Letter: The frustration of online delivery failures

We’ve probably all experienced the problems of items ordered online not being delivered when we were told they were going to be, so many will sympathise with Brian’s frustrations.

royal mail signage

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Brian Cannell in Freshwater. Ed


On Friday morning last [5th August] I decided to purchase a new watch strap from online retailer Amazon. During the completion of the order I was asked if I would like next day delivery, at a cost of £8.99, fairly high but at least I would know when it would be delivered, before 13.00 the next day Saturday.

Saturday morning arrives, the shopping trip will have to wait as my new strap is coming today. The morning passes by and 13.00 comes and goes, but no sign of the package. Went shopping at 1400 and returned at 1600, checked online and the reason Royal Mail had given for non delivery was “Unable to locate address”.

Postcode in use for over 40 years
Now it is my belief that postcodes were first trialled in Norwich in 1959 and then appeared throughout the country by the mid seventies hence the Royal Mail slogan “Always use the postcode”.

I live on a small estate in Freshwater, the flats there being built in about the sixties/seventies. There is a road sign at the end of the road clearly displaying the estate name and a sign three feet square outside my block showing the flats within.

I think on this occasion we have to realise that the phase “Unable to locate address” really means “Couldn’t be bothered to deliver”.

No problem with normal mail
My post lady or post man delivers to my property six days a week and finds his/her way quite normally, but of course that’s just normal mail, costing less than a pound to deliver it seems that mail posted in that way is OK, but when one chooses to pay £8.99 for a guaranteed before 13.00 next day the system fails.

Online, the offer from Royal Mail was to try to deliver again three days later on Tuesday, so I’ll be visiting Royal Mail Monday just to make sure the delivery person actually knows where Freshwater is, perhaps I’ll offer a map.

Image: olibac under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 8th August, 2016 3:23pm

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

5 Comments

  1. It doesn’t help with your frustration but don’t forget to contact Amazon about the issue ( amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=69502011 ). They’ll refund your shipping fee (and maybe credit you with some free Amazon Prime) and get a refund from Royal Mail. Don’t let the now privatised Royal Mail get away with unjust enrichment.

  2. If you were going shopping the next day anyway, couldn’t you have used a local independent jeweller to acquire your new watch strap?

    They’d have given your watch a quick once over, helped you choose a strap and fitted it for you. I imagine the total bill would be rather less than the excessive Amazon delivery charge.

    You’d also have been left with the warm glow of helping the local economy and unlike Amazon, your local retailer would’ve paid their taxes and thereby supported the national government too.

    I’m no advocate of High Street shopping. I detest it. But some jobs are simply best done there.

    • Maybe it was an unusual strap.

      What I find super-annoying is finding time and again with some items on Amazon, that sellers don’t deliver to Islands.

      But I found one very same bed ,(in fact I bought 2 of them), in Readers, and of course it was much better to see and touch it and tell just how sturdy it was.

      It does cost a bit more than at Amazon, (where it wasn’t available to me anyway, of course), but they’re throwing in putting them together for me, and will quickly replace any scratched pieces, (quite possible, judging from Amazon reviews). They’re near at hand and probably care quite a lot about their reputation here.

      And yes, I do get a warm glow that it’s an Island business benefiting and giving me a good experience. Sometimes it just feels nicer buying things locally, even if you could get it a bit cheaper online.

    • briancannell


      11.Aug.2016 7:29am

      The watch strap in question was for a smart watch. I had first tried my local watchmaker’s shop in Freshwater, but was told the strap was peculiar to that watch, hence why I ordered online.

  3. ansallmoneyfordyouknow


    15.Sep.2016 10:21am

    by coincidence,
    I have cause for complaint about royal mail (again)
    yes,
    its not the first time that I have used the delivery service only to find that my mail suddenly goes missing.
    the last time that happened it involved a very expensive pair of shoes which I brought online but didn’t like them when it arrived so I requested a refund and sent them back
    but to save a few quid I used 2nd class (without tracking)
    BIG MISTAKE.
    after a few days I sensed something was wrong
    so I contacted the recipient who told what I hoped I wouldn’t hear
    that the shoes didn’t arrive.
    to say I was stressed and upset is an understatement.
    but to cut a long and even more stressful story short
    I only got back barely half of what I had spent on the shoes
    despite the fact that Royal mail failed to deliver them safely.
    and of course I was forced to believe that the shoes had disappeared (only cause I didn’t use 1st class delivery with tracking)
    so in other words the less one pays
    the less priority you are given.
    of course it’s a terrible way to treat customers.
    but as I found royal mail are not willing to believe that they need to improve the way they handle customers mail.
    my current cause for complaint is (wait for it!!)mail going missing again.
    once again I paid for 2nd class delivery and 8 days have passed and the recipient is once again telling me nothing has arrived.
    the value of the item is less than before but that should not mean I am once again left in limbo and frustration
    having paid for something to be delivered
    which doesn’t reach its destination.
    I think it is safe to say that if an item take 8 days to arrive,
    then its not going to arrive at all.
    I hope I’m wrong of course
    but previous experience forces me to accept reality.
    so I totally sympathize with what other people have been through using royal mail post service.

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