If you purchase "Recorded Delivery" online, please go into the post office and obtain a tracking number for the item. It may appear you have one but you do not! You must physically go into the Post Office and get a receipt.
I made the mistake of following the instructions on the e-mail issued by Royal Mail (which is incorrect).
Some buyers will exploit this flaw due to teething problems of the online service and will claim they have not received it (knowing that a receipt has not been obtained as no 'signed for' sticker is on the item, therefore no tracking numbers are available).
Keep yourself protected at all times by obtaining a receipt from the Post Office, this is not stated as a requirement when the postage is paid but it is advisable.
I have contacted Royal Mail to ascertain whether this will be changing but as yet have not had a response, they claim it is the responsibility of the Post Office (two separate companies).
I will update this once a response has been received.
A step by step guide:
Once payment has been received, click on "Buy postage online"
Select the service you require
For First and Second class parcels, the items can go straight in the post box or handed into the Post Office.
For any recorded or special delivery the item must be taken into the Post Office, where the cashier will issue a receipt with the appropriate tracking number (the online tracking number is effectively useless)
This will protect both you as the seller and your customers. The service has been excellent overall saving time at the Post Office, it is only this pitfall you have to be aware of.
Hope this has been helpful.
Online postage - Warning for Sellers
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30 March 2009
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