Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Someone's going to be popular this Christmas

I got a note through the door telling me that someone had sent me 'something' that was underpaid by 16p. If I wanted whatever it was I'd have to either phone/web form to arrange another delivery, return the card with the appropriate stamp value, or turn up at the sorting office to pick it up; oh and bring the £1.16 needed. Yep £1 charge for handling underpaid mail.

Turned out of course to be a Christmas card that was just over size, and when I say just I mean 10mm too wide. Now I know that the person who sent this has probably sent out roughly another 30 or so identically sized and stamped cards. So that's £30 she's made for the Post Office.

What interests me the most though is the extra bits on the envelope. That big yellow sticker with "Revenue Protection" on it, what's that all about? Have the Post Office contracted out underpaid items to another company, is it supposed to be some sort of reminder of how the Post Office needs every penny to run? I just don't know.

The other thing is the postmark. I'd seen the same on another card, but couldn't make it out this one is much clearer. "Revenue Protection [again] North West Midlands [Date] Mail Centre WV1 1AA" That's Wolverhampton. Now this letter came from Stourport just over there [points] it's then travelled to Wolverhampton, is sorted, then sent to Kidderminster, then Stourport, to my house, then back to holding in Stourport. Talking to someone who works in the sorting office in Kidderminster he said that any post put in the box close by the office is collected and sent to Wolverhampton first before the local stuff is returned.

No wonder they're chasing the pennies.


Dan H said...

Oh, yes, obviously it is inefficient dropping it in the van that's already going to Wolverhampton, to the automated sorting office. It would be much more cost-effective for the van to stop off at the local office and wait for somebody to sort through all the letters by hand and filter out the local ones first.

I thought you knew better than that. I fear that too much blogging has made you forget to think before ranting.

To judge by the picture you so subtly 'shopped, your correspondent has forgotten to use the postcode.

FlipC said...

No there's an automated sorting office at Kiddy, it goes to Wolverhampton first to be sorted then sent back to Kidderminster for sorting into smaller batches.

Or to put it another way, someone said "So why don't they have two envelope slots one of which is 165mm wide so you can know if you're letter is oversized" to continue the argument why don't they have a 'local' envelope slot for any letters posted within district? Green sacks go to Wolverhampton, Yellow sacks to Kidderminster.