Readers in France highlight ‘significant problems’ using Royal Mail

Many complaints centre on the company’s post and parcel tracking service

Connexion readers have faced extensive issues using the UK’s mail delivery service
Published Last updated

The Connexion recently received an email from a reader highlighting numerous problems he had been having with packages being sent to him in France via the Royal Mail.

We asked our readers to share their recent experiences using the service, to see if the issues were widespread.

Responses highlighted a number of problems with Royal Mail – particularly with the company’s post and parcel tracking service.

We have collected some of the responses and shared them below.

‘Significant problems’ with tracking service

A lot of readers highlighted that, even when using the premium Track and Trace service, problems persisted.

A.R. says she “always” has problems with Track and Trace.

“You can usually track [a parcel] for part of its journey but not the whole journey and you never have any idea where it is,” she said.

“It may turn up weeks later… or not at all,” she added.

Reader R.C. faced a number of issues when receiving a vital package to help him access his home back in the UK.

“We had new remote controls for the gates at our UK apartment complex sent… to our address is France,” he explains, as well as a similar parcel sent to an agent in the UK.

“The agent didn't receive the parcel and Royal Mail claimed proof of delivery by an indecipherable squiggle. We didn't receive our parcel either and again Royal Mail claimed proof of delivery by a surprisingly similar squiggle,” he added.

Royal Mail’s explanation for the problem did not exactly convince the reader either: “In our case, they claimed the squiggle was provided by someone called Chamberlain, not a common name in rural Charente!”

Issues run both ways

Problems occurred not only when receiving, but sending mail using the tracking option.

“I had significant problems with Royal Mail services to France last year when trying to apply for my French pension from the UK,” said A.J.

“Tracked items disappeared from Track and Trace and either were not delivered or turned up very late,” he added.

The problems were so severe that, eventually, he stopped using the service altogether.

“In the end, I had to wait until I was visiting France or had visitors from France in order to put letters directly into the French postal system,” he said.

“Last December I made my application for a new passport online and then needed to send my old passport to the UK passport office,” explains reader S.R.

“I tracked it online, it arrived in the UK within two days but took almost six weeks to arrive at the passport office,” she added.

Read also: How to use French post office’s new online identity system

‘Tracking slows everything’

Despite readers highlighting issues both pre- and post-Brexit, it seems issues have only exacerbated since the UK left the EU.

“Tracking slows everything post-Brexit,” said C.G, adding his parcel took up to three weeks longer than expected to arrive.

It is not only parcels but regular letters, which are facing delays.

“Letters are regularly taking at least 10 days between the UK and France,” said G.M.

Ultimately, people are now fed up with the service.

“Royal Mail cannot be relied on for anything important,” added R.C.

And for some, only one option is left: “Don't buy anything from the UK!” said S.H.

The Connexion has reached out to Royal Mail for comment.

Related articles

Artificial Intelligence can write your letters in French

Slow uptake for La Poste’s new digital stamps in France