AFTER spending months looking for a replacement engagement ring a Beckenham woman says she’s “disgusted and despairing” after it was stolen in the post.

Clare Spencer, 50, of Manor Road, said she was “ecstatic” to find the perfect piece on auction website eBay to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary.

But after parting with the £225 she received an empty package 24 hours later, finding “a small slit cut in the edge” and the diamond ring gone.

She said she’d wanted to arrange a private courier “just to be sure” but the seller assured her the Royal Mail’s Special Delivery service would be safe.

Mrs Spencer believes the company’s at fault. The mother of seven said: “The ring was placed in two bags and a padded envelope. She [the seller] might as well have stepped into the street and thrown it away.

“I get the feeling that opportunistic robbery is just seen as a perk of the job. We’re waiting for Royal Mail to follow through the very few hands that handled this to hopefully find someone’s sticky fingers. I want explanations.

“There can be no value to this company and no trust can be placed in this can of worms when it is clearly failing in its most basic duty.”

She added the recent privatisation of the organisation has left a “complete disinterest” of customer service and also questions why postal theft often goes unrecorded.

Royal Mail spokesperson Sally Hopkins said the allegation is “serious” and said the company will cooperate with police.

She added: "Royal Mail has a zero tolerance approach to any dishonesty. We will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position of trust.”

Bromley Police said officers are looking into the case. An eBay spokesman confirmed Mrs Spencer would get her money back through guarantee, while the seller’s covered by insurance.

But Mrs Spencer added it’s the Royal Mail’s duty to retrieve the ring and feels insurance should not always “have to pick up the tab”.