Shame on you Royal Mail!

Every now and again we get one of these:

There is a fee to pay....

There is a fee to pay….

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.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Shame on you Royal Mail!

  1. Well this year I forgot to put a stamp on my Mums Mothers day card it got there and my didn’t have to pay any thing..

    • …which is good to hear 🙂 I guess we were very disappointed by their meanness of spirit in the context of not only its being a charity donation, but in an envelop with a stamp value advised to the customer by a member of the Post Office, placed in a Royal Mail envelope – in some vague way connected with the Royal Mail I believe?!!

      • They used to be connected but since Royal Mail was privatised they are now 2 separate companies. Also in defence of the “jobs worth” he can’t waive the fee, it’s all centralised now and each charge has to be accounted as paid and collected or returned to sender, and although it sounds dramatic, it is probably more than his jobs worth. However, write a letter to Moya Greene (the boss of Royal Mail) and you might get a donation, no promises though.

      • Thank you Patrick…the fact is that it is a ‘Royal Mail’ envelope with a Royal Mail stamp – given to the sender in a Post Office. Coincidentally I had a meeting today in which this subject came up and we ARE going to write to Moya Greene. Have you seen the absurdity of her Twitter feed by the way? In November of last year she created a Twitter Profile (presumably to protect herself from anyone else using it). There are just two tweets – one from her to @RoyalMail saying ‘hi’; and their reply to her which reads: Hi, how can we help?. That’s it… Do they even know who she is? So much for communication!!

  2. Post Office LTD are not Royal Mail.
    RM carry items that are sent via post office counters etc.

    RM have a standard letter size for a standard price, if you go over that size you pay extra, simple really. correctly priced stamp is available for all postage items. ( just ask at the post office lol )

    being a callers office worker, I have seen people come in and say ” it’s from an old lady ” or ” it’s from my grand daughter ” and I just let them know that it’s out of my hands as all surcharges get put against the receiving office, and if item’s don’t get paid for then that office is liable for that lost money ( maybe even costing the postie his job )

    a rule is a rule, if we all went round breaking rules the world would be in Chaos.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      We know full well that they are separate companies – we use both on a daily basis in our business! BUT – the problem here was a Post Office employee providing the sender with a Royal Mail (large) envelope and a first class stamp. See my reply to the previous commenter…rules may be rules but on occasion they are there to be broken. Believe me under normal circumstances we would have just paid the outstanding difference and – as the blog post says – taken it on the chin.

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