Normal Mail vs Registered Mail
Most Singaporean online stores and blog shops offer 2 postage methods – Singpost normal mail and Singpost registered mail. Normal mail is delivered directly to the letterbox (unless it is too big to fit in) while registered mail is signature required and hence, delivered to the doorstep. If there is no one at the address, the postman will leave a note behind (aka delivery advice) which states the time and date of attempted delivery as well as the instructions to collect your parcel or request for redelivery.
Normal mail ranges from $0.26 – $3.35 whereas registered mail costs $2.24 on top of normal postage cost. For $2.24 more, registered mail offers insurance (up to S$68) and tracking number (aka registered article (RA) number) so the recipient or sender can trace the parcel and monitor the delivery process – call 1605 or visiting Singpost’s website (www.singpost.com/ra).
Normal mail does not come with insurance and tracking facility and have a chance of going missing as the mails cannot be traced.
What does it mean by lost mail?
If your mail doesn’t reach you by the 4th business day (excluding weekends & public holidays), there is a high chance of your parcel being lost. At times there could be delays due to peak season (Chinese New Year, Christmas period), damaged packaging (Singpost may take some time to re-package your mails) etc.
Why do normal mails go missing?
- Wrong address written (be it human error by sender or wrong address given by recipient)
- Delivered to wrong address (encountered this 2x, received mails which belongs to neighbours)
- Theft (by passerby if mails are left unattended)
- Fell out from sack etc (especially small parcels)
- Damaged for certain reason (heard of the flood at Orchard Road? torn packaging etc.)
- Fraudulent sellers (claim they mail out but did not)
What to do when you’ve experienced lost mail?
Firstly, you should contact the sender/seller/online store for help. Double-check whether it was mailed out and get these information: Size of parcel, colour and description of packaging (box? paper envelope? polymailer?)
1. Send a
complaint feedback to Singpost (they usually respond in 2-5 days) *this is the most useless method but try anyway*
2. Call 1605 and ask for the contact number of:
- your nearest post office (nearest in terms of location on the map, the one which usually hold your mails when no one is around)
- the regional HQ in charge of your area (area = first 2 digit of mailing address)
- return mail unit
3. Go down to the nearest post office (see point 2)
warning p.s: when calling/enquiring on your parcel, be sure to state it’s a normal mail (hence there is no RA or tracking number). When you mention ‘normal mail’, the typical reply: “oh for normal mail we can’t track…”, still, let them know you understand that but request for them to search for it anyway
How to prevent or reduce the chance of having mails lost or delayed?
We’ve shared these tips on The New Paper previously. As an online seller, we do our part by:
- Using quality packaging (we use polymailer which is waterproof and tear-proof, instead of paper envelope)
- Printing the address as per provided (reduces human error in unnecessary copy-pasting, writing etc.)
- Including written address (in case of rejected mail, wrong address provided etc.)
As a buyer, you can request for:
- Registered mail (costs $2.24 more but offers you peace of mind)
- Seller to include written address
- Use better packaging or at least request for corners of the mail to be taped
- Certificate of Posting (costs $0.20 more, if you are worried that the seller is not trustworthy however the mails might still get lost)
At the end of the day, sometimes things and wrong and mails go missing. To prevent the headache and heartache associated with normal mail, perhaps your best bet would be to top-up $2.24 and enjoy peace of mind. More online shopping related tips and articles coming up (i.e payment, how to protect yourself when you shop online etc.)
**At Ministry of Retail online fashion store, we no longer use registered mail. Instead, we offer courier (insured shipping) which is faster and more flexible. Normal mail (standard shipping) is only offered to Singapore buyers. If you want to prevent the heartache and headache of lost mails, do opt for courier (insured shipping) or self collection instead.**