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Royal Mail - failed redirection


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Hope this forum can help. I'm in a bit of a pickle regarding Royal Mail complaint. I'll try to keep my first post relatively brief - which as consequence might not include all relevant details, apologies for that.

 

In July last year we (my partner and I) bought a redirection service from Royal Mail after moving flats. After a month we didn't receive any mail, including a few important documents. We complained (first time) during the period of the service and Royal Mail concluded that "they are confident mail is being forwarded accordingly". We eventually discovered that it must have "looked fine" on their end, but mail was delivered to a wrong address (flat above, to which we don't have a key). As a result important documents were misdelivered and we suffered consequential losses. We complained again (second time) - requested full refund of the cost of the service + refund of consequential losses. We then went through all the complaint tiers and the complaint was rejected by their Postal Review Panel. To be fair I wasn't as aware of the intricacies of handling complaints with Royal Mail and relevant as I was filing complaint. I would've probably phrased and handled the complaint process differently.

 

As the next step would've required taking them to court I'm proceeding rather carefully. From what I understand Royal Mail's standard practice is to "hide behind" Section 90 of Postal Service Act 2000.

 

However - during the service we clearly alerted Royal Mail we received no forwarded mail and that we are expecting important documents. Royal Mail advertises that "[Royal Mail's] redirection service will ensure you won't miss important documents". Royal Mail responded that "they are confident mail is being forwarded accordingly". They didn't even bother to ask whether we have received redirection notice (which we haven't, but didn't quite connect the dots until it was too late), to suggest that mail might be delivered elsewhere (check with neighbours, etc.) or perhaps send in a post office worker to double check the address. In our minds - in handling the support case they took inadequate steps to ensure redirection service is functioning correctly, considering the claims on their website "redirection service will ensure you won't miss important documents" and the fact that we explicitly alerted them to the fact that we're expecting important documents.

 

Do we have a leg to stand on complaining about the negligent handling of the customer support case and failure to ensure redirection service is in place (ie that our complaint sits outside of the scope of Section 90(1) )? Or can Royal Mail just hide behind section 90 saying that ensuring redirection is limited to "making sure the redirection label is slapped on the letter" and anything more than that is in the delivery scope.

 

Hope this forum can help. I'm in a bit of a pickle regarding Royal Mail complaint. I'll try to keep my first post relatively brief - which as consequence might not include all relevant details, apologies for that.

 

 

 

 

In July last year we (my partner and I) bought a redirection service from Royal Mail after moving flats.

After a month we didn't receive any mail, including a few important documents. We complained (first time) during the period of the service and Royal Mail concluded that "they are confident mail is being forwarded accordingly".

 

We eventually discovered that it must have "looked fine" on their end, but mail was delivered to a wrong address (flat above, to which we don't have a key).

As a result important documents were misdelivered and we suffered consequential losses.

 

We complained again (second time) - requested full refund of the cost of the service + refund of consequential losses.

We then went through all the complaint tiers and the complaint was rejected by their Postal Review Panel.

 

To be fair I wasn't as aware of the intricacies of handling complaints with Royal Mail and relevant as I was filing complaint. I would've probably phrased and handled the complaint process differently.

 

As the next step would've required taking them to court I'm proceeding rather carefully. From what I understand Royal Mail's standard practice is to "hide behind" Section 90 of Postal Service Act 2000.

 

However - during the service we clearly alerted Royal Mail we received no forwarded mail and that we are expecting important documents. Royal Mail advertises that "[Royal Mail's] redirection service will ensure you won't miss important documents".

Royal Mail responded that "they are confident mail is being forwarded accordingly".

 

They didn't even bother to ask whether we have received redirection notice (which we haven't, but didn't quite connect the dots until it was too late), to suggest that mail might be delivered elsewhere (check with neighbours, etc.) or perhaps send in a post office worker to double check the address. In our minds - in handling the support case they took inadequate steps to ensure redirection service is functioning correctly, considering the claims on their website "redirection service will ensure you won't miss important documents" and the fact that we explicitly alerted them to the fact that we're expecting important documents.

