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Royal Mail lost item compensation advice?

monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,153
edited June 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
Has anyone ever had to make a claim against Royal Mail as an ebay seller with a sent item not received by the purchaser? My buyer wants his money back rather than the proof of postage to pursue a claim himself (I can understand that). Looked under the terms and conditions of making a claim and have seen that they won't pay out unless you provide a receipt of how much it cost the claimant, then provide ebay numbers etc. What if you can't provide a receipt? I sold a promotional Darth Maul figure, so I didn't directly pay for it and can provide no receipt. Surely the value to refund is the amount someone else is willing to pay for it and did so? Anyone had a similar case and dealt with Royal Mail? Their terms seem pretty inflexible, it would seem that no receipt for sellers cost to buy = no claim.

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,309
    edited June 2012
    You can usually submit the printout of the ebay auction.

    Bear in mind not received on ebay often means received and wants it free. Rarer figs are better sent with recorded delivery.
  • TyoSoloTyoSolo Member Posts: 539
    Yes. Been there. Sold a £400 camera and Tripod. Tripod arrived but the camera never did. The sender has to claim as it is technically their loss. I made the mistake of not doing Recorded Delivery, but I did purchase additional insurance.

    I sent my eBay printout and proof of postage with my claim form, but they said that was insufficient proof. I got an e-mail statement from the buyer, and wrote a strongly worded letter about mis-sold insurance, going to trading standards, and going to the police as there was clearly criminal activity happening at RM. I soon got my £400 back with no problem.

    I'm still convinced the buyer got a free camera, so now I always do recorded delivery. that 75p is worth ever penny.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837
    edited June 2012
    Yes, I tend to agree, items MUST be sent Registered to have any hope of coming away unscathed.
  • BalloonistBalloonist Member Posts: 58
    You can usually submit the printout of the ebay auction.

    Bear in mind not received on ebay often means received and wants it free. Rarer figs are better sent with recorded delivery.
    Normally I would agree with this statement, but a couple of weeks ago I ordered several TC-14s from eBay which were sent by Special Delivery. They are marked as signed for but were not delivered. There is no point chasing the seller through the eBay system for claim so I am left with dealing through Royal Mail. The local depot manager's son was the postman on the day and luckily the CCTV shows no recorded / specials being delivered. The signature sheet is lost and so is the item.

  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,153
    I suppose there are thieves both sides, but my sister and my mam both live down south, near Southampton now and they regularly get post going missing, i'd be more inclined to believe RM employee stole something that could fit into the pocket no bother. It seems crazy to add 75p to a £10-12 item to ensure it's recorded and also the recipient has to be in to receive it, but if you can add it to your postage costs and people are prepared to pay the extra for reassurance it arrived then that's fine I suppose. Lazy ebay buyers who don't leave you feedback are a pain too - at least when they've left you feedback you can be sure it has arrived.

    The buyer in my case states that he's had 3 small things of value go missing in the past year. Is it unreasonable to refuse refund to the buyer until 15 working days have passed (this was posted on 28th May, expected 29th May, and if you can include Saturday as a "working day" as RM deliver on a Saturday - 15 working days haven't elapsed until next Monday 18th June) and also ask for an email from them to categorically state they have not received their item when the 15th day elapses?
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,153
    Balloonist: did you get a replacement in the end? I might have some TC-14s going spare for the right price - sent recorded delivery in a secure box of course!
  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    I had something similar happen the other week with a TC-14 I sold on ebay. Luckily I sent it recorded delivery so know for a fact the guy didn't receive it. I sent the claim to Royal Mail with the auction details and received a cheque around 10 days later for the amount I sold the item plus the postage costs. Unusually for Royal Mail I was very impressed with the service.

    I send all items recorded delivery now as I feel 75p is worth adding to the auction costs. It does save yourself a lot of hassle and stops people from even thinking about making undelivered stories. Genuine ebay people are happy to pay extra 75p to have a record of the item sent, I know I do.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837
    ^ Completely agree. 75p is worth paying for a good night's sleep at the very least.
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291
    edited June 2012
    Harsh for you folks! I've never had the unfortunate experience of a missing delivery (as seller or buyer) but I definitely agree that recorded delivery is well worth the extra 75p on any items that you couldn't happily write off and refund your buyer.

