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Using the Postal Redress Service
If a postal operator cannot resolve your complaint, you may be able to refer the complaint to the Postal Redress Service (POSTRS). They are an independent body who can try to settle disputes between you and your postal operator. You must have given your postal operator the chance to settle your complaint before you apply to use POSTRS.
This page tells you when can refer a complaint to POSTRS and how to do it.
What is POSTRS?
The Postal Redress Service (POSTRS) is an independent body whose role is to resolve disputes between regulated postal operators and their customers. By law, all regulated postal operators must be a member of an alternative dispute resolution scheme that is approved by Ofcom. POSTRS is currently the only such scheme.
It is free to use POSTRS, apart from any costs you might incur for phone calls, photocopying or postage.
POSTRS will only look at complaints about regulated postal services, provided by regulated postal operators who are members of the redress scheme. POSTRS can advise you on what products and services of these postal operators are within its remit.
- More information about what regulated postal services are.
- Find out if your postal operator is a member of POSTRS at www.postrs.org.uk.
Have you complained to your postal provider?
Postal providers offer their own complaints process which you must follow before POSTRS will consider your complaint.
When can you apply to POSTRS?
You can only refer your complaint to POSTRS if one of these conditions apply:
- you have not been able to settle your complaint within the timescale set out in your postal operator’s complaints process. This is known as being in deadlock
- your postal operator agreed in writing with you that you can refer your complaint to POSTRS
- your postal operator did not follow its own complaints process when it looked at your complaint
- you can show that you have not been able to contact your postal provider, despite making reasonable efforts
You should refer your complaint to POSTRS within nine months of first complaining to your postal operator.
How do you apply to POSTRS?
You need to apply to POSTRS using the application form, which you can post or fill in online. You can get an application form using these contact details.
70 Fleet Street
Tel: 0207 520 3766
You can also download the application form or apply online at www.postrs.org.uk.
You will need to provide as much evidence as possible to support your complaint.
What happens after you apply to POSTRS?
When you refer your complaint to POSTRS, an independent person will look at it. This person is called an adjudicator. They will look at all the information provided by both sides and make a decision on the dispute. You should receive this decision within six weeks.
After receiving the decision, you have another six weeks to choose whether to accept it. The postal operator doesn’t have to accept the decision until you have. If the decision is not accepted within that time it is no longer valid
What evidence does POSTRS consider?
POSTRS will take the following evidence into account when they make a decision on your claim:
- evidence of posting, such as a postage receipt or certificate of postage
- evidence of the item’s value, such as a receipt or bank statement
- evidence that the correct service was used to send the item, such as a special delivery receipt
- if you sent a high value item and your complaint is over the level of compensation, you will need to show you used a service which provides compensation to that value
- compensation cover if you are seeking compensation for consequential loss. Consequential loss is the additional loss you have suffered on top of the item's value.
- evidence of how your item was packaged, such as the original packaging or photographic evidence
- evidence of the correspondence that has been sent between you and the postal operator.
What can you do if you’re not happy with the POSTRS decision?
If you don't agree with the decision of POSTRS, you can reject it. If you do this, the postal operator will not have to act on it either.
If you still want to pursue the issue, you can take your complaint to court. Taking court action is time-consuming and can be expensive and should always be seen as a last resort. You should always take independent legal advice before you consider court action.
Other useful information
- More information about the Postal Redress Service from www.postrs.org.uk.