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Thread: Royal Mail - Return to sender?

  1. #1
    Master
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    Royal Mail - Return to sender?

    Does anyone know if you can contact Royal Mail Customer Services in any way other than on the phone?

    Not only do you have to listen to 3 minutes of waffle about how great their website is every time you call, when you finally get to choose to speak to someone, no one actually picks up the phone and I just don't have the time to spend the entire day on hold with them.

    The 'Tracking Assistant' is absolutely useless too - it tells you nothing that's not already on your screen.

    I don't understand why they don't do what every other website does nowadays and have an online chat or email option.

    LE: I've finally got through to someone, but I now need advice on how to proceed from here - please read on.
    Last edited by asteclaru; 17th December 2019 at 13:40.

  2. #2
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    I think they base their customer services strategies on HMRC.....

    Depends on what you are calling them about. I have had much better success when calling the local sorting office, rather than the general number. You often get to speak with a real human then. The numbers are found on Google.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    I think they base their customer services strategies on HMRC.....

    Depends on what you are calling them about. I have had much better success when calling the local sorting office, rather than the general number. You often get to speak with a real human then. The numbers are found on Google.
    Not really anything to do with my local sorting office...

    The story is: I sold something online. The idiot I sold it to gave me the right address but the wrong post code. Tracking hasn't changed for two weeks. I just want to see what happened to the package.

  4. #4
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    It'll be easier to speak to the head of MI6 than the post office.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    I think they base their customer services strategies on HMRC.....

    Depends on what you are calling them about. I have had much better success when calling the local sorting office, rather than the general number. You often get to speak with a real human then. The numbers are found on Google.
    Our local office has, last year, discontinued direct dial contact - I thought that was UK policy now.

    I would check yours again.

    Maybe its just a northern thing :-)

    B

  6. #6
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Our local office has, last year, discontinued direct dial contact - I thought that was UK policy now.

    I would check yours again.

    Maybe its just a northern thing :-)

    B
    Possibly.
    It was about 2 years ago when I called though to be fair. It worked a treat though, which is probably why they have stopped it.

  7. #7
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asteclaru View Post
    I don't understand why they don't do what every other website does nowadays and have an online chat or email option.
    They do have an email option on the website. Burrow down through the Contact Us link and you'll find a form to email them. It generates a confirmation email back to the address you give them.

    I used it last night to report a punctuation error in their tracking info: "The item is on it's way to you". Other than the automated confirmation, we'll see if I get an intelligent (or any) reply.

    And you can of course send them a letter. Their freepost postal address is on the website...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    They do have an email option on the website. Burrow down through the Contact Us link and you'll find a form to email them. It generates a confirmation email back to the address you give them.

    I used it last night to report a punctuation error in their tracking info: "The item is on it's way to you". Other than the automated confirmation, we'll see if I get an intelligent (or any) reply.

    And you can of course send them a letter. Their freepost postal address is on the website...
    You can indeed, if you choose 'Buying & Printing postage' on the 'How can we help you today?' page.

    If you choose 'Where's my item', you only get the option to call them.

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Ok, after an hour on hold, someone finally picked up my call.

    They confirmed that it wouldn't be delivered because the postcode doesn't match the address and said that they would try and return to sender.

    My parcel has last been scanned at the Bristol Mailing Centre (the regional centre for the address I sent the parcel to) on the 15th of December, but they can't tell me which direction it's going (is it coming back to London, is it stuck in Bristol, is it going to the NRC?). What concerns me more is that it was send 2nd Class Signed For, so if it was being returned to me, it should have been here by now (5 days each way for 2nd Class?).

    What is the time frame in which I should reasonably expect this to be returned to me? I understand it might take a bit more due to the holidays, but it's already been two weeks with no movement as far as I can tell.

  10. #10
    Craftsman canuck's Avatar
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    Royal Mail - Return to sender?

    Returns get pushed back a bit during Xmas time. Iíd expect it start second week January.

    Why you might ask.... xmas time is so busy that the typical person at the mail centre who would work on the return to sender etc wonít be doing that job regularly. Itíll be sat someplace waiting...just imagine the quantity or wrongly addressed xmas cards with poor handwriting that the machine canít decipher... and if the machines canít decipher it there are staff who get sent an image of the address to manually tell the machine where to sort it. If that fails it gets sorted into a box that it totally hand sorted. Youíll also be fighting for time with xmas cards where people have moved and are being returned to sender.

