to think they should have mentioned it before posting

(63 Posts)

My DMum posted a parcel to DSil in another country. It was a bottle of perfume. Cashier in PO asked what was in the parcel and filled in the forms. DMum later received a letter stating that perfume was NOT allowed to be posted and that the parcel had been disposed of, including the birthday card. Yes, DMum could have asked specifically whether perfume was allowed to be posted, but surely the cashier should have checked herself if she didn't know, or told DMum if she did. DMum is very upset, both about £60 wasted and that DSil didn't get her card or any other acknowledgement of her birthday on the day.

Sirzy Thu 02-Jan-14 12:48:00

I would have thought she should have checked before sending. TBH I would never consider attempting to post liquid.

phantomnamechanger Thu 02-Jan-14 12:49:13

surely everyone knows you cant send bottles of liquid in the post overseas???

BrownPaint Thu 02-Jan-14 12:49:21

Seems pointless asking the question if she allowed prohibited goods to be posted. I'm sorry you mum lost her money...

CrohnicallySick Thu 02-Jan-14 12:49:48

YANBU. If the cashier asked what was in the parcel and filled out the forms, she could have checked whether it was allowed to be posted (or given your mum the leaflet on prohibited items).

Never having tried to post liquid overseas, I genuinely wouldn't have known that. It never occurred to DMum either. I can't believe that someone working in the PO didn't know, and think she should have said something.

IneedAwittierNickname Thu 02-Jan-14 12:53:02

I didn't know that you can't send liquid overseas, and wouls expect the post office to tell me when I tried to send it tbh.

IamInvisible Thu 02-Jan-14 12:55:52

I've been sending parcels overseas lately. I checked on the websites of what you're allowed to send before I bought anything. I saw it as my responsibility.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 02-Jan-14 12:56:01

It's been fairly well publicised recently to be fair.

ShadowFall Thu 02-Jan-14 12:56:07

Seems a bit daft that the cashier didn't say anything at the time after going to the trouble of asking what was in the parcel.

picnicbasketcase Thu 02-Jan-14 12:56:31

PO employee asked what is was, your DM told them and they didn't tell her there and then that she couldn't post it? That's appalling, what a waste.

BellaVita Thu 02-Jan-14 12:56:57

The cashier should have known. There are leaflets in the PO giving exact details of what is/isn't allowed.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 02-Jan-14 12:57:47

You really can't blame the post office.

I've posted a parcel this morning and they showed me a list of prohibited items. They shouldn't have let her post it if they knew what was in it

BrownPaint Thu 02-Jan-14 13:00:46

Why do staff ask what's in the parcel?

How many elderly people are being caught out by this?

Drank where has it been publicised? I honestly haven't seen anything. It seems like they pocketed the £27 postage and then just disposed of the parcel.

You can send bottles of liquid in the post PhantomNamechanger . The rules vary for different countries though. MIL sent me a selection of toiletries which she declared and were okay but she had to take out the aftershave for DH, so not exactly sure on the logic behind it all.

ChasedByBees Thu 02-Jan-14 13:04:10

I haven't seem it either and I do think you can blame the post office if they directly asked and were told it was perfume. I'd complain.

There has been publicity lately but I think you can blame the Post Office when the cashier accepted the parcel despite it containing a prohibited item. Surely the cashier should have said that you can't send perfume and given OP's mum the chance to remove it and just send the card.

Mcnorton Thu 02-Jan-14 13:06:06

I post overseas regularly and every time I'm either asked 'what's in it?' (in case it's prohibited I assume) or shown a list of prohibited items to check. I use various post offices depending on where I am (work, home, etc), so I'm surprised your Mum's had that experience. I'm sorry to hear it.

RandyRudolf Thu 02-Jan-14 13:07:07

I have just read Royal Mail's International Restricted items and you cannot post perfume internationally,only within the UK. The post office cashier should have advised you of this when you told her what you were posting. In fact, she shouldn't have accepted it.

I think you can only post it if you are a business.

ShadowFall Thu 02-Jan-14 13:07:56

I haven't seen any publicity lately either. I didn't even see a poster / leaflet about prohibited items on display when I was in the post office posting a parcel shortly before Christmas.

