Royal Fail: 100% failure rate in 2011 so far

Remember last year, when Royal Fail held about 15 of my parcels hostage and refused to allow me to collect them?

And took six weeks to deliver some of them?

And LOST one of them?

I thought it couldn’t get much worse than that. I thought that once the snow melted (Which it did, well over a month ago) and their main excuse for failing so miserably at their one and only function as a business was gone, the Fail would return to their usual, albeit pretty poor, standard of service, and I would have at least SOME hope of being able to send and receive mail.

I was wrong. Oh, was I wrong.

This year I’ve sent a total of two packages through Royal Mail.

They’ve lost both of them.

No, really: they have actually managed to lose every single item of mail I’ve given them this year, and sure, I know it’s only two items, but even so, that’s a 100% failure rate, and coming on top of the December of Disaster we’ve just gone through, during which sending or receiving an item through Royal Mail involved a leap of faith so large that it was like jumping out of a plane without a parachute and just hoping you’d somehow survive, I am BEYOND furious right now. Obviously I can and will claim for compensation for the missing parcels, but I’m led to believe that this can be a lengthy process, with no guarantee of success (and one of the items was sent to the States, which Fail are very unlikely to compensate me for, as they’ll say it might have been lost once it was out of their hands. I’m prepared to concede the possibility of that happening, but let’s face it: given the Fail’s track record here, we don’t need Sherlock Holmes to tell us whodunnit here, do we? Forgive my skepticism, Fail, but given that you’ve failed so badly at everything else recently, why would I think you got it right this time, and whoops, the dog ate your homework! A big boy did it and ran away! It wasn’t yoooooooo!) and meanwhile I’m out of pocket for the items that are lost. Awesome.

What the HELL are Royal Mail actually doing, I wonder? I know they’re not delivering mail – or at least, not MY mail – so seriously: what are they doing? And how is it even legal for them to be doing whatever-the-hell-it-is, given that they describe themselves as a mail delivery company? At this point I actually feel like they’re just getting money for nothing: oh, they say they’ll deliver mail for you, but will they actually do it? Not in my experience. And really, when every single item I send gets lost, and every single item I order takes a very long time to arrive (this year all of our parcel deliveries have been taking much longer than they used to. Up until December, we used to be able to order something online and, if it was  delivered by Fail, it would generally be there within 3 days. Now? At least two weeks. Very occasionally less than that, but for the most part, at least two weeks.), I find myself wondering what point there is of ever using this shoddy excuse for a “service” ever again.

I can’t think of one. I honestly can’t think of a single reason to ever trust Royal Mail again. The fact is, they don’t deliver. Literally. They just take my money and my package and… that’s it. I don’t know what they do with them, but the main point is that they don’t do what I’m paying them to do. It seems to me that sending something through Royal Mail these days is an act of blind faith. They may deliver it, they may not. They won’t care either way, so why take the chance?

Oh yeah: because there’s really not that much of an option, other than paying for courier companies, which could prove expensive. From now on, though, I’m going to be doing everything I possibly can to avoid having to use them for anything, because honestly, it’s just so much easier to simply take my money and set it on fire.

What are you doing with my mail, Fail? I would really, really love to know…

30 Comments

  • Emily says:

    Don’t get me started on bloody royal fail! I’m about to have a big argument with them in a few days time…2 items I posted to America at the same time via Airmail both haven’t arrived! And another item hasn’t arrived yet either but has a few days before it will…

    But because of all this and the fact they’re unlikely to refund me, I’ll be loosing about £200 due to having to refund buyers and loosing the brand new pairs of jeans I sold in the first place (Jeans with normal price of is £145 – £195 a pair!)

    Sooo angry, I’m thinking it’s my post office that have lost 2 of the pairs though…

    • Amber says:

      I wonder if yours are delayed for the same reasons Claire mentioned below? If so, I really wish Fail had thought to mention this when you’re actually sending the thing!

      I think I’m going to have lost my money, too: mine was a store return, and it’ll be outwith the 30 day returns limit by now, so if it does turn up I’ll just have to hope they’re willing to refund me. I’d just have kept it if I’d known it would take so long to get there!

