Sunday, 13 May 2012

Postal fraud or just crazy person?

Well, someone I know was messed about by a landlady, as happens, and so she sent a letter asking the landlady to pay for some items she disposed off without giving my friend a chance to collect them. Long story, and I am not going in to details.

The landlady writes back, and amongst a lot of seemingly crazy things in the letter, she points out that my friend put a recorded delivery sticker on her letter. She says that as she did not sign for it, it was not recorded delivery, and so putting that sticker on the letter is fraud. Apparently she is going to report this fraud to the police.

I am at a loss. Obviously, it was recorded delivery - that is what the royal mail recorded delivery sticker means. Clearly the post man simply forget to get a signature (as does occasionally happen).

Interestingly, she is not claiming that there was insufficient postage on the letter or that she had to pay any excess postage, simply that saying it is recorded delivery when clearly it is not (as she did not have to sign) is fraud!

I have suggested that having this (apparently) crazy person in the same room in front a judge is probably going to end badly and not really worth the hassle. She is already making various wild accusations (including the post fraud) and my friend cannot prove the value of what she disposed of. Shame, but some times it is best to just walk away.

I almost hope she does go to the police with this apparent postal fraud though. Shame we would never hear how that goes.

There are some "interesting" people in the world, aren't there...

P.S. For added amusement - we have just checked, and Royal Mail have a proof of delivery signature for the letter...


  1. "I have suggested that having this (apparently) crazy person in the same room in front a judge is probably going to end badly and not really worth the hassle."

    Which is why playing the crazy card will always get you out of paying like this has.

  2. If your friend has the number of the sticker then surely the Royal Mail tracking website will say that the post was indeed posted, as recorded delivery, or not...

  3. when I go to the postoffice and send something *Signed For* the person behind the counter sticks the various stickers on the letter / parcel and then takes it and puts in their sack behind them

    never have I had the item handed back to me for it to be posted by hand in a postbox

    so just who does this lady think stuck the fraudulent recorded delivery sticker on the letter?

  4. The post offices you use must work differently to the ones I use. They pass through the stickers for the customer to stick on the letter/parcel who then puts the item in the sack on the floor by the counter.

  5. It's very easy to get hold of the "recorded" stickers; I have a handful on my desk, the postoffice hand them out to anyone that claims to be a business user like confetti. Your friend presumably has a receipt from the postoffice with the tracking id on it, which completely counters any accusation of fraud.

    "I have suggested that having this (apparently) crazy person in the same room in front a judge is probably going to end badly and not really worth the hassle."

    I'd disagree - judges tend to be pretty good judges of character. The question is more: is it the landlords word against your friends, or is there a paper trail, a witness or some other form of evidence here?

    She may not need to proof the value, depending exactly what we're talking about. If the amount is less than 100 pounds, it's probably not worth the hassle though, as you may just end up paying out court fees and wasting a lot of time only to have the landlord ignore any decision. Enforcing the decision is then more money and time.

  6. Joseph - when someone starts randomly accusing you of crimes then there's always the threat that they'll increase the severity of those accusations ("wild accusations", perhaps?). The weapons of publicity and the Enhanced CRB Check put a heavy burden on the victims of false accusations, especially ones working with vulnerable people.

    1. Indeed, the accusations included reporting the taking drugs by her and her boyfriend to her college, and to her parents. Unfounded, and quite frankly implausible, accusations which caused a lot of hassle.

  7. Even if the Landlady was correct and the letter didn't get signed for, what fraud would she have reported?

    That Royal Mail had charged your friend for a service that they hadn't provided?

    Can you even report a fraud on behalf of someone else?

  8. I suggest looking up the The Postal Rule in relation to this.

    IANAL but registered post services tend to defeat the common law interpretation of the rule.