Newent businessman loses postcode court battle with Royal Mail
A Newent businessman has lost a court battle with the Royal Mail over a missing parcel - because the postcode was wrong by just a single character.
Graham Wright said his defeat hinged on a little-known piece of legislation which says compensation will only be paid if addresses are 100 per cent accurate.
The correct postcode should have finished 2HX but the parcel ended up with 2HK.
But Graham, 73, is still baffled by the case - and suspects it was the post office itself which blundered.
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The saga began in August 2011 when Graham, who runs a small engineering firm, sent a specially-made component to a customer who he deals with several times a year.
He took it to his local post office in Newent and asked it to go special delivery to the address in Stockport, Cheshire.
But several days later his client rang and said the order - worth around £300 - had not arrived.
When puzzled Graham checked with the Royal Mail they told him it had been delivered and signed for by someone with an unusual name.
But the business expecting the parcel knew no-one by that name and the package disappeared.
Graham launched a complaint against the Royal Mail in a bid for compensation and went through six different levels before ending up in court.
He said: "At every level I was told 'We delivered your package' and I said 'You did - but to the wrong person'.
"They insisted they'd done what they were supposed to do so I took them to court."
The Royal Mail employed a legal team as the row finally reached a conciliation hearing before a judge in Gloucester last week.
Graham said the judge could not ignore the clause about addresses being absolutely correct before compensation could be paid.
The judge ordered the Royal Mail to pay their own costs, leaving Graham around £1,000 out of pocket including the value of the lost item.