ROYAL Mail apologised to a Perranporth youngster after taking 64 days to deliver his birthday card – via Ireland.
The card containing £20 was posted first class by his grandmother in Paignton on September 6.
But to the disappointment of Finley Wallis, 8, it failed to arrive in time for his big day two days later. On September 20 Royal Mail wrote to the family saying the postage was underpaid and that a £1.09 surcharge was needed to have the card delivered.
His mother Sandy said: "The card had a badge on the front which was why it was held back. We paid the charge and waited for the card ... we waited and waited but it never arrived."
Mrs Wallis complained to Royal Mail which initially apologised saying it had been sent to its National Returns Centre in Belfast.
The surcharge demand arrived too late, said Royal Mail, which holds items for 18 days before they are sent to its centre in Ireland.
Mrs Wallis was then asked to fill out a lost, damaged or delayed inland mail claims form so that the firm could search for the item.
Admitting its error, Royal Mail traced the card which finally arrived last week containing a Royal Mail cheque for £25 plus complementary stamps.
"We are all delighted," said Mrs Wallis. "Finley was chuffed to finally get his card and birthday money. Royal Mail apologised advising that most of the time things run smoothly ... and that they are normally unable to trace items unless a specific trackable service is used. However, they did send us a book of first-class stamps as a refund for the postage, so I can't complain really."
Royal Mail customer service adviser Jacqueline Gange wrote to the family: "Once again, Mrs Wallis please accept my sincere apologies on behalf of Royal Mail for the problem you've had, and our thanks for taking the time to make us aware of this. Please be assured that we take letting our customers down seriously and will use this information to make further improvements."