Sending or receiving a parcel? An overview of your rights

Sending or receiving a parcel? An overview of your rights

A parcel that fails to arrive or that got damaged along the way? Unfortunately, it does happen from time to time. Here are the steps you can take if something goes wrong.

Lost or damaged package?

Have you sent a parcel and is the recipient still waiting for it to arrive? Or do you find yourself frantically checking your mailbox hoping it will contain that long-awaited shipment? Chances are your delivery has gone missing. When your parcel was sent by a company or an online store, the first step is to contact them. After all, they are responsible for the delivery, and you are entitled to a compensation.

In other cases, you should get in touch with the courier company’s or the post office’s customer service. You have the right to request an investigation. If that does not go as smoothly as you had hoped, the postal industry ombudsman is on your side: this service can urge the courier company to locate your package or find out what went wrong.

Damaged packages are an equally unpleasant discovery. As soon as you notice your parcel did not arrive in one piece, you should report the damage to the courier company, and if possible notify the courier himself. Did you accept the parcel? Make sure to take pictures of the damaged packaging and contents, and get in touch with the shipper for a compensation or a new shipment.

Your rights under the Montreal and Warsaw Conventions

Have you ever heard of the Warsaw Convention? Dating back to 1929, it has been guarding the rights of those who send and receive air mail for almost ninety years. Simply put, every customer is covered for up to $25 per kilo in the case of air transport and for up to $12 per kilo in the case of road transport. Since the Montreal convention came into effect in 2003, the rules have changed somewhat, limiting the compensation to 1.100 euros per day.

Shipping insuranceSending or receiving a parcel? An overview of your rights

The procedures mentioned above protect you from certain financial losses, but they do not suffice when you are sending (emotionally or financially) valuable items or documents. If you want to play it extra safe, shipping insurance is the way to go.