 

Do we have a leg to stand on complaining about the negligent handling of the customer support case and failure to ensure redirection service is in place (ie that our complaint sits outside of the scope of Section 90(1) )?

Or can Royal Mail just hide behind section 90 saying that ensuring redirection is limited to "making sure the redirection label is slapped on the letter" and anything more than that is in the delivery scope.

Edited by BankFodder
Restructured in order to make it readable
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You have to tell us what you mean by "consequential losses". It's a fairly poisonous term and generally relates to losses which cannot be compensated.
The real test is whether they are direct and foreseeable as a result of a breach of contract.
From what you say here, the post office is in breach of their contract and so you would certainly have a very good chance of obtaining a judgement against them.
The real question here is whether your losses are the kinds of losses which would be compensated by the courts.

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On top of a refund of the service we requested a refund of the cost of replacement of the important documents which we thought were lost (or stolen) + the lost labor cost, the time which we spent contacting various government departments in relation to the important documents we thought were lost.

 

For completeness - Royal Mail did not agree to pay any of it saying they don't think they're at fault here at all. They claimed it on the basis that mail directed through redirection service was misdelivered same as other mail posted to that specific address.

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So you are saying but their position in any event is that they have no liability because they satisfied their contractual duty .

However, you later on you get them to agree or you force a judgement which says that they did have liability. Then you will need to deal with the next stage of their objections which will be that the damage you suffered was not foreseeable or direct .

 

You haven't told us anything about those losses other than to talk about them in very general terms.

 

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Hopefully below clarifies the losses:

 

My wife was waiting for provisional driver's licence and BRC to be returned from DVLA. First we spent significant time trying to reach DVLA to understand why we're not getting these documents back (DVLA had queues so massive that they wouldn't even connect you and immediately drop the call). After DVLA confirming they have sent it and Royal Mail assuring us redirection is working - we assumed mail is lost or stolen. Then we spent researching the web and calling Home Office, UK Visas and Immigration to understand whether there's any way we could travel without her BRC (she's a non-European citizen with EU Settled Status, so it wasn't super obvious). I would have to check the call log exactly, but I estimated the calling took us approx 8-10 hours over multiple days. All this happens during working hours and was a major inconvenience to us - I requested a reimbursement for the time we spent on the calls, etc - caused by the fact we had to first investigate and then handle the BRC being lost. On top of that my wife had to request a new BRC (British Residence Card) which costed 75 GBP and travel 15 miles to have her biometrics taken.

 

 

Hopefully below clarifies the losses:

 

My wife was waiting for provisional driver's licence and BRC to be returned from DVLA. First we spent significant time trying to reach DVLA to understand why we're not getting these documents back (DVLA had queues so massive that they wouldn't even connect you and immediately drop the call).

 

After DVLA confirming they have sent it and Royal Mail assuring us redirection is working - we assumed mail is lost or stolen.

Then we spent researching the web and calling Home Office, UK Visas and Immigration to understand whether there's any way we could travel without her BRC (she's a non-European citizen with EU Settled Status, so it wasn't super obvious). 

 

I would have to check the call log exactly, but I estimated the calling took us approx 8-10 hours over multiple days.

 

All this happens during working hours and was a major inconvenience to us - I requested a reimbursement for the time we spent on the calls, etc - caused by the fact we had to first investigate and then handle the BRC being lost.

 

On top of that my wife had to request a new BRC (British Residence Card) which costed 75 GBP and travel 15 miles to have her biometrics taken.

Edited by BankFodder
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I've had to restructure your post to introduce spacing twice now – and I think you know that because you have been notified automatically each time.

Please can you structure your posts with proper spacing et cetera because a solid block of text is extremely difficult for people to read if they are using small screens – especially telephones.

