Grandpa Webb's blog

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The cheque is in the post - somewhere

Find out more about Grandpa WebbIt's the phone. Someone has said we are due to get a cheque for £2,500. Grandma disconnects quickly. Like many others we have been on the end of nuisance calls from cowboys offering all manner of compensation for accidents or events that never happened.

A couple of hours later I get a phone call from someone else who informs me that they really have, that day, posted to me, a cheque for £2,500.

It isn't mine, of course, and we both establish that it really belongs to someone else. "Well it's in the post," says the caller. "Tear it up when it arrives."

After five days, and no sign of the cheque, I call the sender. He confirms the cheque was posted, first class, five days before. Royal Mail is supposed to deliver a minimum of 93% of its first class letters next day. It usually gets pretty near this target.

There is a Royal Mail website with a not-very-prominent section on complaints. I email them about my missing cheque.

Next day I get an email from a Royal Mail customer service advisor saying how sorry he is to learn of the problems I have experienced. Despite the huge volumes of mail it handles, very few items encounter a problem along the way, he says. Even so, Royal Mail takes every single failure seriously.

Anybody seen my cheque?My complaint has been logged, and details passed to the delivery operation and security team.

If I wanted the search to step up a gear, I could submit a P38, Lost, Damaged or Delayed Inland Mail Claim Form, together with any supporting documents to the Freepost address provided.

I downloaded the P28 from the Royal Mail website. Royal Mail pays compensation for lost mail, but if you are going along this route you need to  provide original proof of posting, original proof of value, and if claiming for damage, they will want to see the damaged item and its packaging.

I didn't want compensation; all I wanted was the cheque so I could tear it up. I began filling in the P38. Title, First name, Surname, Date of Birth. Date of Birth? What's that got to do with my missing cheque?

I began examining the terms and conditions of the P38. "We cannot accept a claim for loss unless 15 working days or more have passed since the item was due to be delivered. Let's see. If we assume there are five working days each week, that's three weeks. I still have 12 days to go.

The P38 is on my desk. Will the cheque drop through the letter box within the next 12 days? I'll keep you posted…

Got a question for Grandpa Webb? Send him an email.

Go back