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Special Delivery Problems

Special Delivery Problems

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Two separate clients posted accounts to Companies House in the week leading up to Christmas, both used special delivery, both arrived days after 1st Jan.  Is this representative of a wholesale failure of the Special Delivery service?  There were a week's worth of working days for Royal Mail to live up to their next-working-day promise

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By neileg
07th Jan 2011 08:57

What a surprise!

The staff in my post office simply laughed when a customer asked for special delivery in the week before Christmas. I think it was to do with the the big piles of snow and the continuing blizzard at the time.

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By bernard michael bayly
07th Jan 2011 09:03

Special delivery

Are you sure it was the fault of the Royal Mail? Was anybody at Cos House to receive and sign for post? There were a lot of bank holidays in the period you mention plus snow and more snow in Wales. I also understand that at some stage Special Deliveries were not being accepted because of transportation problems

I assume your clients have checked the Royal Mail online tracking system for the actual date when the accounts were signed for and are not just accepting Cos House word that they were late. Internal procedures take several days at this time of the year

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By Malcolm Veall
07th Jan 2011 09:28

Two weeks does not equal next day

Royal Mail may want to say that the next day promise does not apply, but there were only 3 bank holidays in the TWO WEEKs it has taken them to deliver.  the post went from Leicester, not somewhere where the roads were blocked.

The point of my query is that if this has been a widespread issue, (around the single busiest filing deadline fo the year for accounts to Companies House), then some sort of agreed settlement process is needed, not endless hours being spent by every company affected arguing with intransigent people at CH/Royal Mail.

I suppose that I could try getting ICAEW to take up the issue but achieveing that really would be a challenge for me.

 

 

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By bernard michael bayly
07th Jan 2011 09:43

Special delivery

Companies House have already said that there will be no concessions. Also the fines help pay to keep the Welsh unemployment down by giving them jobs as excuse monitors (Sorry C-D!) 

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By ACDWebb
07th Jan 2011 10:22

I believe

that the PO were not guaranteeing next day during the weather difficulties and there should have been signs to that effect and counter staff should have advised anyone asking for the service at the time

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By cymraeg_draig
07th Jan 2011 11:36

.

Check if there were official disclaimers regarding delivery guarantees at the time the clients posted these items, and, if these were brought to their attention (ie prominently displayed, handed to customers etc).

Do the Post Office actually "guarantee" next day delivery?

If so and if no disclaimer was made, then there could be a case for claiming damages (ie all costs, fines etc) from the Post Office.

However, I rather suspect that you will find there is no actually guarantee of next day delivery.

 

Alternatively, simply challenge Companies House's stance as being unreasonable. I am pretty certain that a court would view their stance as wholly unreasonable and would overturn any "fines" imposed by Companies House as being unjust in the circumstances.

Incidently, the courts themselves post summonses etc and they are "deemed to have been delivered" 48 hours after posting.  So they would have some difficulty and open up a huge can of worms if they didnt apply the same logic to post sent by the public.

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By Malcolm Veall
07th Jan 2011 11:52

Thanks C-D

Thanks, as ever, for your analysis.  The problem, of course, is that CH know nobody will take the issue to a court for £150.

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By cyrynpen
07th Jan 2011 12:18

Companies House

I remember looking at Companies House website whether there was a chance of an extension to the deadline because of the servere weather. Their response was "hand deliver documents if post cannot be relied upon". I thought that was very "helpful" considering that I don't live in Cardiff!! I believe that they'd be unreasonable to not accept an appeal based on the bad weather as to be fair, the weather was horrendous!!

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By yorky1000
07th Jan 2011 15:08

But the post office delivery is not consistent.

I delivered 2 envelopes by Special delivery on 29th December which are showing up as received in time. 2 envelopes on 24th December are not showing on Comp Hse as received.

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By bernard michael bayly
07th Jan 2011 15:19

Special delivery

The most important point from all of these posts is whether or not CH signed for the delivery before 31st Dec. I fought a case and won it where we had delivered the accounts on time and CH said they had been delivered after time. Th judge after a lot of legal argument said that on tha balance of probability the accounts had been delivered on time but mislaid internally by CH staff

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
07th Jan 2011 18:08

Me too

We posted 3 sets "guaranteed next day", two on 22nd got through the one on 23rd didn't. 

All 3 were warned that they may face a penalty (they had the accounts weeks before) but with the third, where the signed set hadn't arrived here, we decided to test out the new practice of them accepting electronically produced signatures (client sent me a PDF of the signature that I attached & printed).

So, following above it's likely it was just late, will wait for the penalty notice and try a claim.

 

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By cymraeg_draig
07th Jan 2011 18:27

Perhaps I have a mean streak ..............

Thanks, as ever, for your analysis.  The problem, of course, is that CH know nobody will take the issue to a court for £150.

Posted by Malcolm Veall on Fri, 07/01/2011 - 11:52

 

 

Why?