And I agree that you can blame the post office if the post office staff ask what's in the parcel, and then accept it despite it being a forbidden item.

caroldecker Thu 02-Jan-14 13:08:05

Surely the forms she filled in had a list of banned items on it - i think the perfume one is because it is flammable

MinnieMooMoo Thu 02-Jan-14 13:09:03

I was asked if a parcel was perfume the week before Christmas and that was posted to a UK address. The cashier should have known the rules.

wowfudge Thu 02-Jan-14 13:12:42

I think you can blame the post office - all the guidance on their website states you can't send flammable liquids, including perfume, abroad. Sounds like a training issue with the cashier involved. I think the difficulty would be in proving what was written on the customs declaration, and then whether it was clear to the cashier what exactly was in the package. (Your mum might have put 'toiletries' or the name of the perfume, etc.) If your mum wants to do the same in future, maybe it would be safer to order online for delivery to SIL as then the onus is on the retailer to ensure it is delivered. I.e. the item may be purchased and posted within the same country.

As it was the PO cashier who filled in the forms, DMum has no idea what was written on them.

Pancakeflipper Thu 02-Jan-14 13:19:55

The post office have to ask what is in parcels to ensure its not something that cannot be posted.
So therefore the staff member should have informed your mother that perfume is not allowed.

Might be worth raising this with the Post Office but I sadly doubt your mother will get full costs back. But nothing to lose.

pricklyPea Thu 02-Jan-14 13:41:31

My mother posted some perfume to Australia recently, was she not meant to? It got there.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 02-Jan-14 13:48:50

Sorry but your mum should have found out before she posted. It's things like this you would want to find out for yourself.

pricklyPea what did she write on the label?? It was Australia my DMum was posting to! Apparently, you're not meant to wink

I gather that 'disposed of'' means sold. Which is probably why they wouldn't want to just return it.

Viviennemary Thu 02-Jan-14 13:55:43

It is irritating. But I don't suppose the Cashier would know every item prohibited by every country. But she could have been more helpful and asked if your Mum had checked it was allowed.

maddening Thu 02-Jan-14 13:55:53

Yanbu - if your dm told the po member of staff what was in the parcel then they should have informed her.

NoComet Thu 02-Jan-14 14:10:51

The post office have recently got very stroppy, but I only know this from MN.

TheBrotherHoodOfSteel Thu 02-Jan-14 14:36:37

So why ask her whats in the parcel or was she just being nosey?!

She asked what was in the parcel, so she could write it on the customs label!

manticlimactic Thu 02-Jan-14 15:30:26

So she told the PO cashier that it was perfume?

SapphireMoon Thu 02-Jan-14 15:32:22

I do believe post office cashier been incompetent here.
I think an email complaint may be in order to make sure all staff at that branch trained appropriately.
Annoying for your Mum.

No manticlimatic she told her she was posting dog shit confused wink! Yes, she told her she was posting perfume, cashier filled in sticky form, stuck it on the parcel and put the parcel in the bag. No problems, until a week later letter arrives telling DMum that parcel has been disposed of as perfume is not allowed to be posted.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 02-Jan-14 15:40:01

There are normally posters at the POst Office listing things not allowed to be sent. It's like at the airport - you are expected to read the information. The clerk can't ask about every banned item. I don't think they read the contents when they accept the parcel, probably because it would be time consuming and they assume everyone reads the notices.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 02-Jan-14 15:41:31

Oh, then if the cashier actually wrote the label, he/she is at fault. How odd! YANBU!

peppapigmustdie Thu 02-Jan-14 15:45:09

All members of staff have to undergo training and a test on new rules. The clerk will also have had a laminate to hand and on screen prompts to ascertain whether the item is allowed. The clerk is at fault here as your Mum can't be expected to know the ins and outs of posting rules which have changed enormously recently.

peppapigmustdie Thu 02-Jan-14 15:47:15

Xmasbaby you would think that but they have to ask every one what is being posted, it is annoying and I am glad I no longer have to do it as lots of customers get pissed off with you asking "In the interest of sfety, can I please ask you what is inside the parcel?" We would have faced a disciplinary for not asking!

CailinDana Thu 02-Jan-14 15:48:30

The cashier asked because he/she had to fill in a customs form. That has nothing to do with prohibited items although it's totally reasonable to expect the cashier to point out that it's prohibited.

Lonelynessie Thu 02-Jan-14 15:49:10

Yanbu. The cashier should have known this and advised accordingly. I make and sell my own brand of nail lacquers and have had my business cut drastically as I can now only post to the UK, I was told at the beginning of last year the list of things I couldn't send internationally anymore. Infact, the week before Christmas I overheard the cashier telling someone that they couldn't send their parcel as it contained aftershave.