    Xmas also sees a significant influx of temporary staff who wouldnít necessarily put two and two together and sort it into the correct container to then be put either on plane or truck which would take it to the correct local delivery office ... if the postcode was close it might have made it to the delivery office person who does the particular round that the item had the correct street address. Doesnít sound like this was the case.

    All items get sorted by postcode for their initial delivery from mail centre to local delivery office. At the delivery office they get further sorted into particular routes until broken down into delivery routes... hence the local postie who might know the name and address if correct... will not have even seen it.

    Now Letters are different. Total automation if writing is even only semi legible ... but still sorted into local area before the being run through the machines again where they are sorted into particular walking routes.

    Priority is given to getting items sent out... if itís being returned for wrong address it becomes a very low priority especially at xmas.

    So I wouldnít worry until itís later than the second week of January.... thatís a long term wait and you might see it sooner.. Likely the first week of January or even just after xmas but Iíd be suprised if it was before.
    Last edited by canuck; 17th December 2019 at 18:00.

  11. #11
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    What does the scan say? RTS?
    If your return address is on the item (part of a signed for contract) then you’ll get it back
    May take a couple of extra days - it was last scanned on Sunday- is that right?
    You say it hasn’t moved for 2 week but was scanned on Sunday?
    Does the postcode you sent it to have an address the same ?
    Last edited by lewie; 17th December 2019 at 21:25.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewie View Post
    What does the scan say? RTS?
    If your return address is on the item (part of a signed for contract) then youíll get it back
    May take a couple of extra days - it was last scanned on Sunday- is that right?
    You say it hasnít moved for 2 week but was scanned on Sunday?
    Does the postcode you sent it to have an address the same ?
    The RM wesite only says that it's been accepted into the system on the 3rd of December and more information will be available once a delivery has been attempted.

    The last scan was at the Bristol Mailing Centre (which is the regional centre for the receiver's address) on the 15th, but the guy couldn't tell me what it was scanned as because it's only Signed For, not Tracked. So I don't know why it's still in Bristol after two weeks and I don't know where it's going next.

    The postcode is 30 miles away from the address, so it's in a different village altogether.

    There is a return address on the package, but it's my work address (I had no idea that it would get this complicated and there's usually no one to accept packages at home) and we're shutting down for Christmas next week and won't be back until the 5th. What would happen if they tried delivering it back to me and there was no one to accept it?

  13. #13
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asteclaru View Post
    What would happen if they tried delivering it back to me and there was no one to accept it?
    It would be returned to sen... oh, wait, hang on. ;-)

    Local posties are either told or figure out when businesses are shut and save stuff up for when they are open, in my experience.
    Last edited by markrlondon; 18th December 2019 at 09:18.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by asteclaru View Post
    The RM wesite only says that it's been accepted into the system on the 3rd of December and more information will be available once a delivery has been attempted.

    The last scan was at the Bristol Mailing Centre (which is the regional centre for the receiver's address) on the 15th, but the guy couldn't tell me what it was scanned as because it's only Signed For, not Tracked. So I don't know why it's still in Bristol after two weeks and I don't know where it's going next.

    The postcode is 30 miles away from the address, so it's in a different village altogether.

    There is a return address on the package, but it's my work address (I had no idea that it would get this complicated and there's usually no one to accept packages at home) and we're shutting down for Christmas next week and won't be back until the 5th. What would happen if they tried delivering it back to me and there was no one to accept it?
    You will be carded id expect and then pick up from your local sorting office

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweepinghand View Post
    You will be carded id expect and then pick up from your local sorting office
    But there is nowehere to leave the card because the entire building will be closed (we don't have a mailbox - everything goes to reception)

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by asteclaru View Post
    But there is nowehere to leave the card because the entire building will be closed (we don't have a mailbox - everything goes to reception)
    Same as all the mail, theyíll deliver when business open.

  17. #17
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asteclaru View Post
    But there is nowehere to leave the card because the entire building will be closed (we don't have a mailbox - everything goes to reception)
    They just won't deliver until the business is open. As I mentioned above, they'll just save incoming post until they know/notice the business is open again.

    I should add that my own experience as a postal recipient in this context is with business premises that either always require van delivery for all mail or are obviously/clearly business premises that have no method of mail delivery when shut. The local posties just deal with it either through being explicitly told "we'll be shut from XX to YY" or by keeping an eye out. It must be very common, when you think of it.

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    Return to sender items are way down the Royal Mails priorityís especially at Xmas.Im willing to bet You May wait weeks rather than days for it.

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