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to think they should have mentioned it before posting

(63 Posts)
Justforlaughs Thu 02-Jan-14 12:46:35

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.

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.

Justforlaughs Thu 02-Jan-14 13:12:48

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.

Justforlaughs Thu 02-Jan-14 13:50:38

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

BackOnlyBriefly Thu 02-Jan-14 13:51:55

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?!

Justforlaughs Thu 02-Jan-14 15:27:49

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.

Justforlaughs Thu 02-Jan-14 15:36:28

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.

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