Royal Mail won’t refund lost £185
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”.