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Thu 02-Jan-14 15:59:48

The lady at the post office has been asking me what is in my parcels to Scotland recently - I have been doing this for years and it has only happened in the last two months.

They do need more info at he post office with lists of banned items and where you can't send them to.

I have been trying to find out what you can post to Japan recently and as far as I can tell from the information available, it is absolutely nothing!

LaGuardia Thu 02-Jan-14 16:14:23

I cannot imagine what 'forms' there were to fill in? The Customs label? It is the responsibility of the sender to ensure they are not posting anything which may be restricted or banned.

NutcrackerFairy Thu 02-Jan-14 16:17:45

Is this a recent thing, not being able to send perfume overseas?

I sent a bottle of perfume to Australia about a year ago and it was received, no problem. Also sent a bottle to South Africa a couple of years ago, also no problem.

I have personally never seen a notice at my local post office telling me that certain items are prohibited from being sent overseas. Although of course I assumed that anything with explosives or toxins would be!

LongTailedTit Thu 02-Jan-14 16:27:32

Nope, not recent - there have always been restrictions on the sending of perfume/Eau de toilette/aftershave etc due to the flammability/alcohol content.
If you're sending by post or courier to a 'dry' country (Middle East etc) you can only send bottles with crimped necks that can't be removed, as otherwise it's possible to drink the alcohol.
(Used to work in the despatch dept of a fragrance company 10 years ago)

To be fair to the OPs mum tho, I'd have thought the only point of them asking what was in the package was to ascertain whether it as allowed to be posted - otherwise what the hell were they asking for? I'd be cross too, I don't think postage regs are that common knowledge, loads of people are unaware about the limits re batteries too.

nitrox Thu 02-Jan-14 16:39:26

I run a mail order business, I only send paper products so it's not something I have sent previously.

I had no idea you couldn't post perfume overseas and I would be pretty miffed if they asked you at the post office what was in the parcel and then didn't tell you!


wowfudge Thu 02-Jan-14 22:30:43

There's a long list of stuff you can't send abroad, although a lot of it is okay within the UK. Lonelynessie I discovered apparently you can only send four nail lacquers in the same package in the UK! I don't think the PO leaflet specified the size of bottle so seems arbitrary.

LongTailedTit Thu 02-Jan-14 23:11:34

wow I had the proper rule book once upon a time and would occasionally read it for amusement - there are a number of countries, most Far East iirc that don't accept some very specific things, wind instruments, marbles etc. confused

For the UK there was the usual fairly sensible list of prohibited items, incendiaries, porn, animal waste, etc etc, so far so predictable, but at the end of the list was...........^Filth^. grin How that wasn't covered by any of the previous categories is anybody's guess...

LongTailedTit Thu 02-Jan-14 23:12:39

*most = mostly in the Far East.

ParadiseByTheDashboardLight Thu 02-Jan-14 23:33:17

So how would one buy purfume online then if it can't be posted? Do other post/courier services allow it?

This is a weird and shit rule.

OP, I'd be raging, given the cashier didn't say anything.

Caitlin17 Fri 03-Jan-14 01:36:52

I imagine if you're buying online that will have its own rules which the company sending will have to comply with and/or the order might be filled locally.

RoseRedder Fri 03-Jan-14 01:46:28

It might be the diferrence between Royal Mail and courier?

I bought perfume online this year for a present and it was delivivered without a problem

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 03-Jan-14 02:10:12

The only form that would have needed filling in was the customs declaration. The sender signs the customs form - so your mum should have read the declaration/paperwork before she signed it.

Not the PO's fault IMO.

StupidMistakes Fri 03-Jan-14 02:12:31

Was there not a return to sender address cos surely if there was it should have been sent back to her rather than disposed of

Catsize Fri 03-Jan-14 03:26:43

Cashier should have known. Worth a complaint.

AmandaCooper Fri 03-Jan-14 07:45:32

I was asked the contents of a parcel I was sending from Leeds to Manchester. Unfortunately it contained medicated hemorrhoid pads, a tube of Preparation H, a tube of Lanisoh nipple cream and a packet of tena lady (she was 9 months pregnant and they were unused items from my own recent birth). There was a big queue behind me too. I have no idea why he asked but it's obviously not just a customs thing. Nosiness?

stupid, yes there was a sender's address, otherwise they couldn't have written to her to tell her that they had disposed of it.

pricklyPea Sat 04-Jan-14 03:12:22

Mother sent it a couple of months ago. Can't remember if she wrote on that it was perfume. Weird. Maybe they only check some.

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