I can’t track the item on Royal Mail, Why?

Not Delivered

“Recorded Signed For™ items are only tracked after the item has been delivered. Depending on whether the item was sent first or second class, this may be a few days after posting. Please try again later.

Information on your item is not yet available online.”

When trying to track your item on Royal Mail website you receive the above message, you might ask yourself these questions:

1. What is the point of using a signed service when the item can only be tracked after delivery?

2. When the item is delivered I can see that it is delivered. Why do I want to track it then?

Consider you purchased something online and have not received it. You ask the seller to give you the tracking number and after sending and receiving about 10 emails you manage to get it. Now you see the above message and you run out of patience. And you might think who is to blame. Basically only in a few situations you get the above message:

1. The item has not been dispatched or in other words the tracking number is either fake or without any value (value is the paid postage supporting the tracking method).

2. The item has been dispatched but not delivered.

3. The item is lost.

4. The item has been delivered but not scanned.

So if you read the above carefully you will notice that in a transaction there will not be any other scenario. Why would anyone need Royal Mail signed delivery then?

  1. Seller wants to be able to prove that the item has been delivered (Either to the buyer or to a payment service like PayPal)
  2. The chances to be able to put claim for the lost item is higher.
  3. Seller has promised the buyers to use a signed service but also wants to use a more affordable one.

In total signed delivery is useful for situations where we have to prove the dispatch of items (Remember that it is not possible to prove the content and there is no insurance for claiming the exact amount of loss, moreover there are other limitations for a claim that I will discuss in another post).

Signed service is not useful for situations where:

1. You trust the receiver.

2. The item does not have any value.

3. The item is valuable (more than £34). This amount is not fixed.

4. You want the item to be delivered faster (Signed delivery does not mean that the service speed is any different. Both signed and unsigned deliveries go through the same channels).

If you know reasons for why one should or shoudn’t use Royal Mail’s signed service, do share them in the comments.

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