FAQs on Valid Tracking Rate policy in UK


#21

We use 1st and 2nd class stamps so in simply what do I put the delivery field.

A - SELECT royal mail and then select second class and leave the tracking blank
OR
B - SELECT Other and then select 2nd class and leave the tracking blank

it does say in the VTR policies this

The following items are not included in the VTR calculation:

  • Domestic items delivered by carrier/delivery service provider not integrated with Amazon
    *** Domestic items delivered with untracked delivery services/delivery methods**
  • Digital products, e.g. audio book

stamps are a untracked delivery service

PLEASE HELP A STRESSED SELLER HERE


#22

We use 1st and 2nd class stamps so in simply what do I put the delivery field.

A - SELECT royal mail and then select second class and leave the tracking blank
OR
B - SELECT Other and then select 2nd class and leave the tracking blank

it does say in the VTR policies this

The following items are not included in the VTR calculation:

  • Domestic items delivered by carrier/delivery service provider not integrated with Amazon
    *** Domestic items delivered with untracked delivery services/delivery methods**
  • Digital products, e.g. audio book

stamps are a untracked delivery service


#23

Hi Jessica,
Can you please confirm if Royal Mail 2nd class large letter, bought through Amazon buy shipping will give a positive VTR or would these orders flag as a negative VTR?
Thank you


#24

Oh sorry, I must have misunderstood, though I am sure that someone on one of the threads has said theirs were showing as exempt from VTR calculation.


#25

They won’t count as either, they should be classed as exempt as not tracked method.


#26

Maybe its me over thinking it. As they seem to imply a barcode is needed… if one does not apply contact your RM account manager to take up a barcode service.
The RM 2nd class via buy shipping only have a barcode that is useful to RM internally according to them,so I’m worried they may be regarded as something we should seek a barcoded/delivery confirmation version of.


#27

“1. Are Royal Mail 1st / 2nd class stamps considered for VTR?
Postage stamps are not a tracked service, if you are shipping your shipments using an untracked ship method you are not required to provide us a tracking ID for domestic and cross-border shipments.”

Hello Jessica, could you please specifically tell me how I should dispatch as the above is my case. Thank you sincerely


#28

Hi Jessica and thank you for the time you have taken to post.
I think much of what you have written is already known or out there but the reveiw is helpful.
However, you have neglected to answer two of the most frequent of FAQs.

Stamps:

Please could you provide us with the definitive way to confirm shipping if using stamps so that this method is not counting towards our VTR.

Buy Shipping:

Could you please explain why many sellers who purchase labels through ‘buy shipping’ are finding their tracking as invalid.
This is the method I use for all my shipping. My VTR is 1%

Many Thanks.


#29

Jessica - could I also add to this please.

In the webinar, it was clearly stated that if we purchased shipping through Amazon, even using a non tracked method such as large letter or small parcel would NOT count against our VTR. Could you confirm that this is, indeed so?


#30

Hi @Jessica

This contradicts what Lizzie Totton said in the webinar. She said “ANY” label purchased through Amazon Buy Shipping is considered valid - i.e. not just those with tracking IDs. In addition one of her slides clearly stated that standard Royal Mail 1st and 2nd Class are valid - I took a screenshot of it at the time as proof, if proof is needed at a later date.

There is clearly a serious mismatch between what the MD of Amazon MFN (UK) said in the webinar and what has been published in the FAQs. This needs to be addressed asap please

Thanks,
Alison


#31

I find it completely unacceptable RM24/48 purchased through Click and Drop and not scanned on delivery will impact my VTR but the exact same service purchased through Amazon Buy Shipping will not. All of my processes are setup to process directly through Click and Drop. It is fast, reliable and easy. All of which aren’t words I would use to describe Amazon Buy Shipping.

We are essentially being forced to make our shipment processing many times less efficient, for what end? The customer will not experience any difference between the two methods as they are the same method. Only us, the seller, will suffer with increased shipping processing times.