  • Claire says:

    Hiya

    I run an internet based retail business so I know all about Royal Fail and feel your pain.

    Amber you should tweet them, they do have people manning that which seem to be able to help and are constructive.

    The American thing really isn’t The Fails fault though, it’s U.S Customs and is a widely known problem which has been going on since November. Link here http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/content1?catId=400033&mediaId=3800088#1600085

    • Amber says:

      How do you know the US package definitely isn’t down to Royal Mail, though? That link just says delays of 2 weeks of heavier packages due to customs: it’s been six weeks now (and it was a lightweight package, too), and they say there’s no way of knowing whether it was lost by them or by USPS?

      • Claire says:

        I don’t send to the U.S personally because even tracked mail has a long term habit of getting to their shores and then vanishing. But I am a member of a few internet seller forums with members who do and the problems reported in that link are ongoing.

        Packages are taking approx 7-10 weeks to arrive regardless of size, posting method etc. Just giving info :-) not sticking up for them (got no reason to, the amount of refunds and resent orders I had to put through in December/January was hideous.)

        • Amber says:

          Hmm, that’s really annoying: my item was a shop return, so it’s now outwith the time when I can get my money back, even if it does eventually arrive (which I’m not holiding out much hope for). I’m still angry with the Fail, though – you’d think they would maybe mention when you’re purchasing the service that it could take that 7 – 10 weeks to get there! I mean, I was in the post office for absolutely ages talking through the best method of sending the thing back, and while the woman was very helpful, she didn’t at any time mention that US mail had that much of a delay: if she had, I’d just have kept the thing!

          Thanks for the info, though: I will definitely not be sending anything to the US while that’s going on!

          • Emily says:

            My post office didn’t tell me either and it doesn’t say anything on paypal either when buying postage on there…I asked in my local post office about this after reading the link and the guy knew nothing about it at all, I had to tell him…

            I’ve had 3 of my ebay buyers not recieved their things now and 2 have opened cases against me and the 3rd asking for a refund or another item the same and I’ve had enough, I’m loosing money plus the the item and there’s nothing I can do to get any of it back it seems…Royal Fail are rubbish!

  • Colene says:

    Ugh I hate delivery companies.

    My own personal enemy? Home Delivery Network. COMPLETELY USELESS.

    Ordered a dress from Miss Selfridge, on a Thursday with next day delivery. No sign of it the next day.
    Phone depot at 2.30pm on Friday. HDN Lady: Oh yes it’s here.
    Me: Excellent.
    HDN lady: So you’ll get it on Monday.
    Me: Em. Your depot is approx two miles from my house – and you deliver till 5pm?
    HDN lady: Nope, no dress till Monday.
    Me: Fine. I’ll come and collect it myself.
    HDN lady: Oh no, you’re not allowed to do that.

    Me: Brain melts.

    Eventually I went to the depot, shouted and generally went a bit ‘Terrier-like’, and got my dress.

    Now waiting for a cardigan from New Look to wear to Murrayfield this weekend but have already looked out an alternative outfit as I d0oubt it will arrive in time thanks to Useless Depot Network.

    • Amber says:

      Aargh, the “not allowing you to collect it” thing is the worst: it just feels like they’re holding your stuff hostage :(

      Weirdly, I really like Home Delivery Network – they’re always really quick with us. (Possibly because I’m probably their best customer!)

    • Roisin says:

      Home Delivery Network can BITE ME. I had a parcel delivered on Friday. This was after my boyfriend waited in all day Thursday for it. They claimed to have been unable to access the property – what actually happened was that the driver rang the bell then promptly got into his van and drove away. He didn’t even try to wait for the door to be opened. Idiot.

      Anyway, Fail can also bite me. Amber, they will respond to queries on Twitter but not always that helpfully – when I was awaiting post both before and after christmas the best I could get out of them was ‘It’ll be with you soon’ I have noticed a decline in their service too – not to the same extent as you, but it’s still taking 5 days for a first class letter to be delivered. The problem is that they’re still better than any private alternative might be, because they are obliged to have the universal delivery thing, which private companies are not. Still though: LAME.