    Also agree with @CCC with regards to "it went missing" meaning "want it free". But when it comes to the crunch I'd rather write-off smaller, less valuable items and maintain a good eBay record.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    ...75p is worth paying for a good night's sleep at the very least.
    It's 95p now...
  • AvengerDrAvengerDr Member Posts: 453
    I am facing a similar situation right now. I sold some jetski to a buyer in france at around £20 + shipping. Buyer claims it never arrived. I do have proof of posting.. does anyone know if they are likely to accept a Bricklink and paypal invoices as proof of value?

    Should I need to send the claims to RM as a recorded letter? :D Are they likely to claim that the forms were lost ? :D
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,309
    I am facing a similar situation right now. I sold some jetski to a buyer in france at around £20 + shipping. Buyer claims it never arrived. I do have proof of posting.. does anyone know if they are likely to accept a Bricklink and paypal invoices as proof of value?

    I t depends on the person dealing with the claim. There used to be a scam (probably still is) where someone sells something to someone else for a large amount of money ~£40, they send something to get proof of posting, then they claim nothing arrived. They claim the loss from the RM, based on the sale price.
  • MarkeyMarkey Member Posts: 69
    I once had to claim from RM, so I send them the proof of posting and a printed receipt. But as in TyoSolo's case, I also got a letter back saying that wasn't enough proof. So it seems to me they send a standard letter out to anyone who claims.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,153
    AvengerDr: If you send an item to France and it goes missing, who is liable? Does the French post take the blame for it when it's passed to them for posting beyond the UK, or does RM maintain responsibility right through as French mail is acting on their behalf? How do RM prove it didn't go missing while in the UK but French mail lost it etc? I don't send abroad for that reason.

    From Markey/Tyosolo's experiences it appears that RM will do all they can to brush off all responsibility at the first hurdle with their standard letter. I'll probably have to do like Tyosolo and send a "don't even try it on" letter to accompany my proof of postage and ebay sale notification.

    I asked the buyer to hold on for the 15 days if they can or raise a case against me. They raised a case. Should I make them wait 15 working days for their refund (and would ebay support my decision to do so?), or refund on the provision that I would like an email from them on day 15 to state they have not received the item, or if it does turn up in the meantime they can either reimburse me and keep the item or send it back at my cost?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,309
    ^ eBay / PayPal will side with the buyer, and not expect them to wait for another 15 days for a refund.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited June 2012
    What's clear is that the onus is always on the seller with ebay - especially if you sell multiples of new things, because then you effectively become a business seller not a private seller (even if you don't have a business account). At that point in the UK at least, distance selling regulations come into force and you are largely screwed.

    This is something that concerns me a little that the massive influx of people lining up to resell lego don't fully understand the consequences. That MISB item you sell me on BIN with 10 for sale can come back to you banged up to hell and there is literally nothing you can do about it.

    Ebay will hang you out to dry as they would if HMRC came knocking - although theres a large tax free limit to play with so fewer people would get hurt by that.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Just to expand on that (and I know it goes along way from the RM issue so sorry) but if you are in the UK and reselling on ebay or elsewhere, its worth reading this:

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/general/oft913.pdf

    and particularly this:

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/distance-selling-downloads/Explained/DSexplained_PDF.pdf

    of particular interest might be:

    "If you want your customers to return the goods to you and to pay
    for returns when they cancel a contract under the DSRs, you must
    include this in your terms and conditions. This information must also
    be given to the customer as written information (see The information
    you must provide once the customer has decided to buy under the
    DSRs). "

    and:

    "DSRs do not link cancellation rights with your ability to resell items
    as new. Unless the item falls under the cancellation exemption,
    customers can cancel a contract and return the goods to you even
    if they have opened and tested the goods and, as a result, you are
    unable to resell them."

    and this as well:

