You can’t, so the saying goes, prove a negative. This is in the context of proving that we didn’t receive the disputed parcel. You can “prove” that we did receive it, because the Royal Mail has a record of it, but we can’t prove we didn’t. because we weren’t asked to sign for not receiving it. Such a thing is not possible.
This is in a philosophical sense, of course, as you can prove a negative in other ways. However,think of a small teapot orbiting the sun . . .
Anyway, back from theory and philosophy, and into the territory of sensible real life. (Though with the proviso that some scientists need to lighten up when discussing teapots in space).
The first thing we had to deal with was an email from the customer with a picture of his proof of posting and a demand to know why we weren’t refunding his money as he had proof we had received the parcel.
This revealed a new problem – the customer had not returned the parcel by Guaranteed Delivery but had used a cheaper, less secure method, His method does not require a signature and only insures the parcel for £100 instead of the necessary £500. In saving a few pounds he caused this entire problem.
We, in turn, contacted eBay, who have given us another seven days to make our case for not refunding the customer, with his use of a sub-standard postal service working in our favour.
We then spoke to the postman, who told us, amongst other things, that he had checked for us and the mobile technology used by the Royal Mail showed that the delivery had taken place at the specified time and in the vicinity of the shop. Without needing a signature, they cannot be sure exactly what “the vicinity” is. It now seems that it is our job to knock on all local doors asking if anyone has our parcel.
This is where we had a little luck, realising that the CCTV could help us. We checked it, and sure enough, it shows that the postal delivery employee walks down the road, pauses outside our shop, shuffles through some letters then walks off without delivering anything.
That, to me, is proof that the parcel was not delivered to the premises at the stated time. I’m not going to speculate further, as it may yet develop into a serious legal argument.
W are still going to end up losing money, and wasting time sorting it out, but it’s unlikely to be the £500 we originally feared.
I will let you know what happens when it is sorted.
The next post will be more cheerful. Probably.
The featured image is a propaganda Iron Cross from 1914 – they were made in various places in Britain and sold to raise money for Belgian refugees. I use it because it was the subject of a claim by a customer who said he hadn’t received it. That was easy to sort out – we had a signature from the delivery, which was to his place of work. He recognised the signature, checked it out and found the package was waiting for him in the post room – he just hadn’t bothered to check.