Royal Mail won’t re­fund lost £185

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

Could you per­suade Royal Mail to fully pay my $250 (£185) claim for money sent to my sis­ter in Texas?

My lo­cal post of­fice ad­vised that the only per­mit­ted way of send­ing cash was In­ter­na­tional Track & Signed and that the max­i­mum com­pen­sa­tion was £100 un­less I took ex­tra in­sur­ance with com­pen­sa­tion up to £250. I agreed to this and paid the £3 fee with the postage.

I tracked the let­ter on a daily ba­sis and was con­cerned that it seemed to spend a long time in New York. How­ever, my sis­ter had told me that some of the north­ern states were hav­ing bad weather. I felt it would ar­rive in due course.

To my dis­may, my sis­ter then emailed to say she had found the en­ve­lope from me in her mail­box but it had been tam­pered with and there was no money in­side.

No one had asked her to sign for it. Now, Royal Mail is deny­ing me full com­pen­sa­tion for the money. Can you help? LB, NOR­FOLK

Your claim was re­jected on the grounds that the postal ad­min­is­tra­tion in the US con­firmed your item was “de­liv­ered with­out any dis­pute be­ing made”.

It ad­vised that “the ad­dressee had not in­formed the for­eign postal au­thor­ity of any dam­age or part loss of con­tents”. This was wrong and you for­warded emails from the US Postal Ser­vice (USPS) to your sis­ter ac­knowl­edg­ing her re­port about the missing money.

You also pro­vided prints of pho­to­graphs your nephew had taken of the en­ve­lope that had been tam­pered with. You sug­gested a copy of the sig­na­ture was ac­quired.

Royal Mail then sent a cheque for £107.50, which in­cluded postage. It ad­vised that the max­i­mum com­pen­sa­tion was £100.

It said you should take the mat­ter up with the Post Of­fice. You protested that the counter em­ployee had looked for guid­ance from Royal Mail’s book­let, as you had, and the limit had not been clear.

You had hoped to avoid bank charges and ex­change costs by send­ing cash. You have now re­verted to us­ing the bank­ing sys­tem for such trans­ac­tions.

I em­pha­sised to Royal Mail that you had put the sum on the cus­toms la­bel and taken out ex­tra in­sur­ance in good faith.

Fur­ther to that, a Royal Mail spokesman said: “The se­cure de­liv­ery of ev­ery item is of para­mount im­por­tance to Royal Mail and we want to apol­o­gise to Mrs B for the loss of her item.” It then re­funded the full amount and also, as a re­sult of this case, re­viewed and clar­i­fied the in­for­ma­tion on its web­site.

The next edi­tion of the Royal Mail book­let Our Ser­vices will be avail­able in post of­fices from the start of April next year, and will re­flect the amended in­for­ma­tion now ap­pear­ing on its web­site.

Royal Mail said it ad­vised the USPS of the in­ci­dent, al­though it was “un­der no obli­ga­tion to ad­vise us on any ac­tion they may have taken”.

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