What do do when customers dont receive their order

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Brighton United Kingdom
kokturkster
Kudos: 68
Joined: Jul 11, 2014
What do do when customers dont receive their order
5 Jan 2015
Hi, I am a newbie to e-commerce and recently I have had customers tell me that they have not received their order. From my side I refund them and close the case.

I have submitted a few claims on the Royal Mail website but you need proof of posting. I have to say that my local post office is not very happy if I go with an armful of packages and ask for proof of posting so I tend to drop them into the post box.

Is there a solution or should I just accept that at the end of the day there will be x amount of loses because of packages getting lost via Royal mail?

The value of the items I am currently selling doesn't make it worth paying extra for package tracking or signature upon delivery.

Thank you in advance for any advice
Australia Australia
Billy Bunter
Kudos: 43
Joined: Nov 22, 2014
Re: What do do when customers dont receive their order
6 Jan 2015
It is always a gamble sending parcels to your buyers without tracking and I understand when there is so little profit after all the fees and costs involved. I have had buyers advise similar, and one of the ways I was advised was to photograph or photocopy the envelope with the buyers name address and stamp on it.

Another seller advised that you write to the buyer and say " it has been reported to the Post Office,
they will investigate and may have to contact you to make further inquiries". ( They claim that one
mysteriously often prompts the purchaser to advise the parcel has turned up!)

I am currently waiting upon a parcel posted in Shanghai, China on the 24th of November, and arriving in our country on the 27th, then mysteriously disappearing. I am numbered in the 600,000 for lost parcels or missing parcel enquiries!

Hope this helps in some small way.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
AgathaB
Kudos: 21
Joined: Jan 6, 2015
Re: What do do when customers dont receive their order
6 Jan 2015
@kokturkster
I have the same problems as yourself. My Post Office wasn't happy with me posting several parcels a day and asking them to print off proof of posting certificates. If you go onto the Royal Mail website you can find a form for "Bulk Certificate of Posting". You print it off and add all of your buyers name & addresses etc, then take it with you to the Post Office and they will check your parcels and stamp and sign the certificate for you. It's a lot easier and more acceptable to them. I actually adapted the certificate to suit me and added the actual item to it. I have used it for claims from the Royal Mail and they will accept it as a proof of posting.
Before I get to that stage, I do contact my buyer and ask them to check with their neighbours and with their local Royal Mail depot just in case it is being held their for them to collect (sometimes the Post Man will miss putting a card through the door). I also ask the buyer to put this in an email or message to me as it is required by the Royal Mail when investigating a claim. Yes sometimes the parcel suddenly appears. If it doesn't then I print what the buyer has said to enclose it with the documents for the Royal Mail claim as it forms a statement from the buyer.
The other thing to consider is that there will always be a small % of parcels that go missing. You could work out the cost over a few months and then add this to the price of your items or the postage cost that you charge, so that you have built in cover for your losses, although to compete in the market these days every penny counts on the price you charge.
Hope that helps a little.
Australia Australia
Billy Bunter
Kudos: 43
Joined: Nov 22, 2014
Re: What do do when customers dont receive their order
6 Jan 2015
The aforementioned advice is excellent. I am going to implement a Certificate of Posting that is filled out and ready to go and hopefully Australia Post will accept it and stamp it each time I post.
This will be done for those items I don't get tracking numbers for. Many thanks for your input!
Brighton United Kingdom
kokturkster
Kudos: 68
Joined: Jul 11, 2014
Re: What do do when customers dont receive their order
6 Jan 2015
Thank you so much for your input everyone. This is extremely helpful :-)

Actually the first thing I do before refunding the customer is to contact them. Something along the lines of:

''Thank you for your message and I am very sorry to learn that you have not received the (said item)

They were dispatched on the first working day after payment which was the (date of dispatch)

I have been in touch with the Royal Mail who have replied as ''I'm sorry we're unable to accept your claim. For Second Class products, you must allow 15 working days from the due delivery date before we can treat the item as being lost ''

Can I kindly ask you to wait a couple more working days and I will be more than happy to resolve this for you''

Following everyone's advice, I will 100% have a look on the Royal Mail website for the "Bulk Certificate of Posting". Also, it is very useful to know about asking the customer for an e.mail to submit along with the Royal Mail claim.

Finally, I believe it is worth thinking about adding a small amount to the P & P charges to cover the charges for losses during transit.

Thank you Billy and Agatha once again

07/01/2015 Just added this Interesting forum which is along the same lines on the ebay community

community.ebay.co.uk/t5/Postag...tems-Is-this-right/td-p/250997

[Last edited: 7 Jan 2015]
Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,358
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: What do do when customers dont receive their order
7 Jan 2015
Doesn't Royal Mail allow printing of labels with tracking? They don't scan packages on receipt?
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,226
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: What do do when customers dont receive their order
9 Jan 2015
Unfortunately it is a fact of on-line life.

No matter what you do, there will always be parcels that go missing. It could be Royal Mail (or any other delivery company), or it could be fraudulent buyers.

One thing that we have tried which did cut down on the number of "Item not received" cases was to print a barcode on the delivery label with "Tracked Delivery" underneath it. This was similar to a Royal Mail barcode / tracking number.

Whenever we got an INR notification we would check the buyers feedback and history. If they were new or had debatable feedback we would sometimes call the customers bluff along the lines of "We have checked the tracking and it does appear to have been delivered to your address. If you are completely sure that you have not received the parcel we shall contact Royal Mail on your behalf so that they can open a legal case. Royal Mail treat fraud amongst their staff very seriously, so it may mean that you have to give a written statement under oath, or in extreme circumstances appear in court to give evidence against the Royal Mail employee"

It was amazing the number of messages we received back to say that parcels had suddenly been found.

There are of course cases when items do genuinely go missing. This is one of those facts of on-line retailing. If this is the case, always refund straight away.

Ian
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