Every now and again we get one of these:
Postage underpayment – and we pop down to the Royal Mail sorting office and pay the difference – it’s normally about £1 extra to pay and contains a customer order and we just take it on the chin, as you do.
For the past few years in early February we’ve run a doodling competition for National Doodle Day in our Dodo Pad and Acad-Pad diaries in aid of Epilepsy Action to raise awareness and funds for the great work they do in supporting sufferers and their families living and coping with epilepsy.
We invite customers and their families to do a doodle and either post it to us or send it via email. Over the past couple of years, postal entries have declined as the cost of sending an entry is almost as much as the minimum suggested donation, since the ‘large letter format’ came in and the cost to send a large letter shot up in price.
One customer, who missed the deadline for this year’s competition, told us she would send in her entry so it arrived in good time for the 2016 competition. She called to check we’d got last week – no entry had arrived 😦 We checked the address with her, asked if she had remembered to stamp it (!) and she confirmed that her post office had told her the correct stamp to use…and through a short process of elimination we realised that her entry was languishing in the sorting office waiting for us to pick it up.
At the weekend I collected a ‘large letter’ from the local sorting office in Truro. I explained that this envelope contained an entry to a charity competition, the lady had made a £2 donation, bought a first class stamp (on the advice of her post office) and it seemed harsh that we had to pay almost the equivalent of her entire donation to the Royal Mail in order to accept her entry.
‘It’s more than my job’s worth’ was the explanation given when I asked the chap to waive the fee in the circumstances. I think he was sympathetic but helpless; the Royal Mail has become so rigid and unsympathetic – even when it was a ‘mistake’ by one of their own staff! The upshot is that not only does a deserving charity lose out, but any allegiance we feel to the Royal Mail is further damaged.
So Royal Mail, would you like to redeem yourselves and make an ex gratia donation to National Doodle Day? We’d welcome your doodle entry – entry form available here – but would be pleased to send it on to Epilepsy Action with or without a supporting doodle. That would be nice…but we’re not holding our breath.