British Online Marketplace, OnBuy.com, has analysed findings from Royal Mail, to discover the number of complaints and amount of compensation that had been paid out for different issues regarding their service in the financial year of 2017/18 (01/04/2017 – 31/03/2018).
OnBuy found that ‘lost’ letters and parcelsgenerated thehighest amount of complaints, at an astonishing 257,366in 2017/18 – the equivalent of 705 ‘lost’ complaints each day. Thereafter, ‘other’(complaints that did not fit into a defined category) accounted for the second most complaints at a grand total of 168,836.
‘Denial of receipt’received the third highest numberof consumer complaints at 134,712– an average of 369 ‘denial of receipt’ complaints every day to Royal Mail. Fascinatingly, ‘denial of receipt’saw the highest rise (51%)in complaints comparedto the previous financial year of 2016/17, where there were 89,219 cases.
At the other end of the scale, ‘general complaints’were the lowest at 18,723. It alsosaw the biggest fall (24%) in complaints when in contrast to 2016/17, where there were 24,771 ‘general complaints’. Just slightly above, ‘damage’ to the contents of deliveries had 41,850 complaints – a 9 rise rise from the year before (2016/17 = 38,378 ‘damage’ complaints).
Overall, from the 11 complaint categories considered within this research, Royal Mail received a total of 1,022,212 complaints from customers in 2017/18.
Focusing on compensation - from the 257,366 ‘lost’ complaints, 73 per cent (188,188)were paid compensation equating to at an astronomical figure of £4,272,693. ‘Delay’relating to any deliveries, had the greatest proportion of complaintstransition into them being given compensation. Out of 67,191 complaints, 80 per cent were paid compensation (53,452)in 2017/18.
Despite ‘denial of receipt’ (134,712 complaints) and ‘P739 failure’ (93,131 complaints) respectively having the third and fourth highest number of complaints, only 2 per cent of Royal Mail customers for each problem (‘denial of receipt’: 2,288 paid and ‘P739 failure’: 1,514 paid) were rewarded compensation.
Cas Paton, Managing Director of OnBuy.com said, “the boom in online shopping over the last decade has increased the dependence of businesses and consumers on postal service and courier companies. With that has come a developed expectation for them to provide a reliable and speedy delivery network. This though, is not always the case. This research certainly demonstrates that various issues and faults can occur within the various stages of delivery. Whilst this is unfortunate, it’s good to see established companies such as Royal Mail offer their customers the opportunity to claim compensation when these mishaps do occur. Looking into the future, as companies seek to offer more ambitious and instantaneous shipping options such as same day delivery, they must do so only if they have the adequate resources and infrastructure. Otherwise, they face the risk of customer dissatisfaction and the occurrence of more complaints.”