It's unfair on us to have to do it

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In order to understand the losses you are going to have to tabulate them in a bullet pointed fashion with a value next to each one.

 

Then we can understand what you're looking for

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I think you will find that just like most court, and benefit mail in brown envelopes and alike others inc ', dvla marked mail is not allowed to be redirected.

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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18 hours ago, BankFodder said:

In order to understand the losses you are going to have to tabulate them in a bullet pointed fashion with a value next to each one.

 

Then we can understand what you're looking for

 

  • full refund of redirection service cost - 42 GBP
  • full refund of BRC (British Resident Card) replacement costs - 75 GBP
  • a reimbursement of time spent by dealing with a lost BRC Card - internet research to deal with the impact on our travel plans and communicating with DVLA, UK Visas and Immigration, Home Office and Police - 500 GBP

 

18 hours ago, dx100uk said:

I think you will find that just like most court, and benefit mail in brown envelopes and alike others inc ', dvla marked mail is not allowed to be redirected.

 

It was redirected in our case though. All DVLA post did arrive, but was delivered to a wrong address. Sorry if this wasn't clear.

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The 1st to you would be able to claim for.
The reimbursement of time is extremely unlikely and I don't believe that a court would award it. You might be up to negotiated out of them in order to avoid.

However, I can imagine that the whole thing was extremely stressful – and in fact distressing.

If you feel angry enough then you could try bringing a small claim for damages for distress caused by inaccurate data processing.

This would be a highly unusual strategy – and I can imagine that it would be the first time it had happened to them but I think that it would be a better bet than suing in contract.

Although there are protections in place in respect of Royal mail contractual breaches, they generally speaking don't seem to apply and in fact we have found that the Royal mail normally prefers to settle rather than get the matter tested in court.
On the other hand, there are no protections in respect of breach of the data protection act.

If you sued for inaccurate data processing then you would certainly get your actual losses back and also I think that you could reason you claim something for the distress caused.

If this is a course of action which you think would be interesting to pursue then I would recommend that you start off by sending them an SAR and see what it turns up.

 

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On 14/02/2022 at 21:34, dx100uk said:

I think you will find that just like most court, and benefit mail in brown envelopes and alike others inc ', dvla marked mail is not allowed to be redirected.

 

 

 

Is it the case that the mail you mention can't be redirected by the RM redirection service?  I needed to arrange a redirection for an acquaintance a few months ago and I don't recall it being clear that the items you refer to couldn't be redirected?

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certainly most court envelopes state do not redirect.

from the abundance of examples here on CAG and from personal experience many times in the early 2000's, inc dvla, court, NHS

 

p'haps my comment is a bit wide ranging but i gain the appreciation that when a brown envelope is met during the sorting toward a redirect, it appears, many sorting offices do not bother, they let it go thru to the marked address and do not redirect.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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The Royal Mail Redirection T&C say:

 

10.10 There are laws that prevent us from redirecting certain items. There are also laws that require us to return certain items to the sender and we may need to inform the authorities of this (for example, mail from government departments related to benefits). Even if we accept an application, any such items will not be redirected to the new address.

 

However I have not been able to find anywhere a full list of items they won't redirect (maybe it isn't published for security reasons?). Nor can I find which 'law' they are referring to. I do know from personal experience that Student Loan Company mail is one item that isn't redirected and gets returned to SLC.

 

Lots of discussion about DVLA on other sites, the gist of which is that DVLA mail is supposed to be returned to DVLA and not redirected but in pracvtice it's a bit hit and miss what the local sorting office does. DVLA mail often gets redirected in practice. My daughter's new Driving Licence was sent on to my house by Royal Mail Redirection recently no problem.

 

The full Redirection T&C are here, posting this link in case it's helpful for OP @mr.duck :  Royal Mail - Redirection - Consumer and Special Circumstances Terms & Conditions - March 2019

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@BankFodder thank you, let me process this. Sorry for delay in responding - I have been been hit by flu pretty hard and recovery is taking time.

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