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Seller’s Guide for Understanding Proof of Delivery (P.O.D)

Puneet Bhalla

Associate Director - Marketing @ Shiprocket

December 28, 2017

4 min read

The customer is your most valuable asset. Almost all your strategies and policies revolve around the customer and their positive experiences. Hence, a document that gives them the advantage of being sure of the conditions of their shipment is required. A proof of delivery one such document that helps you conduct this check in an organized manner.

What is Proof of Delivery?

A Proof of Delivery or P.O.D. (pronounced P.O.D.) is a receipt which establishes the receiver’s acknowledgment of the freight received in good condition. P.O.D. contains information relayed by the carrier, which includes the name of the person who received the product, the date and the time when the freight was delivered, and other relevant shipping details. A P.O.D can be in a hardcopy format, or you can also feed it electronically.

Why is Proof of Delivery Important?

  • Once the product leaves your warehouse and is on its way to the end customer, the responsibility gets exchanged. It then becomes the duty of the customer to inspect the package and look for any damages before accepting it. Therefore, educate the customer beforehand to avoid any hassle.
  • It’s best to examine the freight for torn outer covering, opened cover, tampering, or leakage of any kind. In case of any dissatisfaction, the customer should immediately raise a remark on the P.O.D. copy. Failure to do so will make it impossible to file for a claim later.
  • The customer can also refuse to accept the product if they are not happy with its condition.
  • It is advisable to check and be satisfied with the condition and quality of the product before signing the P.O.D. If the customer does not follow this procedure, then the carrier cannot be held responsible for the damaged freight.
  • Similarly, the same procedure should be followed during an R.T.O. delivery as well. If, at the time of R.T.O. delivery, you find the outer packaging of shipment has been tampered with, instantly give your remarks on P.O.D. If the delivery executive refuses to take comments over P.O.D., then do not accept the delivery and raise a complaint with Shiprocket. Call recording or CCTV footage is always helpful to make your case stronger.
  • In case the shipment received is in a damaged condition, or the contents are missing, it’s imperative to raise a claim within 24 hours to 48 hours of receiving shipment, with mandatory negative remarks on P.O.D. as well.
  • Please remember that the courier is only liable to deliver the shipments with intact outer packaging. Since they don’t check the inner content of the parcel, therefore liability can be imposed for outer packaging only.

What are the different kinds of Proof of Delivery?

Here are two ways to record the Proof of Delivery for an order – 

  • Paper Invoice: This is the most common method. It requires the receiver to sign an acknowledgment upon receiving the product.
  • e-P.O.D: This document refers to electronic proof of delivery. The carrier agent usually carries a device that requires the receiver to sign a document confirming shipment electronically. It is better than the paper P.O.D because it offers other features, like, geotagging, real-time status updates, and of course, saves paper in the process.

In both cases, the softcopy of the P.O.D is then sent to the email id of the customer. They can download it from a link provided by the carrier agency.

More and more companies are opting for e-P.O.D instead of continuing with the old-school paper method. It’s easy, tech-savvy, and efficient while recording the notes and remarks/information related to the freight.

What can you derive from this article?

  • The critical point is to educate your customers to always check the freight’s condition before accepting it
  • Raise a complaint and give negative remarks on the P.O.D if, during the R.T.O delivery, the packaging is damaged.
  • In case it is found damaged, they should either not accept it, or ensure that the P.O.D has comments regarding the same. This way, it becomes easier for them to put up a claim later and get the right product.
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