× Search rightsnet
Search options

Where

Benefit

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction

From

to

Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Access to justice and advice sector issues  →  Thread

What do you send record delivery? Or do you send anything?

CHAC Adviser
forum member

Caseworker - CHAC, Middlesbrough

Send message

Total Posts: 260

Joined: 14 September 2017

I was going through our outgoing post book and it occurred to me that we send a lot of stuff via recorded delivery which obviously has a cost for the organisation so I was wondering if perhaps we’re sending too much stuff that way and incurring charges we could avoid. Could some stuff go with just proof of postage? Or even just 1st/2nd class into a nearby post box? Some stuff I suspect probably does need to go that way such as medical records or PIP forms (as they’re special category data). But what about everyone else?

What does your organisation send recorded delivery? Or if not, why not?

davidsmithp1000
forum member

Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project

Send message

Total Posts: 195

Joined: 22 May 2016

I sometimes send 2 copies of the same letter, 1st class?
Think I sent 3 copies once. When you definitely want something read and processed?

Mike Hughes
forum member

Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

Send message

Total Posts: 3138

Joined: 17 June 2010

Very much an individual choice rather than a policy decision and thus different perspectives will doubtless be laid out here.

My own personal perspective:

1 - I have never thought it appropriate for clients largely on a fixed income to pay such a cost.

2 - Picking it up organisationally is an option but what’s the evidence base to justify that? Most stuff claimants see as “lost” is stuff that has simply failed to be linked or stuff that has been delayed. Both can be resolved. There are no official statistics on lost post so all that we have is anecdotal and, despite the plural of anecdote not being evidence, the reality is that all of us have experience of a lost post scenario so we tend to ascribe a level of risk which is likely nowhere near the reality. The reality being much lower i.e. the overwhelming majority of post simply gets posted and arrives.

3 - The whole scenario is fuelled by a cultural mistrust of DWP et al by claimants. Conspiracy is seen where we largely see cock up. Understandable from a claimant perspective but it can fuel much unnecessary risk averse behaviour amongst advisers. “Just in case” has never struck me as a business case.

4 - Proof of postage will do just fine. The best advice claimants can be given is to keep their money in their pockets and make sure that they or their representative works to best practice and copies everything. That, for me, has 10x the value of special delivery type services. 

5 - Being able to email stuff in, regardless of whether it’s been posted, is very handy.

Rebecca Lough
forum member

Welfare rights - Greenwich Council

Send message

Total Posts: 226

Joined: 23 November 2018

Just my two cents.

We very rarely send anything other than 2nd class. Most stuff arrives without issue and those that don’t, we obviously have a copy of it to re-send. Occasionally will send 1st class if there is an imminent deadline.

CHAC Adviser
forum member

Caseworker - CHAC, Middlesbrough

Send message

Total Posts: 260

Joined: 14 September 2017

Mike Hughes - 24 October 2022 05:40 PM

Very much an individual choice rather than a policy decision and thus different perspectives will doubtless be laid out here.

My own personal perspective:

1 - I have never thought it appropriate for clients largely on a fixed income to pay such a cost.

2 - Picking it up organisationally is an option but what’s the evidence base to justify that? Most stuff claimants see as “lost” is stuff that has simply failed to be linked or stuff that has been delayed. Both can be resolved. There are no official statistics on lost post so all that we have is anecdotal and, despite the plural of anecdote not being evidence, the reality is that all of us have experience of a lost post scenario so we tend to ascribe a level of risk which is likely nowhere near the reality. The reality being much lower i.e. the overwhelming majority of post simply gets posted and arrives.

3 - The whole scenario is fuelled by a cultural mistrust of DWP et al by claimants. Conspiracy is seen where we largely see cock up. Understandable from a claimant perspective but it can fuel much unnecessary risk averse behaviour amongst advisers. “Just in case” has never struck me as a business case.

4 - Proof of postage will do just fine. The best advice claimants can be given is to keep their money in their pockets and make sure that they or their representative works to best practice and copies everything. That, for me, has 10x the value of special delivery type services. 

5 - Being able to email stuff in, regardless of whether it’s been posted, is very handy.

1 - Absolutely agree, I’d never advised a client do so. I only ever tell them to get proof of postage.

2/3 - Yes this is sort of why I’m questioning it internally at the moment. We’re doing it because we (and clients) don’t trust the DWP. So as it’s a “just in case” basis that’s a terrible way to justify spending money.

4 - I must admit I’m leaning towards telling our admin to get proof of postage for most things.

5 - Agreed, I wish the DWP would allow us to send them stuff by email!

Rebecca and David thanks for your thoughts as well :)

Va1der
forum member

Welfare Rights Officer with SWAMP Glasgow

Send message

Total Posts: 706

Joined: 7 May 2019

CHAC Adviser - 26 October 2022 02:31 PM

2/3 - Yes this is sort of why I’m questioning it internally at the moment. We’re doing it because we (and clients) don’t trust the DWP. So as it’s a “just in case” basis that’s a terrible way to justify spending money.

Trust of DWP doesn’t come into it at this stage. Whether recorded + signed for or bog standard 2nd class, it ends up at the same place - and gets as easily lost as any other post once it’s through DWP’s post handling sites.

If there was any justification it would be from distrust of Royal Mail.
Now, chances are it is the same incompetent postman that will fail to deliver a recorded letter to the correct address, but recorded post will have clearer labelling etc so less likely to get lost in the earlier RM machinery/automated services.

If you wanted to look at it from a business perspective - check RM stats of lost letters. I suspect any improvement would be marginal. Resolving a lost letter will cost you at most a few £ of staff time.

 

Mike Hughes
forum member

Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

Send message

Total Posts: 3138

Joined: 17 June 2010

RM stats don’t really exist as such. The DF brilliantly suggested as recently as 2 days ago that 500,000 items go missing or are late but this is derived from the extent to which RM fall short of a specific target rather than from a count of reports as to what has actually gone missing.

Mike Hughes
forum member

Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

Send message

Total Posts: 3138

Joined: 17 June 2010