I sold an iPhone to the United Arab Emirites December 31st 2010. I went to the post office and asked what would be the best way of sending it. As the value was £217 I was recommended to post it via 'International Signed For' and pay a little extra insurance to cover the cost of the phone. I agreed to it and posted it with the Royal Mail. I was told I could track its progress on the RM's website.
2 weeks go by and I get an email from the guy in UAE asking where his parcel is. I check on the RM site and it says
'Your item, posted on 31/12/10 with reference xxxxxxxxx has been passed to the overseas postal service for delivery in UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.
The RM site apparently only tracks the package in the UK. As soon as it leaves the UK its off the radar tracking wise but once its delivered this message should be updated to Delivered.
I told the guy to hold on longer becaus of the bad weather we were having at the time was causing havoc with the post.
Long story short, he never gets the package and the RM website doesnt update so we both assume its lost in post.
Royal Mail can't tell me where it is and recommend I put in a request for compensation.
The guy on eBay requests a refund via eBay due to none delivery so eBay gave me 14 more days to refund him.
13 Days go by with no news from RM or the parcel turning uo so am forced to refund the guy.
3 weeks later I get a letter from RM saying that the parcel was delivered on the 12th Jan 2011 and they wont compensate me. I contact the ebay guy and he is insistant he hasnt recieved it but he'll go to the UAE Postal Service to see whats going on. He contacts me the next day to say that they had delivered the parcel to his university but they didnt get a signature for it and he doesnt know where it is. He said he'll try and find it for me.
I decide to contact RM and ask for them for the proof of delivery e.g. the signature so I can try and claim the money back from eBay incase this guy is trying to pul las fast one. The RM say they can't get hold of the Signature but still wont pay compensation!!!
My third letter to them went like this:
Thank you for your response about my missing parcel to the United Arab Emirates however I do not accept your decision to not compensate me for my loss.
I paid for ĎInternational Signed Forí so I knew that someone would have signed for the parcel and that I would have proof of it. Currently you are not getting me this proof.
I have asked you to provide me proof that the UAE Postal Service has a signature for the parcel which you have replied in your letter to me (enclosed) that you cant provide this.
The person who was supposed to receive the parcel has been to the UAE Postal Service and asked them for proof of delivery and a copy of the signature. They told him that they delivered it to the address (a University) but they canít provide him a signature because they didnít get anyone to sign for it. This is a breach of their contract with you.
My recipient is now missing the parcel (£217 iPhone) of which I have had to compensate him for. I am now out of pocket because the UAE Postal Service didnít follow the correct procedure agreed with you.
I would like you to compensate me for the full amount (£217) and if I donít get the desired result then I will take this further to the Postal Review Panel and then on to the Postal Redress Service.
I will also consider contacting Trading Standards as the wording ĎInternational Signed Forí doesnít mean that the Royal Mail can actually produce a signature.
I'm still waiting to hear the response from this third letter I have sent them but they seem to be digging their heels in even though they can't prove that it has been delivered.
The RM site still says 'Its on its way' nearly 4 months on!!
Sorry for the long post!