Need to know

Your rights when you send a parcel

If a parcel you’ve sent is lost in transit or late arriving at it destination, you’re probably entitled to some compensation.

But the amount you can successfully claim will depend on factors like the length of a delay, the courier used and the type of delivery you paid for.

At the very least you’ll be able to get back the cost of the delivery service itself, as the courier will have failed to provide the service with ‘reasonable care and skill’ - a breach of the Consumer Rights Act.

It’s crucial you know the ‘terms and conditions’ of the courier or parcel delivery service you decide to use so that you know exactly what compensation is on offer.

In most cases the basic delivery rate will not include additional financial cover for the item you are sending.

Did you pay for additional cover?

You can get additional protection with a courier if you purchase insurance, or pay for particular delivery methods that include extra liability cover - such as Royal Mail’s recorded delivery.

If so, the courier service will have it’s own claim process that you will need to follow.

It’s always a good idea to pay for extra protection when you're sending high value items.

How to complain about Royal Mail

If you want to make a complaint to Royal Mail you’ll need to follow the following process:

  1. If you want to complain about a Royal Mail service, you will need to contact Royal Mail Customer Services.
  2. If  you’re not happy with its response you can escalate your complaint to Royal Mail’s Postal Review Panel.  The panel can be contacted directly by emailing postalreview@royalmail.com or by writing to FREEPOST, Postal Review Panel.
  3. If your complaint still can’t be resolved, you can ask the independent postal redress scheme (POSTRS) to investigate your case. But, only regulated postal operators are covered by this scheme.
  4. If you’re still unhappy with the response to your complaint, you’ll need to seek independent legal advice.

How to complain about other courier services

If you want to make a complaint to a courier service other than Royal Mail you’ll need to follow the following process:

  1. In the first instance contact the companies customer services team
  2. If the response isn’t good enough you need to escalate your complaint to a manager responsible for complaints
  3. If your complaint still can’t be resolved, you can ask the independent postal redress scheme (POSTRS) to investigate your case. But, only regulated postal operators are covered by this scheme. Non-regulated mail services are sometimes covered, provided both the company and customer agree to use the service voluntarily.
  4. If you’re still unhappy with the response to your complaint, you’ll need to seek independent legal advice.

Best and worst delivery companies

Find out what online shoppers really think of the couriers that deliver their packages. See our guide to the best and worst delivery companies.

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