My review after 2 years with Royal Mail Click and Drop
First of all, I will start with pros and cons and my review will follow.
-For Letter and Large Letter sized items, Royal Mail is by far the most competitive prices especially if you sell high volume as the rates improve
-Delivery confirmation on Royal Mail 24 / 48 considering as those services start from less than £1 is amazing
-Software integration for Click and Drop into online marketplaces works like a charm so far; no issues on either eBay or Amazon so far (Amazon Mexico however, does not integrate)
-Click and Drop automatically adds the tracking codes to the orders after the manifest which used to take me an hour or more each day to add 100 tracking codes
-Shipping rules are straightforward to set up and out of 100 orders around 80 will be ready to print at a single click without needing any further input thanks to the new print assist feature
-As little as 25 parcels a week unlocks the potential for the free collection so we have not been to a post office for the last couple of years. Recently we have even been sending so many Royal Mail Tracked 24 parcels a week that they have given us free Saturday collections also
-Royal Mail provides us with our mail supplies free online to order (bag labels, 6x4mm labels for our thermal printer, bags, zip ties, trays, etc.) which would accumulate to a big expenditure over the years
-They provided us with a dedicated account manager who helps us with anything we need to ask; she even offered us the best prices and services tailored for our business needs
-Click and Drop is continuously improving with each new update in many areas including new features
-Cancelling postage before manifesting the day's orders is very easy and you will know before the time to manifest if you need to cancel since you can do one last check. Cancelling post manifest requires a claim style procedure to be followed but is a very rare situation
-Sending return labels to customers is very easy and is considerably cheaper than eBay rates
These are the main benefits I can think of and here are the cons
-If there is a cancellation after the manifest it does require quite some effort to claim since the exact cost of the order is not easily apparent since the prices are based on average weights and sizes; it feels to me that it should be far easier to know how much was spent on that particular order
-It would be very helpful to know how much you are paying for each label even if only roughly and also the VAT and surcharges such as fuel - Alternatively, a weekly or monthly itemised report would be a good solution like any other software involved with sales; this is perhaps the most unprofessional part of it
-When an item is lost or damaged, Royal Mail only refunds the cost price of the item and postage - If the parcel gets to the location without an issue we would make a more significant profit and we would not risk losing the customers repeat custom; it is my belief that Royal Mail should compensate this too
-When claiming a lost or damaged item they ask us to provide the invoice of the item we purchased which is a nightmare because it takes us a lot of effort and time to find these since we stock items for a long time. It seems pointless since invoices are also very easy to fake.
-It would be far easier to be able to claim a lost or damaged item through that order on Click and Drop itself rather than asking us to fill an excel sheet and attach various proofs via email. Then we still need to chase it but if such a feature was on Click and Drop we could monitor the progress on the software instead.
-Some customers make multiple purchases on the same day and click and drop does not alert you to this so if you do not spot it and cancel one of the labels so you can post the items together it costs additional shipping. An alert that the same name and address has passed into the orders would surely be a very easy and helpful feature to implement
-Sometimes Royal Mail do not acquire the signature from the customer for a service which requires it - this causes issues for us with online sales and Amazon in particular since Amazon does not accept delivery confirmation as proof of delivery and needs to see the signature of the recipient
-Occasionally the server for click and drop has been down and we have been unable to print labels or manifest the day's orders
-A specific issue we encountered with the shipping rules was not being able to classify an inventory item differently for Domestic and International shippings. For example, we post a letter sized item as large letter in the UK so we can use the delivery confirmation of Royal Mail 24 (only Large Letter and above) but wish to send the same item as the Letter size it is internationally since it is cheaper
-The last one for me personally would be if the integration to the sales channels automatically imported our catalogue including the item photos so we can easily see what has been sold
My summary would be that Royal Mail is far better than any other company out there especially for selling a high volume of light products like us.
Our workload has probably dropped almost 80% since we no longer have to print and cut addresses as well as the return address label or frank items but instead printing all the labels as adhesive stickers, and the tracking is uploaded automatically removing the human error as well as the system remembering the item weights and parcel sizes. Therefore I don't think we can complain just because of some lost items and missing signatures.
Royal Mail is constantly improving so I think lots of these issues will be smoothed out and made more accessible.
Whilst I agree that Click and Drop has many benefits and does simplify and speed up order processing, the tedious ongoing problem with 'proof of posting' is baffling to put it mildly.
I feel that small online sellers are continually stuck in the middle of the never-ending battle between Royal Mail and the Post Office.
Firstly, the dropping off of click and drop pre-paid packages is not as simple as it's advertised. Many Post Offices are not keen to accept a large(ish) number (circa 10 items) of pre-paid mail as apparently it doesn't generate any money for them. They are even less keen to provide proof of posting. Some Post Offices blankly refuse to accept click and drop items. And whilst Royal Mail Service Centers are happy to accept pre-paid items, they are often reluctant/unable to offer proof of posting. I have been told before (quite rudely) that they don't even have a stamp to validate the pre-printed proof of posting...rather strange and contradictory since it clearly states on the click and drop proof of posting that it is only valid if stamped by the post office/service center.
So where does that leave the online seller should a claim arise for a lost item since Royal Mail insist on proof of posting?
Clearly nobody wants to accept responsibility, which leaves small retailers stuck in the middle. And lets not forget that the number of small online sellers is continually increasing. We make up a rather large proportion of Royal Mail's customers and deserve better customer service.
I agree. Overall, the service is excellent. We are on Woocommerce. We don't use tracked 24/48, as the delivery confirmation of vanilla 24/48 is good enough. We have *very* few go missing. Of those, it's a mix of vanishing before delivery attempt and vanishing despite being confirmed delivered. We've received more stray parcels for other people in sacks that should have been empty than we've lost parcels of our own!
They tried to sell us the tracked service, and for about £1 extra, there is no way I can justify it. The lack of flexibility of dropping off sacks is a worry if anything goes wrong. The extra tracking would be useful in rare cases. The extra notifications to the customer would be intrusive. The compensation would be useless. In most of the few cases, the parcels were marked as delivered, and there's no way RM would compensate. I should say we're in a business with lovely customers. Not a single fraud or chargeback in about 10 years. I trust them. I *once* cancelled an order which I was suspicious about. Getting a refund after manfest is something i don't bother with any more. Last time I saw the phone bill for the premium number, and it exceeded the refund. I stick with the cheap service and absorb the cost of any errors or losses. Works for me.
I agree with a lot that was written here. I would like to add that Click and Drop could significantly improve for small businesses if there was an option for parcels to be scanned individually when sending off instead of needing to be in a manifest, which requires paperwork and is cumbersome when there are only 1 or 2 parcels. It would also be better if parcels/bags could be dropped off at the local post office. I send Tracked24 and Tracked48 parcels, so I need to take them to the depot in the next city, which is ten miles away whereas the local post office is only 100 yards away.