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Recorded delivery a con?
Member Name: andyduffy
Date: 27/07/02, updated on 27/07/02 (26828 review reads)
Advantages: May cost less to send items!, May be better protected!
While I was reading an op on how someone sent a package by recorded delivery not arriving at it's destination for two weeks, I realised that a lot of people use recorded delivery without knowing there are often other, better options available. This has spurred me on, to share a few tips to make using Royal Mail/Consignia a little less painful.
Firstly, you have to decide what you want from your mail delivery. Do you need a signature, to prove something arrived, or do you just need proof that you posted the goods?
If you just need proof that you've posted goods (perhaps you've sold something on Ebay or another forum), then all you really need to do is fill out a "Certificate of Posting". This is free, and all you are required to do, is fill out the name and address of the person you are sending to, and the Post office will stamp the certificate.
If the item does not arrive, you can use this as evidence that the item was sent, when making a claim from the Post Office. It affords the same level of protection as recorded delivery does, in terms of how much money you can claim back (£18 for 2nd class and £27 for 1st class). It is considered to be very adequate proof by the Post Office, so there is rarely a big delay in receiving your refund.
If you need proof that something arrived, then obviously you need to choose a way of sending mail that forces the recipient to sign for the goods. There are two ways to do this. One is Recorded Delivery, which at 63p is the cheapest way, but does not guarantee delivery by a certain time or date (as one Dooyoo user just found out). The other is registered mail, which costs considerably more (I just paid £6.75 to send 18 Zip Disks to a friend) and you can specify when it has to be delivered by.
Recorded mail allows you to claim the standard compensation (£18 for 2nd class and £27 for 1st class) and Registered Mail allows you to claim back far more. So if you're sen
ding something with a value of £100 you will have to use registered, and not recorded delivery or a Certificate of posting. The amount of compensation varies, so the more expensive an item, the more you will have to pay to send it. Generally just using registered mail without extra insurance will mean you can claim up to £250. If the item is more valuable than that, you'll have to pay extra.
Now, why do I consider recorded Delivery to be a bit of a con? It is marketed by the Post Office to be the safe way to send items of value through the post. This means that if you send a dvd with a value of £10, they cream 63p off either the buyer or the seller, when the same protection could have been offered for free. Yes, Recorded Delivery has its uses and it's place, but it is not the catch all service that people think it is.
For sending items under the value of £27 (if using 1st class) then you should use a Certificate of Posting. Few people will pretend the item didn't arrive, as they have to sign a form stating they did not receive the parcel. The Post Office will soon cotton on to people who pretend items don't arrive when they did.
For sending items valued over £27 then you should use Registered mail (unless the extra cost is higher than the amount you would lose by sending Recorded. By this I mean there is little point in paying £3 extra to send, if the item is worth £28.
For sending a letter or item you have to prove arrived (proof being a signature), but doesn't have to be delivered by a certain time, use recorded delivery.
For sending a letter or item you have to prove arrived, by a certain time (for example 9am the following day) then use Registered mail and ask for it to be delivered by a certain time (this will cost extra).
Of course, these are all for instances when you're sending mail inside the UK.
You can visit www.postoffice.co.uk which is a rather
convoluted website, but gives you in-depth information (when you can find where they've hidden it!).
One final word of advice, always check that the parcel has not been tampered with, before you sign for it. There is at least one op on dooyoo where someone signed for an item, only to discover it had been opened and the valuables inside stolen. Check that it is unopened, before you sign, as it's much easier to prove it's been stolen when you haven't signed to say it's arrived!
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