      • Amber says:

        Gah – hear so many stories of delivery people doing that! It’s so stupid – I mean, do they honestly think no one will ever notice? And it’s not like it’s that much extra effort to wait a few seconds until someone opens the door and then hand over the parcel.

        I did have a look at the RM Twitter but I don’t really think they’ll be able to tell me any more than they did on the phone, which is that without a till receipt I’m going to struggle to get compensation. Unfortunately for me, the item I posted within the UK wasn’t something I’d purchased, so I don’t have a receipt for it. This alone completely amazed me: they seem to work on the assumption that every single thing sent through the mail is something the sender has purchased recently and kept the receipt for. Bizarre!

  • Claire says:

    We run an interweb retail business and our courier (Interlink) takes a phone number from us, which it then uses to text the customer with a 1 hour delivery window. If the customer isn’t free then, they can contact the courier and rearrange.

    So….it’s clearly possible to be an efficient delivery company – why can’t they all do it?

  • Sandy says:

    Ooohh….Royal Fail….I’ve had many a rant about them in the past…I know that if I order from somewhere that say they use RF I know it’ll take longer than their optimistic 2-3 days. I think I may have even ranted at a company once for using RF! I seem to rant a lot at different companies these days, I’ve become a Grumpy Old Woman!

    You’ve now worried me that my KG returns won’t make it…although they’re not US bound so hopefully all is well.

    As for HDNL, I quite like mine too….I have a nice cheery chappy who I can guarantee will arrive either around 1pm or 4.30pm…it never changes! He’s very friendly and nice…probably because he’s at my door so much….can’t decide if that’s a good thing or not? LOL!

  • Julia M says:

    My sister and I recently ordered the same item at around the same time from the same site, and hers arrived A FULL FORTNIGHT before mine, even though she lives in the Western Isles and I live in Glasgow, there the company we ordered from is based. I had to pick mine up from the sorting office too, even though I work from home so I’m in the flat every weekday without fail, but still get the ‘sorry you were out’ cards EVER. SINGLE. TIME.
    Another thing in my massive essay of a comment: letters I post home never seem to arrive. My granny’s getting pretty angry because I’ve apparently stopped writing every week or so like I used to, but I have been writing, and posting them first class, they just don’t arrive at her house! I should convince her to get email…
    A birthday present I sent to my friend failed to arrive too, as well as 14 DVDs I sold on eBay and now have a mega bad feedback score because of.
    Have you ever complained to the Fail? I have and it was a mission and a half trying to find the appropriate department to complain to. It’s almost as if they don’t want you to complain…

  • Amy says:

    USPS can bite the big one, too. But, they’re not a government organization and really don’t make much money off anything, so it almost stands to reason that they just don’t care enough to be diligent. Funny you should mention Sherlock Holmes, because if I remember correctly, those stories often mention how reliable the mail is, and that there were TWO deliveries a day. Those Victorians, what an efficient bunch. Yup, Google turned up the NY Times article.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/business/21digi.html 12 x a day (!!!) in London… wonder what it was like in your city?

  • Mia says:

    It really makes you wonder exactly WHERE this ‘lost’ mail is going! Is there some dark corner, in some dingy warehouse that all this lost post is collecting?!

  • Victoria says:

    I feel your pain Amber! Royal Fail really do live up to their name! I’ve had nothing but disappointment from them for a couple of months now. They are currently holding a dress of mine hostage which alone would be grounds for annoyance. Worse still their latest trick is to not bother ringing our doorbell when we do have a parcel and then leaving that stupid little card telling me to drive 5 miles to pick my stuff up! Most irritating of all is that my boyfriend has been in the flat every time they have done this.

    Really hope your situation gets sorted in some way, fingers crossed x

  • Julia says:

    Hi Amber!

    Royal Fail is not the only mail company failing miserably. Belgian Mail has lost quite a few of my items as well. I receive a note that they have an item for me, I go to the post office to collect it and they tell me they don’t have it. But here I am with a slip that I obviously didn’t type myself. No, they say, go away, you crazy woman. 3 trips to the post office later they discover my parcel behind the shelf. No apologies, no comments, no nothing.

