SFP orders delivered "late" by Royal Mail losing Prime badge


We have lost our Prime badge for the last 3 weeks, each time it was because of a drop in our on-time shipment rate. Each week I have downloaded the order defect report and checked the order IDs which are marked as dispatched late, every time these orders have been dispatched on time but have then been delivered “late” by Royal Mail. Royal Mail Tracked 24 service, however, is not a guaranteed next day service so you can’t appeal any of these deliveries with RM as they have met their delivery target of 2 days. Perhaps the most frustrating part of this is that we have bought the shipping label through Amazon and Amazon then has a record of the first collection scan which proves that we have dispatched the order on time.

The two main issues are:

  1. Orders delivered “late” are seen as dispatched late when they were not.
  2. Amazon selling us next day service which is not a next day service.

Any thoughts on this, or anyone facing the same or similar issues?


Use a next day guaranteed service.


You seem to be contradicting yourself. You are saying you were notified about losing Prime due to drop in on-time shipment rate. Then you say later they were dispatched on time but some were delivered late?

Based on your first statement - if it is on-time dispatch issues, it sounds like your RM parcels are not being scanned at collection or until after midnight. This appears to be quite common based on what I have seen from other sellers and requires a conversation with your RM account manager.

Make sure you are trying to fix the correct metric…


Which you can’t do, when using SFP as they only allow you to use 24/48 tracked services!


Thanks PeterB,
There is no contradiction, orders were dispatched on time by us and then delivered late.
It looks like you are right, orders have been scanned by the sorting centre after midnight.


I believe you can use Royal Mail next day special delivery which is tracked and signed. Correct me if I’m wrong.


No you can’t. For SFP, it’s tracked 24/48 only.
Premium orders obviously are different.


I find that very strange. Probably one of the reasons that I don’t offer SFP


Suggest that you take a look at amazon shipping if your volume can match the requirements


The reason is that Special Delivery only offers proof of delivery not full tracking. Special Delivery is also not as reliable as it should be. The only difference is that if SD is delivered late you can claim back the delivery cost from RM.

Tracked 24 offers full step-by-step tracking. That’s why it’s the only service you can use for SFP.


All next day delivery / sfp orders should be sent via Amazon couriers or DPD. If you are using a 3rd party software to process the orders, I recommend double checking with them to ensure the integration has been done properly. If tracking for each order shows it was collected on time, you have a case which you can win and get re-instated for prime badge. You will need to send screenshots of each order with tracking showing it was dispatched on time. Amazon have glitches on their side which doesn’t always recognise the orders have been dispatched on time depending on how 3rd party integrations have been done. Amazon will only allow RM tracked 24/48 if they can’t deliver to the address on time using their own couriers but they will allow you more time to get the order delivered.

Our software, Linnworks had to come up with a workaround to integrate with Amazon shipping properly and we also lost prime badge due to orders showing ‘not dispatched on time’ or not shipped via amazon shipping. We sent each order’s screenshot from ‘Amazon Shipping’ site with tracking details and got the prime badge back.


I am not sure you will find a fix for that one. You might want to look at getting on board with ‘Amazon shipping’ . I moved from RM to Amazon shipping about 4 months ago and I have to be honest they are pretty good and best of all if, SFP parcels are shipped with Amazon shipping you wont get any performance issues.
Worth a look?


RM is not a reliable service for the Prime Badge…


Simply not true. I’ve been on SFP with Royal Mail only for around 1.5 years


ask the collection guy to scan your paperwork


Hello CSLTD, as per the information provided I understand that you want suggestion as to why your orders are reflecting late even when you had shipped them on time.

In regards with the Prime orders. They should be shipped on the same day the order is received, Orders received after 2:00 p.m. local time must be dispatched on the next working day. For Example; If the cut-off time is set at 4:00 p.m and you received an order at 10:30 a.m. that is on Wednesday, then that order needs to be dispatched on the same day itself.

