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If your post sent with Royal Mail hasn’t arrived

This advice applies to England

If you’ve ordered something online, over the phone or in a shop, the seller is responsible for getting it delivered to you. If it doesn’t arrive, read our advice on what to do.

If your post hasn’t arrived you might be able to claim compensation from Royal Mail. You can do this whether you’ve sent the post or were supposed to receive it.

Depending on how the item was posted, it could still be on its way. If you think your post was stolen, report this to the Royal Mail. You can phone or email them - choose ‘complaints and claims’ to get started.

Work out when your post was due

When it’s due depends on how it was posted. If you sent the post or you know who sent it, check the address was right, when it was sent and what type of postage was used.

Type of postage When it's due
1st class The next working day
2nd class 3 working days after posting
Special delivery On the date the sender requested

Bank holidays aren’t working days - so you’ll need to remember this when working out when your post should arrive.

If your post should have arrived already

Your post might not have arrived because:

  • it was delivered to the wrong address
  • it’s got lost or stolen
  • Royal Mail returned it to the sender because your address wasn’t clear
  • it was destroyed by Royal Mail for containing a restricted item, like fireworks or spray paint - check Royal Mail’s restricted items list
  • there was a fire in a Royal Mail delivery office

You might not be able to claim compensation if you didn’t follow the rules about Royal Mail’s restricted items.

If it's at least 3 working days late

If your post arrives 3 or more working days after it’s due (or 24 hours for Special Delivery) you can claim compensation for the delay.

If it’s not arrived by 10 working days (5 days for Special Delivery) after it’s due you can claim compensation for loss of post.

Use our tool to find out how much compensation you could get and how to claim.

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