    I feel your pain! Sometimes I’m thinking whether it makes sense to order anything online at all. This failing affects online retailers as well as us, customers, so maybe they should excercise some pressure…

  • Kirsty says:

    The Fail are currently withholding my contact lenses from Specsavers, 11 days and counting. Specsavers are infuriating me too by not replying to my emails. Fortunately for both companies I am too tired to really unleash my wrath.

  • Yulia says:

    That just sucks:(. I hope this gets resolved sooner than later!
    I’ve read that RF might be bought by DeutschePost, who are still quite decent – maybe then there will be a chance to improve

  • Nicola says:

    Home Delivery Network are my favourite (in terms of absolute FAIL). Once I had a card through the door from them with the ‘we left it in a safe place’ box ticked. Next to that the man had written ‘over side wall – may be on shed’. Thanks for that. Is it now normal procedure that I have to get the ladder out to be able to get my parcel down from the roof of a building? The best part was that our shed is right next to our pond. Do they not think of these things before chucking your stuff over walls that they can’t see over?

    To be fair to the Fail I’ve never had a problem with claiming for lost items, even stuff that’s been sent abroad. The thing that pisses me off though is that they refund the price of the item, but not the price of the postage! Where’s the logic in that? Why am I paying for the postage if the item clearly didn’t get there?!

    • Amber says:

      You’ve just reminded me of my own “favourite” experience with HDN: they left the parcel inside our recycling bin (which isn’t an issue in itself, because it’s just full of paper and plastic) but, crucially, didn’t bother to put a card through the door telling me where it was. The next morning, the bins got emptied… with the parcel inside it. Luckily the company who’d sent the thing were very good about it and replaced the item, but seriously, how stupid can you be?!

      That said, we have a different delivery driver now and I have to say, he’s really excellent – I think it probably depends on the person doing the delivering…

  • Nina says:

    Oh, I just “recently” had a parcel arriving in New Zealand that I sent at the beginning of November. When I called DHL to ask them why the tracking form online told me it had not left the post office a month after bringing it there, they went on to search for it. I was on the brink of a serious meltdown, because it was an apple pincushion I had made with *my very own hands* for a very dear friend. They wanted to know how to refund me in case the parcel was lost. (imagine me laughing hysterically and slightly maniacally at this point.) A week or two later they told me they have no idea where it is, the last track record was in Hamburg. So they assumed it might take the SHIP route and therefore would take about three months to arrive [Even though I'd paid for "airmail"]. Craziness, I had no idea *anything* takes that long anymore. Like in a Cowboy movie with stagecoach robbers and all. Anyhow, it did finally arrive at the beginning of January, phew.
    Oh btw I just saw something hilarious that fits in with your general hate of snow :)
    http://cathyzielske.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/02/if-i-were-to-develop-a-line-of-digital-brushes-for-use-on-scrapbook-pages-that-were-anti-snow.html

  • Cookie says:

    My problem with the local mail here is that they never bother to bring you your package (and the average delivery time is around 3-4 weeks for out of the country packages). No matter what it is, they’ll just leave a little slip in your mailbox having you go collect it yourself. I guess it’s too hard to take the elevator up to the 5th floor or something. I actually put up a little sign on our mailbox saying: dear mailman, yes we are home, please don’t be shy and ring our bell to deliver the packages. thank you.

  • Marjolein says:

    Another brilliant example of Royal Fail: a postcard was delivered 94 years late… and at the wrong address!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1359046/First-World-War-soldiers-card-home-finally-delivered–94-years-late.html

  • yute1 says:

    have u sellers ever thought that the people saying the item hasnt been deliverd r just bull sh##ing just to get the item for free and royal mail gets the blame. ive sent hundreds of items recorded and never had 1 problem.theres alot of liars out there and rm get all the blame. always send recorded or tracked and tracked take priority there so they tend to get deliverd next day..

  • John Stone says:

    Define ‘alarming frequency’ or are you just paraphrasing?

    How many Recorded Deliveries have you had go missing in the last 12 months?

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