|Source: Wikimedia Commons ~ by Stephen Pearce|
No, the reason for the laconic one-word title is to preempt the specifics of my sorry predicament being readily found in Google searches. If my embryonic SEO knowledge serves me, the title is far and away the most searchable aspect of a post, and therefore not the place to be too explicit about my fumie felonies. To the same end, I shall also eschew my usual labels, which help people find posts on a particular topic.
But now we are well into the body of this post, I don't have a problem in telling readers that I was busted this week: yes, indeedy, for being a slipshod, shifty shipper. My mailing misdeeds involved sending perfume abroad during my recent bottle sale, despite it being designated by the Royal Mail and IATA as a prohibited good.
Now just as the police don't usually disclose the precise MO of serial killers, for fear of inspiring copycat crimes, I shall draw a veil over the exact nature of my packages, their contents, and any description/declaration thereof. For I am a reformed character, grateful not to have copped for a hefty fine - or worse still, a stint in Stafford's slammer, where I could allegedly have watched convicted paedophile Rolf Harris fashion a makeshift didgeridoo out of some random bits of plumbing implements.
No, all that happened in the end was that I had my parcel returned to me - by Special Delivery, no expense spared! - even though it was by now on the...ahem...derisorily light side. The accompanying letter explained that the offending contents - some 100ml on aggregate of decants and a nearly full bottle - had been 'disposed of'. I am actually hoping that that is not a synonym for 'destroyed'. I would rather the sorting staff at the Belfast-based National Returns Centre smelt fabulously fragrant than that the whole lot got flushed down the sink. But I will never know.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Customer Services representative who wrote to me apologised for any inconvenience caused. Less surprising was their urging me 'to ensure you do not send items classified as dangerous goods in the post'.
Meanwhile, another overseas parcel has failed to arrive, nearly three weeks after it was sent. I can only conclude that it has suffered a similar fate, but because I had purchased extra tracking on the one to Europe, I could read on the Royal Mail website that the package had been 'identified as suspicious' and was being 'subjected to examination'. And the rest is history / put down to experience / a crying shame - and waste.
|The non-dangerous contents returned to me...;|
So there you have it. I don't want to say any more about what I have done in the past, or what I have thought or said on the subject of perfume as a dangerous good. I am taking this as an expensive shot over my bows, which it assuredly is, even without any additional fine, and I am going to be good from now on. Or not good necessarily, but compliant on this particular point. ;)
PS Waves to Martha of Rambling Chicken!, whose postal phobia - even within the US - is the stuff of legend. I am now officially, and somewhat belatedly, much closer to you along the regulatory line-toeing spectrum...