How to Beat a Post Office Trick

Time for a story. Who shall we pick on this time? Let’s have a go at the Post Office and Royal Mail two different businesses in fact. The Post Office offers the Royal Mail services.

The parcel
Some time ago I helped someone with their Royal Mail problem. She had bought a bottle of perfume from a private seller on Ebay. The contents turned out to be fake. The seller agreed a full refund including postage. Not surprised given the considerable trouble she could have got into had Sarah simply reported her to certain authorities….

What's in your parcel?
What’s in your parcel?

Now, Royal Mail lost the item. No surprise there then. So, Sarah wrote to the Royal Mail and explained what had happened. Someone from the Royal Mail wrote back and said that she wouldn’t be getting a refund because she had posted a prohibited item. You can find a list of prohibited items here. Call me cynical but apart from some obvious stuff this list includes other toiletries which you may well send as gifts, so check this list before you post liquid gifts. After shaves, perfumes and nail varnishes are allowed but there are restrictions on size etc. Sarah told me that no-one in Royal Mail had asked her what was in the parcel and no reference was made to what wasn’t allowed. How many of you knew you can’t send certain after shave or nail varnish in the post? There is no information on the walls or in leaflets regarding this in the Post Office, so I think this was pretty unfair. I believe that the Post Office has a duty of care to ensure that the public knows Royal Mail policies. You aren’t allowed to send “filth” (that could be very subjective!) and no sending of human or animal remains about the UK either please. Or ice. Anyone ever sent ice? Why should anyone have to check the Internet before they post anything? How about people who don’t have the Internet? So I wrote Sarah’s letter for her, telling them exactly that and that I expected a full refund due to their failing to undertake reasonable skill and care in ensuring the public knew their rules. Matthew at Royal Mail agreed and Sarah got her full refund. Not that I got a thank you. Sarah is no longer my friend.

Other Royal Mail Complaints
Generally of course, it is letters and parcels that are acceptable to Royal Mail that go missing. If you need to complain the contact details are here. The things that are covered here and the levels of compensation here. What problems have you had with the Royal Mail (other than it being sold off too cheaply of course).

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Why you suck at gaining redress (and what to do about it)

So, you got poor service at the restaurant and didn’t complain or if you did complain you didn’t gain redress. You bought an item that’s faulty but didn’t get a refund. Why? What’s going on? How can you get that to which you are entitled?!

You need the adjustment

1) Your expectations are too low

You think that the item was cheap so what do you expect? You think the meal you had at that place last time was bad so you aren’t surprised when it is again. If a kettle was bought to boil water it should boil water. Simple! If you buy a meal it should be made with reasonable skill and care. If you had a bad meal there last time you should have complained and maybe things would have improved!

2) You don’t know your legal rights

The main one you need to know is The Consumer Rights Act 2015.  Items should be of satisfactory quality, be fit for purpose, be as described and last a reasonable length of time.

3) You think it will take too much time and effort

Going back to the shop arguing about refunds. Well, if you know your legal rights you won’t be arguing you’ll be assertive and if you still don’t gain redress you can take the matter further by which time you will be asking for more than a refund.

4) You shout at people on the ‘phone or in person.

Would you give me what I wanted if I yelled at you? Think, be polite particularly as often the person or people at fault aren’t usually the people to whom you complain. And in any case it is always better to write not ‘phone to complain effectively.

5) You’ve gone back to the wrong shop!

Yes I have heard of this being done, frequently! Check your facts first.

6) You think that because you have lost the receipt that you can’t get your money back

Wrong. You just need proof of purchase such as a credit card bill.

7) You don’t like complaining and aren’t assertive.

Fair enough, but seriously? You’d rather be out of pocket? If you are in the right you have nothing to worry about! And you can and should write, not do in person where possible anyway! See above!

8) You are complaining about something trivial and you aren’t out of pocket

There is a difference between complaining about 69p because it is the principle of the thing and complaining that you don’t like the colour of the carpet.

So, get out there and complain when something goes wrong! Much more at Top 20 Tips for effective complaining

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

For more information, tips, advice, guidance, consumer rights and templates see GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

Top 20 Tips for Complaining Effectively

How to Complain Effectively

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