back to article Frustrated Britons struggle to locate their packages: Royal Mail tracker smacked

Certain Royal Mail customers have not been able to pin down the location of their packages today. Since around 800 UTC, about a hundred people have taken to downdetector to report issues with the missive-sniffing checker on its website. For certain reference numbers, the tracking system currently says: "There has been an …

  1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
  2. frank ly Silver badge


    "Hi, we made a change to the tracking system over the weekend."

    I'm sure they had a very good reason to do that. Does anyone know what it was? I'm also sure that they tested it properly and thoroughly before inflicting it on everyone else.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Reasons

      Most probably it involved decluttering the server room...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reasons

      In preparation for when they go on strike, more customers get pissed off and move to alternative carriers.

    3. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

      Re: Reasons

      But but but it passed the unit test harness!

      Wry social commentry masquerading as a joke imported from the tesla self driving comments section...

    4. Zimmer

      Re: Reasons

      It's an update to the system so that the PDA's are now tracking where the postmen are in the hope that eventually the Royal Mail can offer estimated delivery time for customers.

  3. TRT Silver badge

    Don't worry!

    The parts required to effect repair are on order.

    Unfortunately, we can't give you an estimate of when we will have it fixed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't worry!

      Because they're in the post?

  4. lsces

    Two changes spotted so far ... having typed in an international tracking number it gets displayed with credit card spaces! It's 2 letters 9 numbers 2 letters and that is how it's read...

    Second change is the TOTALLY alloying capture that is often impossible to answer where it appears on other sites ... at least that seems to be skipped if one logs in before checking, but why should one have to? I there must be a capture, then a simple text string is a lot easier to live with.

    1. Dr Who

      The thing about programming is that, just like spelling, it's all about attention to detail.

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Don't tell me....they no longer use in-house developers for their website, it's all handled through a subcontractor in India?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @GraingerGames hi! It's been a week, and my SNES mini has not been delivered. Do you have any info? Order no. GG28061703272307

    @beefkr10z Have you checked the house of you local mail carrier ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Funny people were asking that on Sunday at the local sorting office...

  6. BrownishMonstr

    Ah Royal Mail, the delivery company who fares a lot worse than Planet Express and appears to be using technology from when it was privatised.

  7. wolfetone Silver badge

    Has the Royal Mail strike started early with the tracking system then?

    1. Lysenko

      I like it. Once they've got AI embedded in such systems, unionize them and ask them to vote on strike action. Then we'll see if they've been coded to optimize long term customer satisfaction (which will inevitably be the claim) or short term C suite bonus packages (which will be the reality).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Bake off' standard of innuendo....

    "struggle to locate their packages"

    Yeah, we've all been there. The weather is getting colder.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do people use royal mail track and trace?

    I usually just wait for the card that the sneaky b*stard post person has silently slipped in my letter box with all the guile of a secret service agent.

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      I had one of those the other week. I was upstairs, thought I heard a light tap, looked down the stairs, noone at the door. Heard a loud but indistinct conversation on next door's doorstep, they get more parcels than us, I often have to take them in for them.

      I checked again and a figure darkened our door, bent over. I descended and opened it to a startled delivery guy who was writing out a card to pop through the letter box. That light tap had been him 'knocking' on our door, the bell works and is permanently wired up, only the repeater in the kitchen is on batteries.

      I've had to chase them down the driveway with the card, the sound of which is the first inkling that a delivery was being attempted. I am absolutely not deaf. They see no car in the driveway, my wife is out, and assume the house to be empty without bothering to find out.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Do people use royal mail track and trace?

      Mostly to check that what has been posted got to where it was sent. That's come in handy a few times when someone phones up and claims something has not been delivered.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Mostly to check that what has been posted got to where it was sent."

        I tried doing that earlier today. It doesn't do anything without JavaScript enabled. Enabling JavaScript produces an endless succession of captchas that just send you round in circles without allowing you to track the packege. No doubt this is amusing for the prankster who designed it, but I found it somewhat irritating.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          endless succession of captchas

          If using chrome try firefox and vice versa or some other browsers.

          I've been caught in one of those catchpa continuum loops a few times and believe me shouting "I know what a f*cking road sign looks like, do you want the b*stard pole as well or not?" or "that's the f*cking tree you plank" or even "there's your f*cking mountain even though I would call it a hill" at the monitor makes no difference.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: endless succession of captchas

            Yes, I agree that some guidance would be helpful.

            I wonder if they give one of these as an intelligence test for prospective "service delivery staff".

            Click the BUILDINGS that you see in the picture.

            Click the DOORS you see in the picture.

            Click the LETTERBOXES you see in the picture.

            OK you've got the job.

            (Apologies for the cynicism. On one occasion the reason given for non-delivery by Shitty Link was that "there was nobody at the loading bay to sign for the package." Nope, no loading bay where my office was.)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: endless succession of captchas

              "Yes, I agree that some guidance would be helpful."

              The piece of guidance I would have appreciated is a notice saying 'completing the captchas successfully will send you back to the start without showing you any tracking details'.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why does the link in the Tweet, which displays as , actually link to ?

    Suspiciously phishy...

    1. A K Stiles

      Re: Links

      because all links on twitter get rerouted via a address, which belongs to Twitter, so they can track what links are being clicked and from which tweets.

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "Hi Royal Mail, where the hell is my expensive 4K TV delivery KK...GB?"

    "Well now your name and address has been deduced from social media and someone purporting to be you collected it this morning at 10am with fake ID, I don't know. That'll teach you to publically post stuff you shouldn't."

  12. Charlie Clark Silver badge


    Even before the weekend the service was shit. Since Friday the package which was "guaranteed to arrive on Saturday" is "on the way to Germany". In theory, I'm supposed to be able to track the package via the partner courier, GLS, except their system has no record of the ID.

    I'd like to say that the German parcel system is better but if so, only marginally: it's never been down and never lost ids. When you get your stuff is another matter but that's as much down to too many parcels being sent all the time and drivers being given unrealistic schedules for built up areas. I suspect it's only a matter of time before we're expected to go and collect the stuff directly from the suppliers!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Craptastic

      You'll be able to check it on GLS' website after it's been scanned the first time by them.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Craptastic

        You'll be able to check it on GLS' website after it's been scanned the first time by them.

        You might think so but according to Royal Mail it was handed over to GLS on Thursday and GLS is full of the sound of crickets and tumbleweed…

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Craptastic

          Perhaps you could try

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Craptastic

      Even before the weekend the service was shit

      Much like Hermes then. I've ordered a printer from Amazon (yes - I'm contributing to them dodging tax via sales in Luxemburg). Get a notification that it's been shipped with a Hermes tracking number.

      Checking with the Hermes tracker and it tells me that, as of Friday, it's "out for delivery". Well, it wasn't delivered on Friday (or Saturday or Sunday or Monday) and, looking at the tracker, it's apparently still out for delivery on Friday..

  13. Jove Bronze badge

    "800 UTC"?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peeps, you do realise that the backend to royal mails tracking service runs on IBMS RACF MAINFRAME...

    Bet those lovely guys at ATOS have busted something!

  15. searchwater

    4 days in a row not being able to tract my parcel, what the hell is going on royal mail

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