Royal Mail's retail compensation policy for delay

Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Compensation Arrangements
  3. Compensation Payments for delay
  4. Exclusions
  5. Summary of Definitions Used

 

Introduction

This document sets out the approved policy for managing the Royal Mail’s Inland Compensation Scheme for delay of retail services. 

Royal Mail’s retail policy excludes items posted on account,  except VAT exempt 1st and 2nd Class payable on account.

Royal Mail’s Retail Compensation Policy for delay covers the following products:-

  • 1st class stamped, metered and VAT exempt account mail, including items sent using online postage;
  • 2nd class stamped, metered and VAT exempt account mail, including items sent using online postage;
  • 1st and 2nd class Royal Mail Signed For® mail when used in conjunction with stamped, metered and account products above;
  • Articles for the Blind, and
  • Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® (not posted on account);

These services are referred to throughout this policy as ‘retail services’.

This policy applies only to items posted with and delivered by Royal Mail. If an item has been posted with or handled by another postal operator then it will not be eligible for compensation for delay from Royal Mail under this policy unless the postal operator has posted the packet using one of the Royal Mail services above, in which case that postal operator will be regarded as the sender of the postal packet for compensation purposes.

Compensation in respect of Condition 9 access mail items is governed by the terms of the Condition 9 access agreements.

Please refer to the Royal Mail United Kingdom Post Scheme (pdf, 596.5 KB) for further information about product terms and conditions.

Compensation Arrangements

Royal Mail may pay compensation to the sender or the addressee of a delayed item posted using products under this scheme where it has not delivered or attempted to deliver the item:

This compensation for substantial delay is separate from any refund due for service failure, e.g. fee refund for failure to meet the Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® guarantee.

For items posted within the Christmas & New Year Period a further working day (2 working days for items using Royal Mail’s redirection service) shall be added to the period before which compensation becomes payable for delay, except for Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® (not posted on account) which remains as it is.

If an item does not arrive it will not be eligible for compensation for delay, but the item may be eligible for compensation under the compensation for loss policy.

If an item has been damaged or suffered part loss then the customer may be entitled to claim compensation, please refer to the compensation for damage or part loss policy.

If an item has been delayed and has also been damaged or suffered part loss customers should refer to the compensation for damage or part loss policy in addition to this policy to ensure the item is eligible for compensation before submitting a claim to Royal Mail.

The table below sets out the due date and qualifying days to be used for determining when a mail item may be considered as delayed:

Product Due Date Delay if delivered
1st class- stamp / meter / account (Including Royal Mail Signed For® sent as 1st class), Online Postage, Articles for the Blind Next working day after posting 3 or more working days after due date
(6 or more working days after due date if Redirected Mail)
2nd class- stamp / meter / account (Including Royal Mail Signed For sent as 2nd class), Online Postage 3 working days after posting 3 or more working days after due date
(6 or more working days after due date if Redirected Mail)
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm®* On guaranteed date as per product specification 1 or more working day after due date**#

*Claims for a refund of the Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® fee must be submitted within 14 days of posting.

** Additional compensation may be payable if Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm items items are delivered 7 or more working days after the due date.

# For information on Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® items arriving on the due date, but after the specified delivery time go to www.royalmail.com/special-delivery

Working days:

  • For Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® (not posted on account) - any day which is not a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday, unless Saturday guarantee has been purchased, in which case Saturday is a working day;
  • For other retail services - any day which is not a Sunday or a public holiday
  • For items posted within the Christmas & New Year Period - a further day shall be added to the period before which compensation becomes payable for delay (except for Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm®  which remains as it is), i.e. Delay is 4+ working days after due date. The Christmas and New Year period is defined as the period commencing on the first Monday in December in any year and ending at the start of the first working day following the New Year public holiday(s).

Redirected mail:

  • Postal packets conveyed to addresses under the Royal Mail Redirection Service are eligible for compensation under the Royal Mail Retail Delay Scheme when the delay is 6+ working days after due date in the case of 1st Class, 2nd Class stamped and metered mail, Articles for the Blind products shown in the table above and 8+ working days during the Christmas & New Year period;
  • Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® items redirected under the Royal Mail Redirection Scheme are not eligible for delay compensation under this Scheme.
  • Royal Mail may also make payments for a redirection failure under the terms of the service. Royal Mail will not pay compensation for delay to a redirected item under this Scheme and make a payment for a redirection failure in respect of the same incident.

Daily Delivery Obligation:

In assessing lateness, postal packets conveyed to addresses designated by the regulator as exempted from a daily delivery obligation shall be examined on a case by case basis, taking into account the delivery arrangements.

Claims for delay must be made within 3 months of the date of posting or one month of the date of receipt. Royal Mail advises customers to claim as soon as possible after the event has occurred.

* Fee refunds for Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® must be claimed within 14 days of posting. For information on the Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® product please visit www.royalmail.com/special-delivery

The sender or the recipient of the item may both claim for a delayed item but only one will be paid compensation. If both claim for the same item then Royal Mail will process only the sender’s claim unless compensation has already been paid to the recipient. The claimant is required to provide the same evidence regardless of whether they are the sender or recipient. Royal Mail may at any time request the regulator to suspend or modify its obligations to provide compensation for delay in relation to the retail services to such an extent, in such circumstances and for such duration as the regulator, after consultation may determine.

Compensation Payments for delay

The nature and extent of the compensation to be paid for delay of eligible mail items are set out below. All references to letter stamps are at the basic weight step (up to 100g).