HMRC thought that about a £100 penalty - until they received the summons from the small claims court. Sometimes it's not about the money, it's about slapping down these smug twerps who think they can ride rough shod over others.

 

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By cathhammond
08th Jan 2011 00:24

had same problem...

sent by guaranteed next day delivery accounts on 29th dec, post office say delivered on 30th, not recorded on companies house. rang companies house and they said they are still sifting through post received on 23 dec so as long as marked as received before midnight 31 dec no fines...... we'll see!!!

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By rockallj
10th Jan 2011 13:49

Companies House delays

Two weeks BEFORE Xmas CH admitted they were behind with post and were working on acs recevied 7 days before.

Now that we've had bad weather, backlogs and very busy year end date AND 3 bank hols, you can guarantee the delay is nearer 14 days. However, I believe all acs are stamped as received on receipt date but may not be lodged until 2 weeks later. So although website often suggest acs are late, I have found so far, that no penalty has arrived because in truth, the acs were received by CH on time.

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By jonbryce
12th Jan 2011 12:12

Probably delays at both ends

I delivered some accounts by hand to Companies House on 28th December - a bank holiday.  They were logged on the website as being received on 7th January.  No penalty notices yet, but it could be on the way.

I sent something by Special Delivery on 9th December, not companies house related.  It took until 17th December to reach its destination 3 miles away.  The bus running between the post office and the recipient was running as normal, so clearly no problems with the weather.

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By sally1964
12th Jan 2011 13:53

No special delivery

I thought Post Office removed special delivery over the snow period.

We filed all ours online with Companies House rather than risk them not getting there.

We always file online now as saves postage and instantly know they are there.

 

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By Hampson
12th Jan 2011 14:38

Post

Not Special Delivery, but I have had 2nd class mail delivered today (12.1.11) posted on 23rd December.

I understand that Special Delivery carries compensation up to £500 - so you may be able to persuade Royal Mail to pay the fine if they messed up, and the Certificate of Posting shows the Guaranteed Delivery Date as being 31 December or earlier.

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By Rachel Battersby
12th Jan 2011 16:01

Royal Mail removed the guarantee

I had two sets of accounts to deliver and I posted them on 22nd December (together) Special Delivery from Lancashire where there wasn't much snow but terrible conditions due to no gritting taking place and they were delivered on 23rd December though I checked the Royal Mail tracker on the 30th and they showing as merely being in the Cardiff delivery office at that time.

Really the Institutes should be supporting a case of delivery by Special Delivery that would normally be in time if there wasn't bad weather to be a reasonable excuse for the avoidance of fines and a note of late filing on the record because it isn't within the company's control. And don't tell me it's the same for everyone. They chose to close their Manchester office (and don't have offices nation-wide) and I don't agree that my having to drive the 460 mile round trip to Cardiff to deliver them would be a reasonable thing in any circumstance in weather conditions so bad that the postal service won't deliver and their staff won't turn up to work. Roll on XBRL filing - if my software provider had provided it before the end of this month when it's due I would have filed online (didn't have filing codes for Companies House for the companies concerned and they take far too long to issue as well).

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By Robert Lovell
21st Jan 2011 10:20

Any willing volunteers available to comment?

The Mail on Sunday has expressed interest in this issue, are there any willing members available to come forward to comment?

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
21st Jan 2011 11:46

All OK for us

Following my last comment, it was clearly just a backlog in scanning. I have looked on their website and accounts were scanned on 6 January but the date stamp was 29 December.  I also take into account that, if & when, we have any last minute ones we'll always send to the London office, so presumably then then post on to Cardiff to scan?  Don't know.

Our Local PO say they would have honoured the guarantee.  Also good to note that these were our first submitted with a dry signature.

Robert - I'm OK for you to volunteer my comments but given it's the Mail I doubt they'll want to report any good news.  Might have helped if I'd added that Companies House had eaten my dog?

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By Malcolm Veall
21st Jan 2011 12:32

Companies House - not Post Office at fault

My client has found the Spec Del tracking receipt and credit to Post Office - posted 23.12, delivered Cardiff 24.12 - just that CH filing record shows filed 6.1 - no penalty has arrived so no financial implications - but surely the filing record should show when recieved, not when they got round to processing?  (Looks poor in company searches)

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By tom2another
22nd Jan 2011 13:27

Companies House Delays

We sent in a set of LLP accounts on 22/12/10, which unfortunately were rejected because we had forgotten to update the declarations. However these were not returned to us as rejected until 10/1/11 (recieved on 14/1/11).We got them altered and returned on the same day, but have now recieved a penalty, against which we are appealing - as had the rejected accounts been returned before 31/1/10 (a just about possible scenario given the bank holidays) we could have hand delivered to the Companies House office in London, given that LLP's cannot file accounts over the internet, it all seems a bit one sided.

Tom

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