11 Sep 2020

Messi Situation Redux: Regular Certified Mail Beats Burofax But Not by Much

A couple weeks ago, we at Tech Essentials highlighted how Lionel Messi could have saved himself a lot of trouble and even more money by using the Registered Email™ service included in RMail®. Instead of using Burofax (somebody, please find these guys another name!) he could have sent his notice to Barcelona in a Registered Email™ message, thus receiving forensic timestamped and authenticatable proof of content delivered. This message would have been legally accepted and court-admissible in nearly every country in the world. Without clear proof of proper notice to change clubs, Messi has now opted to remain at Barcelona for another year.

Many of our readers noted that Messi could have also used regular-old postal service certified mail; however, this presents its own set of problems. As we noted in this column almost exactly four years ago, certified mail alone does not prove content— not only is there a separate add-on charge required to confirm delivery that many people may not know about, you may also realize, perhaps when it is too late, that a US Certified Mail “Green Card” delivery receipt does not tell you anything about “what” was delivered. While you may have evidence that supposedly proves you delivered “something” in a timely manner, the other party could simply state, “Sure we got the certified letter, but no one in our office could figure out why we were sent an empty envelope!” Did you, the sender, forget to put the letter in? Did your staff forget to put the letter in the envelope before sending? Did the recipient’s mail room drop the letter on the floor? Who knows…but proof of content is a real issue with traditional mail as well as traditional email (perhaps even more so with email). (Watch video of lawyer explaining this situation happening to him in court).

In addition, that certified paper letter may never get there. There have been a lot of reports recently (in the US) of mail mysteriously being dumped in parking lots and even dumpsters. Such stories are adding fuel to the fire in an already contentious election season, as voting by mail has become a political football. The fact is that, election year or not, mail is often misplaced. Back in January, a US Postal worker was found to have rented a storage unit to hide all the mail he felt pressured to deliver.

All this is in no way meant to impugn postal services, and we at RPost have nothing but the utmost respect for postal workers around the world who take significant risks to ensure your mail is delivered promptly. It’s just that these postal services hire millions of humans, and the law of averages dictates that some of the humans (probably a tiny portion) will make mistakes.

Back to the Messi situation: Yes, he would have been better off using certified mail from the local postal service over Burofax, but he would have also been opening himself up to having the contents of his letter challenged or, much less likely, having the certified letter wind up in a Barcelonan trash bin. Registered Email™ messages would have been quick, easy, (and for him, free) and reduced these risks to virtually nothing.

For those attending or interested in attending our October 1 Optimize FinTech virtual conference, we will be delving into how companies in the financial services, insurance, and financial operations of any company, can have much greater peace-of-mind when sending invoices, receivables, price change notices, etc. using Registered Email™ services. We hope to see you there (click to read more and register) and, until then, have a great weekend!