Delivery Claims Database launched

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Delivery Claims DatabaseCompensation claims for non-delivery are a regular occurrence that successful ecommerce businesses have to contend with. It’s one of the unpalatable costs that have to be absorbed. In addition, there’s increasing pressure on sellers to provide free delivery so it’s important to know when a more expensive tracked service might be prudent in order to avoid potential claims. Wouldn’t it be useful to know how many times a particular address has claimed that their item was not delivered?

The Delivery Claims Database aim to cut some of the cost of failed online deliveries, which in 2012 they say was a massive £851m. Launched this month by Postal Options, it’s a subscription-based service whereby subscribers can share information on delivery compensation claims and search the database to find historical claims at address level.

Currently it’s a manual process to search the database, but we’re told that coming down the line will be an automated process. In addition each time you have a postage loss you can add the address to the database.

Would you like to be alerted that a particular address or postcode area suffers a lot of missing parcels. Perhaps it’s a particular courier which just doesn’t perform well in that area and you can switch the delivery to a different carrier or upgrade to a tracked signed for service.

The cost is £75 per year, although they’ve supplied a 50% discount for Tamebay readers (valid up to 30th September by using the code TAMEBAY50).

Is this something that you’d use for your business? Would you take the time to check addresses or have you already built losses into your business plan and just accept that they’re a cost of trading? Would you like the ability to add details of parcels which are claimed as lost into the database?

13 Responses

  1. This seems like it could be a big sink of time to save only a little cash here and there. Manual checking on hundreds of despatches is going to take time I don’t think sellers have to spare. And as for the expense… I’m not sure I’d pony up in advance for a year on a service I hadn’t tried out.


  2. What seems a good idea…well as if I have the time to punch in some postcodes to see if the odd parcel has had delivery problems….well the method I use is simple really. If the address is in the following locations:

    Bradford, Luton, Slough, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, North Manchester, Central Liverpool, Ilford (Essex), Most of East London…then I am already on a hightened state of alert for potential fraud. Then if its a foreign sounding name and a multiple occupancy flat, tower block then I am even more concerned….if any of the above mix, then it goes tracked (shame there is no way of taking a blood sample and comparing Police database, but there you go).

    Hey guys you should be paying me to put these names of your database not the other way round!!!

    To me it sounds like a scam to get money upfront (bit like eBID)!

  3. Sorry, no.

    Like I have the time to provide you with free information so you can sell it on to third parties. Forget it.

    You pay me, I’ll give you addresses.

    I doubt it’s even legal.

  4. Following on from Whirly’s point how is this legal? Surely it is sharing customers data against data protection laws?

    None of the marketplaces seem interested in fraud like this and could do a lot to stop it.

    For example we found a customer on Amazon had reported seven non deliveries over a three month period of items being sent via 1st class post… way. We contacted Amazon with all the evidence plus they had all the emails on the system, their response was there was nothing they could do about it!

    With hundreds of orders everyday there is no way we can look out for individuals.

  5. if you even put an email or phone number on the package some folk go off it [its ok to put where they live on though, LOL ?]

  6. Hi

    This is all well and good but if no one is convinced and they have no subscribers there will be no data. If there is no data they do not have a useful product.

    This may well be why they are asking you to pay upfront, if they offered a trial i might look at it but as it stands it looks like they will be happy to take my yearly fee and provide me with an empty database.

    I also do not have the time to send them data about non deliveries, i run out of time every day like most people.

    In theory a great idea but many possible flaws.

  7. Unless it’s by postcode only then it is certainly breaking data protection law.

    I understand where the idea for this has come from but surely it is up to the delivery companies to investigate why a certain postcode gets a higher than average claim rate.

    Every singe Item not received I get gets a claim put through, even if 99p 2nd class item. This way I hope that Royal Mail and the courier companies can use their own data to crack down on multiple INRs.

    If online retail companies are not making claims for their lost items, IMO, that is just bad business.

  8. Provided that you are registered with the ICO (which you should be if you are operating an online business) and have allowed for information sharing with third parties in your privacy policy (which you should also have done if you use a third party processing system) then I would think that you would more than likely satisfy the data protection principles, provided that the information you submit is order related and is no more than necessary for the processing of that order. The database is also registered with the ICO, so I would think that they have suitable safeguards in place from that respect.

    Given the difficulty in businesses claiming compensation from Royal Mail unless tracked or Special Delivery (don’t forget there is no compensation available to businesses on Recorded Signed For items) this service has the potential to be useful, particularly when INR claims are received it might be helpful in deciding how best to respond. However it be of limited use until you could upload orders in bulk for screening, and I wouldn’t consider making an upfront payment without a reasonable trial period.

  9. The trouble with using postcodes is that they cover a large number of addresses.

    If a merchant blocked every postcode which had over a certain number of lost items then a significant number of customers would be affected.

    Matching exact addresses would be a better option, but would be more complex.


    A mail order company sent some items to my flat with an incorrect customer name. This happened twice (with the parcel being refused each time) but I still got sent their catalog (to the fake name). I would have thought that having a parcel refused would have triggered off alarm bells, but it did not seem to.


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