What is the rationale and explanation for why there are two different rules for the same service?
I am quite angry about this and I haven’t heard a single reasonable answer from anyone at Amazon yet.


#32

From what I’m reading it sounds like any untracked services, even when bought through buy shipping will simply not be counted one way or the other, so in one sense you could consider these as “valid” in the sense that they are not invalid…


#33

I’m largely in favour of the new VTR metrics system, but it seems the system has been devised poorly and executed so badly and not taken into account any of the intricacies of the workings of hundreds, if not thousands of small sellers in the UK.

While it’s nice to finally have some recognition from Amazon on here, what’s been provided here is just the same information that we’ve already been told in the Webinar and FAQs. It sadly provides no clarity, nor does it address any problems with the system, such as (and I’ve raised these with ‘seller support’:

  1. Our Amazon account is linked with our Royal Mail business account. When purchasing postage through Amazon (using a CRL48 service for example), we appear to be be charged twice, once by Amazon and again by Royal Mail. My understanding is that we should only be charged by Royal Mail. So when will Amazon fix this problem and when will we be refunded for the postage bought through Amazon that Amazon have incorrectly charged us for?

  2. If purchasing shipping for multiple orders through Amazon, it is currently not possible to print the labels with a picking/packing list. However if I purchase one label for one order, I can print this with a picking list. It’s not feasible for me to buy shipping for each order individually as the volume is too high, so when will Amazon resolve this problem so we can have a layout with a picking list when buying multiple labels in one go? - without this, I need to print labels and picking lists separately, which will cause significant paper wastage and also have the possibility of cross-labelling shipments, thus (potentially) causing problems for buyers (and this whole system is supposed to give buyers a better experience).

  3. Why is it not possible or acceptable to buy the exact same service through click and drop for the exact same price and be treated in the same manner as postage bought through Amazon? This practice appears to be anti-competitive and an abuse of a monopoly.

  4. If we cannot provide tracking numbers for an order, we’ve been advised to use ‘other’ as the shipping method. Please could you confirm the exact wording and phrases we need to use when using this option, so this isn’t counted against our VTR metrics?

  5. If I purchase one label for one order through buying postage on Amazon (linked to my Royal Mail account), I can select the exact weight of the order, for example 50g. However If I purchase multiple labels through Amazon, the lowest weight I can enter is 100g. Most of my items sent are 50g, but are few are above 100g. The CRL48/CRL24 service using a system of average weight. So if I purchase 199 items at a weight of 100g (for items that are 50g), and one item of of 200g, this will cause the average weight of the service to be 101g (across all 200 orders). This will cause me to be charged the rate for 200g for all 200 orders, which will cost me around £50-£100 extra per day and completely negating the purpose of the average weight using CRL48.

  6. I have volume discounts on my Royal Mail account, which means I qualify for discounts if I send more than 250 orders. However, if I need to purchase postage through Amazon for my Amazon orders and postage through click and drop for my Ebay and orders from my own website, I will lose these benefits. This is simply not fair.

  7. At the moment I buy CRL48 through Click and Drop, but this new metric appears to have a preference to switching me to a shipping method that provides ZERO tracking (by using ‘other’ as the carrier), rather than the tracking provided by Click and Drop 2d Barcode. How is this an improvement for the customer?

It appears there are considerable problems with this system at the moment and very little clarity on what we can do. It seems quite unfair and unjust that we can’t continue to buy the exact same service for the exact same price from Click and Drop, which is a system that works extremely effectively - except getting the postman to actually do their job and scan on delivery - but this problem is still evident if we buy through Amazon, although one system is valid for VTR and one isn’t - This just cannot be right or justified by anything or anyone.

Suggesting we ‘reach out’ to Royal Mail to get them to scan items is utterly fatuous. No matter how nicely hundreds of us ask Royal Mail to get Postie to scan the item, it’s not going to happen, so an actual solution from Amazon would be nice. It might be slightly less ridiculous if buying the exact same service through Amazon for the same price, which has exactly the same problems with the delivery scan is considered valid. This is absolutely, completely and utter nonsensical.

