Investigation launched as spate of phones 'reported missing' from Royal Mail’s Romford depot
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
An internal investigation has been launched after multiple phones were reported missing from a Royal Mail depot in Romford.
Bournemouth-based Julie Birkbeck is among those who say they lost handsets after they arrived at Royal Mail's Queen Elizabeth House site towards the end of last year.
Royal Mail said it is unable to comment while an investigation into the reports takes place.
Julie said she was selling her old Apple iPhone to the company Smart Cellular, which offers refurbished phones for reduced prices, for a total of £317.
After sending her phone off on December 22, Julie said the delivery tracking showed did not get past the Romford depot.
On January 6 Julie said she contacted Royal Mail and was told the item was lost. She was advised to get in touch with Smart Cellular, which in turn said she had to make a claim.
Julie claimed Smart Cellular also told her that between Black Friday (November 26) and the last week of December, “at least 25 handsets had gone missing that they knew about”.
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Smart Cellular told this paper that while it is unable to comment because the matter is being handled by Royal Mail, it confirmed it was aware of reports concerning the Romford depot.
The loss of the phone led to months of back-and-forth between Julie and Smart Cellular, during which time she struggled to obtain compensation for the missing item.
“I have been trying since December,” she said. “I have done nothing wrong and I am the person who loses out.”
Julie did eventually get a payment of £100 on April 14 - the total covered by insurance - but this is significantly less than the initial £317 quoted.
Smart Cellular said it could not supply more information about Julie’s case due to GDPR.
The Recorder also contacted the Met Police to try and obtain further details on the missing phones, but was told the case was opened and then closed because of the internal Royal Mail investigation.
These alleged incidents are usually dealt with internally, the police added.
Royal Mail said it could not comment amid its investigation.
This comes after the postal service battled delayed deliveries last Christmas, with areas such as Upminster and Willesden among those hardest-hit.