    "The right to a refund is not connected either to the return of the
    product nor the customer’s duty to exercise reasonable care of
    the goods. Even if the customer fails to take reasonable care
    of the goods, you must make a full refund. You can bring a claim
    for damages separately.
    You must refund the customer’s money even if you have not yet
    collected the goods or had them returned to you by the customer.
    You cannot insist on receiving the goods before you make a refund."
  • muffenmanmuffenman Member Posts: 75
    Has anyone ever had to make a claim against Royal Mail as an ebay seller with a sent item not received by the purchaser? My buyer wants his money back rather than the proof of postage to pursue a claim himself (I can understand that). Looked under the terms and conditions of making a claim and have seen that they won't pay out unless you provide a receipt of how much it cost the claimant, then provide ebay numbers etc. What if you can't provide a receipt? I sold a promotional Darth Maul figure, so I didn't directly pay for it and can provide no receipt. Surely the value to refund is the amount someone else is willing to pay for it and did so? Anyone had a similar case and dealt with Royal Mail? Their terms seem pretty inflexible, it would seem that no receipt for sellers cost to buy = no claim.
    I have just made such a claim in the last few weeks and am a Power seller/Top rated Seller!

    You MUST have prof of postage first, original PO Receipt.

    If your a private seller you can write a letter and explain the item was given to you as a gift or just given and provide a few print off's of the same Item being sold by different sellers around the price you sold yours for.

    All so Provide a copy of the item page (your listing) Ebay invoice (I all ways set mine to email me a copy!) and a Print/copy of the pay pal transaction page.

    It is worth doing this first then make a refund to the buyer and close the transaction, print of pages showing the refund with a a sentence Like "Full Refund made today *Date* Item lost in post, thank you"

    Bundle it all of as per the form you get from any PO Branch.

    Now if your Registered as a Business seller like me it gets more complicated! You will need proof of value such as a receipt or invoice. I sold a private Item through my Business account and it was lost. I did all of the above & it was refused I rang them at that stage after getting a letter and spoke to someone in claims and they refunded it as a one off after some negotiating.

    ALL in ALL Hard work for £22 lol

    Hope that helps any one in this position
  • AvengerDrAvengerDr Member Posts: 453
    AvengerDr: If you send an item to France and it goes missing, who is liable? Does the French post take the blame for it when it's passed to them for posting beyond the UK, or does RM maintain responsibility right through as French mail is acting on their behalf? How do RM prove it didn't go missing while in the UK but French mail lost it etc? I don't send abroad for that reason.
    According to this I assume that once RM ascertains that it wasn't their fault they will start a "postal investigation" (I hope they hire a private dick by calling him during a rainy night..) with the foreign postal company. After 15 weeks (!) they should get back at me, provided that we got this far..

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    In short, in most of the civilized world, the seller is responsible and that is that.

    Any claim for loss or damage is between you and the shipping service, refund the customer and go file your claim.

    I buy a lot of Lego, I get sellers all the time who send me poorly packaged stuff, it gets damaged, I ask for an adjustment or return (I do provide detailed pictures of the box and contents), the seller tells me to piss off, they aren't responsible for the post office...

    I have a 100% success rate at PayPal making them pay up, every single time. As a buyer, I have never lost a claim.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    BTW, it does not matter if your bricklink store says on the store terms page "I am not responsible for damaged or lost shipments", PayPal doesn't read it or care. Store terms can't override the payment rules.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,153
    I refunded earlier today, I hope the buyer assists with the claim if Royal Mail do decide to contact him in relation to it, but maybe not - many people can't be arsed to leave feedback, let alone knock up a short email to say they didn't receive it and paid x amount for the posyed item etc.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    For what it is worth, I do think it is reasonable to ask the buyer to write an email that clearly states the loss or damage.

    If a seller makes an adjustment for me and then wants to file a claim, I am always happy to help. It is just the right thing to do.
  • AvengerDrAvengerDr Member Posts: 453
    An update: today, in less than three weeks since I submitted the claim forms, I received a letter from Royal Mail stating their apologies. The check for the full amount I claimed was included. It also covers the postage amount even though my understanding was that it wouldn't be refunded on the Airmail service but only on the tracked ones.

    I must say I'm impressed, something like this would never have happened on a non tracked/recorded delivery with the Italian postal company.
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