Royal Mail will contact the claimant with the outcome of their complaint within 30 calendar days (if for any reason we are not in a position to finalise after 30 days Royal Mail will contact the customer with an update).

The process to be followed when making a compensation claim can be found at Compensation Claims Process.

Product Delay compensation Substantial delay compensation
 All retail services (including items sent using Royal Mail’s redirection service) other than Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® (not posted on account)  6 x 1st class stamps  N/A
 Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® (not posted on account)  £5 £10 

Notes –
All claims must supply as a minimum the following “basic evidence":

  • the names and addresses of the sender, addressee and claimant,
  • the Royal Mail product used,
  • the place of posting,
  • the date of posting,
  • the basis for asserting that date (such as date of postmark, date of letter, certificate of posting (if available) and, for  Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® (not posted on account),Royal Mail Signed For®, the product documentation,
  • the date of delivery and the basis for asserting this date,
  • the method of postage, e.g. stamps, franking impression
  • the postage paid.

Royal Mail reserves the right to request additional documentation and/or information from the claimant, sender or recipient to protect against unwarranted or duplicate claims. This includes but is not limited to the following additional evidence:

  • a statement in writing containing all of the basic evidence above and a declaration by the claimant acknowledging that the making of  a false statement may lead to prosecution, accompanied by the envelope of the item or part of the wrapping that includes the address and the postage stamp or mark of the parcel, in respect of which the claim is made,
  • an explanation, with such supporting information as is reasonably available, of circumstances that have resulted in the delay  causing particular loss, distress or inconvenience to the claimant. 

Royal Mail will require this additional evidence in respect of repeat or multiple claims by a claimant or in relation to a particular address, sender or recipient.

Exclusions

A summary of exclusions where compensation will not be payable for delay is set out below.

Compensation for delay will not be payable;

  1. where the item is not fully and correctly addressed in a manner which includes all the elements of the postal address (including the full postcode) written clearly on the front or on a label securely attached to the front of the cover or envelope, or the address is illegible, or the address is not fully visible,
  2. where the event giving rise to the claim was caused by circumstances outside Royal Mail’s control, including exceptionally severe weather conditions, acts of terrorism and vandalism and acts of third parties with whom Royal Mail has no contractual relationship, but excluding the failure of the employees, sub-contractors or agents of Royal Mail, to provide services to or for Royal Mail as a result of industrial action by them,
  3. where an item is posted in a manner that does not comply with the provisions of the scheme relevant to its conveyance under section 89 of the Act, or is identified as containing prohibited contents as defined in the provisions of that scheme,
  4. where an item is undeliverable and/or has been returned to sender,
  5. where alternative delivery arrangements have been agreed with the customer, including, for example, through the use of services such as Safeplace, PO Box delivery, Mail Collect and Post Restante, and the delay is caused by the customer or by the nature of the arrangements,
  6. where an item has been forwarded from the delivery address stated on the item other than by Royal Mail under its redirection service,
  7. where postage payable for the item in question is unpaid or underpaid,
  8. where the claim relates to an item posted with or handled by another postal operator or third party, other than when another postal operator or third party has posted the postal packet using a Royal Mail retail service, in which case that postal operator will be regarded as the sender of the postal packet for compensation purposes,
  9. where the delay has arisen through the posting or receiving customer’s own act or omission, or
  10. in such other circumstances as the regulator after consultation may agree.

Further details of conditions of posting, including packaging and addressing requirements, and of prohibited and restricted items can be found in our ‘Our Services’ leaflet available at any Post Office® branch or on the Royal Mail website. 

Summary of Definitions Used

“damaged” If an item in a postal packet has suffered a degree of harm that reasonably impairs the material function or contents of the item,
“due date”

means –
(a) for 1st Class services, the next working day following the day of posting;
(b) for 2nd Class services, the third working day following the date of posting; and
(c) for Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® (not posted on account) the guaranteed date provided in the delivery specification.

“1st Class services”

means those services which are listed as Retail 1st Class in the table at Note 1 of the Annex to Condition 4 of the Licence, the Articles for the Blind service and the 1st Class Royal Mail Signed For® service when used in conjunction with the Retail 1st Class services.

“the Licence” means the licence granted to Royal Mail under section 11 of the Act on 23 March 2001 as amended on 1 April 2003, 2 November 2005 and 25 May 2006.
“loss” a postal packet shall be deemed as lost if Royal Mail has not delivered it at the place to which it is addressed by the end of the fifteenth working day (or the tenth working day for Royal Mail Special Delivery guaranteed by 1pm®  (not posted on account) after its due date of delivery, unless there is evidence to the contrary to demonstrate that the item has not been lost.
“part loss” Where a postal packet is received and some or part of the content is missing.
“postaladdress” means for any premises the address, including the postcode, maintained by Royal Mail from time to time as corresponding to those premises in the Postcode Address File, 
“2nd Class services” means those services which are listed as Retail 2nd Class in the table at Note 1 of the Annex to Condition 4 of the Licence and the 2nd Class Royal Mail Signed For® service when used in conjunction with the Retail 2nd Class services.
Special Delivery® Next Day (not posted on account) means, Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® other than when sold to users having an account with Royal Mail buying the service using their account, i.e. services listed as Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® (n the table at Note 1 of the Annex to Condition 4 of the Licence.
“working days” For Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® (not posted on account), any day which is not a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday, unless Saturday guarantee has been purchased, in which case Saturday is a working day. For other retail services any day which is not a Sunday or a public holiday.