However, if you receive the order at 5 P.M, it should be dispatched on the following working day to avoid any delays in the orders being dispatched. To know about the cutoff time, click on the link below: Link - https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gp/help/G202096730?language=en_GB&ref=ag_G202096730_cont_202188870.

If you think there is a problem with your current courier service then switch it to a different carrier which is a reliable one. Also ensure that you are confirming the orders once dispatched. In case, if you miss to confirm the orders but are shipped on time , that can also result to late shipment rate.

Amazon will evaluate your Prime eligibility each day and you must maintain an on-time shipment rate of at least 99% on all Prime orders. If your performance metrics fall below the required levels. your enrolment in the program may be revoked. To get restored in the program you need to submit a Plan of action in the case ID which would be created on your Seller Central to inform about the situation. For better knowledge, click on this link >> https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gp/help/201812270?language=en_GB&ref=ag_201812270_cont_5WSKCRELRRMM58E .

Below are some points which will help you to construct an effective plan of action:

  • Root Cause - What was the exact reason the orders were shipped late?
  • Corrective Measure - What measure did you take at that time to ship the pending orders which was missed on that particular date?
  • Preventive Measure - How will you ensure Amazon that you will ship the prime orders on the same day itself? Mention in details what will be your approach to not ship any orders late.

Good Luck.


I had similar issue with this - just make sure all your trolleys/bags going into Royal Mail are marked correctly as 24 items taken to a different area in most depots and scanned almost straight away and 48 is normally given to night staff so is often scanned well after midnight.


We had this issue with our Ebay store recently- orders dispatched on time but spent a day and a half in the central hub with Parcel Force. These orders were subsequently marked as late delivery within Ebay.

However as Ebay are so much easier to get sense out of than Amazon, our PF account manager wrote a quick email explaining the issue within his organisation and the late deliveries were removed.


We had exactly the same issues, the problem was that even though we were dispatching all orders on time, occasionally Royal Mail were mixing our tracked 24 mail sacks with tracked 48. so that meant that parcels were not getting scannned until the day after, as far as Amazon were concerned we were dispatching late which was not the case, after a few action plans i had had enough and switched all my prime orders to Amazon Shipping who do charge more (for us anyway) but the fact that that they scan every single parcel on site means that i have not had any action plans to submit for over a year so worth it just for that reaon alone.


very, very interesting…

We supply in the hobby / collectables market on Amazon and got the prime badge about 3 months ago. We lost it about 3 weeks ago due to delivery performance issues.
We cannot use FBA as our products change quickly and we create lots of new product listings to quickly supply a new opportunity.
The week we lost prime we had 5 deliveries that were collected by RM at 5pm on the day the orders were received by us (documents scanned by RM at that time) and then the depot scanned the actual parcels 24 hours later. They were delivered a day later than promised to the customer.

First appeal to Amazon to reinstate (because it was not our fault) failed with “Complain to RM and send us correspondence” which we did. RM said they investigated it and depot claimed they had no problems at that time.

Second appeal to Amazon failed with “Complain and escallate” So we did and had a good conversation with a more senior RM person who accepted they were at fault but could do nothing about it except make a full internal report hoping that someone further up in RM would see it. He did at least write to me accepting that it was likely our orders had been missed (see attachment).

Third appeal based on the RM letter is currently being assessed with Amazon response “At this time I am working with our internal team to reach a resolution on your case”. Which is different from previous responses that have all been “keep complaining and copy us with correspondence” so I am a little more hopeful.

All my appeals to Amazon have emphasised that the best chance of improvement in RM service is through the main person in Amazon responsible for the RM relationship talking to the same person in RM.

We should all put pressure on Amazon to change their prime requirements to represent the reality of what we can actually achieve.

Note please that Prime requires us to use RM Tracked 24 ONLY (Not Special Delivery) or DPD, and do that through Amazon shipping ONLY.

Would anyone in a similar situation message the prime team to emphasise that it is impossible to control this aspect of prime.

ALSO, we keep losing Premium Delivery Services (and then a few weeks later automatically getting them back) for the same reason as above. We have changed now to Special Delivery so I am more hopeful… we shall see.