Tag Archives: Occam’s Razor

Another Day, Another Story, and a Razor

A few days ago we had an email from a customer telling us that his parcel had not arrived. He had ordered on 5th December and, after being patient, had decided to write. There was just one problem – the Royal Mail rack and Trace service showed that his parcel had been delivered, and paid for, on 7th December. I wrote and told him this, politely but firmly, and suggested he asked other people in the house, or his neighbours, if they had accepted it on his behalf. We have several of these every month. They take up time, they sometimes involve argument, but eBay finds in our favour because if there is a signature they consider we have done our duty. I didn’t cover this in my moaning as I considered it settled.

We heard nothing for a couple of days, and today had a reply. He now concedes that he has had the parcel but claims one of the items is missing.

This is not very credible. Even without the first email it would seem unlikely, but allied to the first one, it’s looking like a definite attempt at fraud.

We know the weights of the three items and we know the weight of the package, because the Pot Office, thoughtfully, prints the weight on the receipt. A bit of simple maths leads to the conclusion that all three items were in the parcel when it was posted, and as there was no complaint at the time, it would seem likely that three arrived. Then there is the postage method – we used Guaranteed because of the value of the three items. If there had just been two we would have used Signed For postage. All of this points to one conclusion – he got the parcel, he got the three items and he is not being completely truthful.

There may be another explanation, a confused elderly gent, a larcenous neighbour or a rogue postman, but the simplest solution is usually the best. This is what has come down to us as “Occam’s Razor“, even though it seems to have little to do with Occam.

Looking forward to Spring