Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Royal Mail Airsure - International Signed Delivery & Why/When NOT to use it!

Hi,
Royal Mail Postal Service is miles (won't say light years, if you thought so!) ahead of postal service in India due to various reasons, which I am not going to dwelve into in this post (and some are beyond my awareness and intrerest). Having used their service at various occasions I could vouch for the dependability, except 'Airsure - Signed International Delivery' service which I used recently for shipping back an expensive online purchase. Here is what the website says about the facilities provided as part of this service:

http://www.royalmail.com/personal-customers/international-personal/sending-individual-items


Well I missed to read that it's trackable only in UK. Again having said that we all(if you have reead my last 4-5 posts) can tell how good the tracking can be, from the DHL tracker log I had shared. But in this case the status was a bit 'VAGUE' and looks somewhat like these:

STATUS #1
[ I don't have the screenshot for 1st status that I got just(end of day) after posting the item at post office, which said:
"You item posted on 06/03/2012 has been received and currently being process at the International Shipping Facility to be sent to the overseas address." ]

Which was pretty encouraging as this update comes immediately after they pick up your item from the post office(usually end of day/5.30pm). But mind you, this status is kinda sticky and stays on for 2 days and thats when you start getting the should-have-sent-through-DHL feeling!

STATUS #2

This status was shown for 3 days (I guess).


STATUS #3 (Hopefully this is the last one.)
This one came up today just after I got a mail from recipients that they enquired with Hong Kong post for this parcel and they got to know it arrived today.


Double Checking At Destination Country #1

Finally I went to the Hong Kong postal site and tried tracking the parcel and was happy to see some positive response:)

So, the lesson I learnt is, if you are sending something valuable (read expensive) then better go for Parcel Force (part of Royal Mail but more professional service) or if budget allows then for DHL or UPS (haven't used their service but have a high regard, don't know why!). Also make sure you declare the product cost correctly and opt for a proper insurance amount for your peace of mind (insurance for the item and peace of mind for...your mind!! duh! lollzz). Trust me, it's better to pay bit more than to worry for the period (which is again uncertain if you going for a lousy service) the item is in transit. Definately in case of loss or damage, claim process might not be straight forward or satisfactory. Hope this help you make better decisions while shipping items overseas.

Cheers,
Sid
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