the item.
If your parcel has been damaged, then you’ll need to provide evidence of the damage. This means giving the parcel to the Royal Mail for inspection.
How do I avoid problems?
Naturally, a better solution to this problem is to ensure it doesn’t come up in the first place. This means ensuring addresses are properly recorded, and that packages are appropriately shielded against knocks and bumps. An address lookup system and proper address data cleansing software will help with the former – they’ll restrict the possibility of error, and ensure that address information can only point to a strictly-defined real-world location. The latter is self-explanatory – by securely packaging your parcels, you’ll be able to minimise the impact of those knocks and bruises. If you’re running a small business, you’ll find it’s far better to anticipate problems than deal with the stress of them after they’ve occurred!