Denmark's postal service has twice failed to deliver a parcel to one of our customers, whose address they insist is 'unknown', despite being confirmed by the customer and verified by PayPal. It's not even as if it is out in the sticks as it is in downtown Copenhagen. Moreover, it is so easy to find using the zoom facility on Google Maps that we were able to casually scroll along the street and screenshot the customer's flat from the comfort of our Forfar office!
Our tale of woe began after we sent our customer's order from our local post office using the international tracked and signed service. Royal Mail managed to get it to Denmark, where it became the responsibility of the Danish postal service (and we use the term 'service' loosely, for reasons which will become obvious). The tracking details revealed that a delivery attempt had been made, so the customer made enquiries as to the parcel's whereabouts, only to be told that it was already on its way back to us marked 'address unknown'.
Our customer was understanding and asked for it to be re-sent as she really wanted her kimono. She confirmed her address was indeed correct, and since it was not her fault (nor ours) that it didn't arrive, we felt we should make another attempt to get it to her at our own expense. We still naively believed it was a one-off blip with the Danish postal service, but took the time to print out a map of the address and attached it to the second parcel - just in case. We then relayed the new tracking number to our customer and waited for news of a successful delivery.
Sadly, it didn't end well. We were able to track the parcel all the way to Denmark (again), only to have the address rejected as unknown (again) and it is currently making its way back to us (again). We are now out of pocket (again) and our lovely customer is without her kimono for Christmas.
To say we are frustrated is an understatement, especially as we have had no response to the email we sent to Postnord customer services on 13 December. Although our public gripe was acknowledged on Twitter, It really would be nice to get a reply...
This is what the chief frocker sent to Postnord (identifying details redacted):
I have a small business in Scotland and sent an order to a customer in Copenhagen using the International Tracked and Signed service. The customer has a PayPal-verified postal address.
The package was returned one week later with a note to say the address was incorrect / unknown, but the customer confirmed her address was correct and asked for it to be sent again.
I printed a map of her address (from Google maps) to show exactly where it was and attached it to the second parcel.
The customer has checked the tracking number every day and has just emailed me to say the address has once again been marked as incorrect and the package will be returned to sender.
The second tracking no is RNXXXXXGB (https://www.royalmail.com/business/track-your-item).
Here are the details of what happened at the first attempt from https://www.royalmail.com/track-your-item?
Item: RNXXXXXGB via International Tracked & Signed End-to-end tracking and signature on delivery
Latest update: Delivery attempted
A delivery was attempted for your item with reference RNXXXXXGB in DENMARK before 11:25 on 29/11/16.
If the addressee does not collect it or make an arrangement to have it redelivered, it will be returned to the sender in the UK.
There may be further details available on who signed for your item on http://www.postnord.dk/da/Sider/TrackTrace.aspx
It seems that a delivery was attempted, yet the returned parcel was marked 'address unknown'?
The customer's address, which is easily found on Google maps, is:
XXXXXXXXX, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark
Please can you investigate this as I have so far spent 21 GBP on postage and will now have to refund my customer.
If your postal service cannot deliver to a Paypal verified address, my business will no longer be able to accept orders from customers in Denmark.
So far, there has been no response, apart from an automatic reply to say that "We will do our best to answer you within 6-8 working days."
As an ecommerce business, it is our responsibility - under consumer protection regulations, as well as making good business sense - to ensure orders reach our customers, which is why we always use 'signed for' services. Sadly, Royal Mail and Postnord do not appear to be bound by the same rules after we have parted with our cash, which means small businesses like ours lose out if they fail to deliver for any reason.
While compensation is sometimes available from Royal Mail for delay or delivery failure within the UK (thankfully rare, but it does happen occasionally), claiming it is usually more bother than it's worth as it is so time consuming and never actually covers the sold order value. In other words, small businesses are forced to play on an uneven field and are invariably the losers.
Until we receive some sort of explanation from Postnord and/or Royal Mail, we regret we will no longer be able to accept orders from Denmark and apologise sincerely for the inconvenience.