Who you should raise your complaint to

Where you can go for assistance will depend on whether you were the sender or recipient of the goods, if it is about online shopping, and which postal operator was used.

  • If you have sent a parcel, for example to friends or family, and have experienced a problem, you should make a complaint to the operator
  • If you have bought something online, raise the issue with the online retailer.

Compensation you may be entitled to if you have an issue with a postal operator

You may be entitled to compensation if an item you’ve sent, or are due to receive, is lost, damaged or delayed. The amount of compensation you may be able to claim varies depending on the postal service provider that you used. 

To make a compensation claim, contact the postal service provider that you used, directly. 

When making a compensation claim, you should provide:

  • as much evidence as possible to show that the postal service provider has caused loss, damage or inconvenience 
  • proof of the item’s value, for example a receipt or email confirmation of the order, showing the amount you paid for the item
  • proof of posting, for example a receipt from the Post Office if you used Royal Mail to send the item, or a receipt or email confirmation from the postal operator 
  • evidence of any damage. We recommend that you keep the original packaging and take photographs of both the packing and contents
  • proof that your item didn’t arrive. If you dispute not receiving an item, you may be asked to provide evidence that you did not receive the postal item or weren’t available to acknowledge receipt. If possible, we would suggest asking the sender/operator for proof of the delivery/signature they have on record

Making a complaint about a postal service provider

Contact your postal service provider directly if something has gone wrong, following their complaints procedure.

If you are unhappy with their response, or have not received a response within the agreed time frame, we may be able to help.

You can contact us for advice and information about your complaint by using our online complaints form or by telephone, email or letter.

Other organisations that help with postal services complaints


POSTRS is an independent body whose role is to resolve disputes between regulated postal operators and their customers. 

It covers Royal Mail but only deals with complaints about certain products and services. It does not deal with Post Office complaints. 

You can only apply to the scheme if you:

  • Have not been able to settle a complaint with the company after exhausting their formal complaints procedure.
  • Have not been able to complain to the company because they have not been able to contact them, despite trying to do so; or 
  • The company earlier agrees, in writing, that the dispute should be settled through the scheme.

You must apply to the scheme within twelve months from the date on which the company has given notice to the customer that it is unable to resolve the complaint.

What can POSTRS make the company do?

On the application form, the customer must request at least one of the following remedies from the company:

  • An apology.
  • A product or service.
  • An action to be taken by the company.
  • A payment of compensation for direct loss caused because of using the relevant product or service.
  • A payment of compensation for any stress, anxiety or inconvenience caused by the company failing to keep to its procedure for handling complaints.

Other useful information