Please could you provide some clarity with clear and concise answers on the above (don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath).


#34

@Jessica

That’s combining two metrics i.e. delivery confirmation and tracking numbers! A VTR is generated at point of despatch, what happens when it goes beyond our doors is out of our control!

One lazy postman could completely ruin the VTR metric, especially since smaller sellers have smaller volumes. What compounds the issue again is the breakdown by category. I’m sitting at 87% overall and only 57% in one category which could very likely trigger a nasty email from Amazon.

I’d like to bet as well if Amazon VTR’d themselves, they’d be screwed by their own metric of non-scanned but valid VTR numbers. Amazon seemingly more and more like to have their cake and eat it to the detriment to everyone but themselves.

VTR needs to be detached from delivery confirmation ASAP! If Amazon thought about what they’re doing, they could use their massive muscle to lean on Royal Mail to get them to ensure every single barcoded item is scanned at point of delivery. But no, the buck is passed to smaller sellers.


#35
  1. What happens if my shipping service provider fails to scan my packages meaning I miss ‘VTR’ for a product?
    The first thing to do is engage directly with your shipping service provider to try and find a resolution with them. You should also review your labels to ensure you’re using the right ship method and that labels are being printed correctly.

Is Amazon aware that delivery confirmation for Royal Mail 48 is not guaranteed? We use mainly RM48 and have about 80% scan rate on our parcels and large letters. I have contacted Royal Mail and they directed me to their Specific Terms for Parcel Products where it is explicitly stated that:

We reserve the right to withdraw or alter the Delivery Confirmation service at any time and
without giving you prior notice. Delivery Confirmation is not guaranteed and we will not accept
responsibility for complaints or claims made in relation to the availability or accuracy of this
service.

I am aware that buying shipping through Amazon will automatically validate a tracking number, however, this option is too slow for the number of orders we process daily. Could you please advise and escalate this matter further?


#36

Tick.
So which bit of gov.uk do we point this at??


#37

Every point you described is exactly the same situation we find ourselves in - although you described it much more calmly and elegantly than me :sweat_smile:


#38

“I am aware that buying shipping through Amazon will automatically validate a tracking number, however, this option is too slow for the number of orders we process daily. Could you please advise and escalate this matter further?”

Ditto. Had a look at this and a very slow process. Would never be able to keep up at Xmas, and the rest of the year would slow down moving the business forward.

That is a backward step


#39

+1 for wanting the crucial piece of information about how we mark 2nd Class (stamps/franked items) as shipped, without impacting VTR negatively.

I’d be willing to wager that Amazon gets some form of kick-back for this, which if they do, then sails awfully close to falling foul of anti-competition laws.

This is the part that irks me more than anything about this policy, @Jessica . If, as a seller, we are doing everything expected, what exactly is the PoA expected to achieve?

Root cause: Royal Mail is fulfilling its obligations of providing delivery confirmation scans as/when the postal worker deems it appropriate.

Resolution: Asked Royal Mail to try harder, because Amazon say so.

I’m all for holding us to account for things we can control, but we are ultimately not in control of our carriers choosing to scan items properly. This is particularly problematic for large letters, where they are often bundled up into a small banded packet to push through a letterbox. Combine this with the fact that Royal Mail continues to ask their postal staff to work faster, and unions not supporting the request to scan every item, and we’re already fighting a losing battle.

Further, are you able to advise how Amazon views the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man? Both of which are specifically excluded from providing delivery confirmations on RM24/48 in Royal Mail’s Specific Terms of Parcel Products.


#40

Sounds to me like they (amzn) eventually don’t want us small sellers on the platform - just my opinion.

Amzn should have trialled this out on one of their many Marketplace Selling Accounts (Global / Warehouse Deals etc) to see if the 95% VTR target is really achievable