Thankfully very few parcels arrive in a damaged state. Only one parcel in 2019 and two parcels in 2018 were damaged when they arrived. None have arrived damaged in 2020 and 2021.
Both of the damaged parcels in 2018 and the one in 2019 were delivered in the run up to Christmas.
Temporary staff are taken on by the Royal Mail in the run-up to Christmas, and so it is assumed that these temporary workers are less experienced than the seasoned postal workers, so accidents are more likely to happen.
All of the parcels that have ever been delivered damaged have been done so after the Royal Mail decided to stop allowing postal customers to mark their parcels as ‘fragile’.
All Wild As The Wind parcels prior to this were marked as ‘fragile’.
Royal Mail Deliveries
Wild As The Wind use the Royal Mail for all of our deliveries.
The reason the Royal Mail have been chosen to handle all of the Wild As The Wind parcels is because, in our experience, they are the best at what they do.
This has proven to be a successful choice so far.
However, the issue with Christmas staff and the fact that the Royal Mail have opted to remove the option of sending parcels marked as ‘fragile’ is potentially going to lead to a review at some point. However, as there has been a 100% success rate in delivering undamaged parcels in 2020 and thus far in 2021, this decision will not be revisited unless there is a fall in service levels.
Royal Mail Sorting Offices
However, the reason why the removal of the ‘fragile’ status of a parcel can potentially present an issue is because of the way in which all parcels are now permitted to be processed.
The parcels, or small packets, as they are known to postal workers, are placed in a very large rotating drum with slots of differing sizes around the edges. The rotating drum is like a large dryer which many of you will have seen at laundrettes, only the drum is even larger than these.
Instead of the fins of the drum imagine slots of differing sizes around the side of the drum. Then imagine all of the small packets being rotated around until they are worked through one of the slots of a corresponding size.
The idea is a simple and largely efficient one. However, very occasionally, a small packet, which is not quite slender enough to make it’s way through, will get caught in one of the slots, at which point it jams, leaving it to be endlessly rotated whilst other parcels continually smash into it. This will continue until the drum has emptied and is inspected prior to being refilled with new parcels.
The description of the parcel which was reported damaged in 2019 very much fits the description of a small packet where this has happened.
Product With Sheered Lid
In this image, which the customer kindly provided to illustrate the damage to one of the items in her parcel, the lid of the bottle is clearly misshapen and has simultaneous groves running parallel to each other. This is conducive to what would happen if it had been caught in a rotating drum. The rest of the bottle remains entirely unmarked, which again suggests the lid of the bottle, which is the most malleable part of the bottle, is the part which got jammed.
Are The Wild As The Wind Parcels Over-Packed?
The customer also mentioned the jiffy bag had burst, and in her estimations had possibly been over-stuffed with packaging.
She suggested that perhaps the jiffy bag wasn’t robust enough for the job.
The reality, however, is that all of the Wild As The Wind parcels go out with additional packaging within the jiffy bags to try and protect the contents from the rigours of the sorting drum. Filling the jiffy bags almost to capacity makes the packets very resilient, allowing other parcels to bounce off them without smashing the brittle glass contents inside.
This has worked for all but one of the hundreds of parcels which were sent out in 2019, proving the jiffy bags are robust enough.
Plus, as there’s not been a single item which has smashed whilst being processed by the postal service in 2019 also suggests that this method of packaging is very effective.
Several bottles arrived smashed in the run-up to Christmas in 2018, hence the decision to invest in additional packaging.
***None of the several hundred other parcels sent out by Wild As The Wind in 2019 have been reported spoilt, or split.
Can Blended Oils Burn Through The Plastic Lids?
No. This is impossible.
The same customer has suggested that the blended oil, which is 97% base oil, (carrier oil), and 3% essential oils may have burnt through the lid of the bottle. She put this idea forward on the basis that she burnt herself with Thyme Essential Oil, purchased from elsewhere, at some point in the past.
Whilst it is entirely feasible for people to suffer from first degree burns when using undiluted essential oils, as mentioned in Using Essential Oils, it is impossible for essential oils to burn through the cap of the bottle.
These bottles and lids are specifically designed to contain pure essential oils as well as diluted essential oils in all manner of inert carrier oils.
The bottles and lids are rigorously tested before they are permitted to be sold to anyone, and they are issued with Safety Data Sheets to prove they have been decreed safe.
I am grateful to this customer for raising all of these issues, and hopefully my answers have allayed all her concerns, as well as answering any of the questions you might have.
What Does Wild As The Wind Do When Parcels Are Damaged?
Wild As The Wind requires the damaged items to be returned, and where possible, photographs to be sent to depict the kind of damage to the parcel so that shipping methods and packaging can be reviewed and potentially altered, where necessary, in light of the new information provided.
Wild As The Wind can claim against the Royal Mail for any damaged items that are delivered to customers. A full reimbursement for the damaged items can be awarded if Wild As The Wind meets all of the criteria stipulated by the Royal Mail.
The criteria to be observed is that all the necessary proof, both photographic and physical, is provided in support of any claim.
Plus any claim must correspond with the Royal Mail’s own records.
All Wild As The Wind Parcels Are Tracked
All of the parcels sent out by Wild As The Wind are tracked. This means that every stage of a parcels journey is recorded by the Royal Mail.
If a parcel gets damaged at any point in it’s journey with the Royal Mail it will be recorded as part of the tracking report.
What Does The Royal Mail Do With Damaged Parcels?
It is also customary for the postal delivery person to place any damaged items in a plastic bag and mark them with a sticker explaining the circumstance of the damage. The postal delivery person is obliged to supply the small packet in a plastic bag if the integrity of the parcel is compromised, as it was in this instance. A failure to do this would mean that the contents of the package could be lost.
The customer in this instance made no mention of any of this, only that the side of the small packet had burst open, and one of the items was damaged.
The customer has advised me that the packaging has been thrown away, so no photographic evidence could be obtained, nor can it be returned.
What Does Wild As The Wind Do For The Customer Of Damaged Goods?
Wild As The Wind provides a refund for customers who receive damaged items after they have been returned to Wild As The Wind for inspection and other purposes. (In this instance the ‘other purposes’ will be to take a better photograph.)
If the packaging is at fault, and has been recorded by the postal service as being faulty, and delivered to the customer in the customary manner, as described above, then the packaging also needs to be returned.
A failure to do this may result in no refund being given, as it is down to the discretion of Wild As The Wind on a case by case basis when a customer fails to return all of the necessary items.
Wild As The Wind will provide a refund, with no questions asked, if the damaged goods and the packaging are all returned to us.
Regrettably, these items must be returned to Wild As The Wind at the cost of the customer.