Monthly Archives: August 2017

Royal Fail!

Another moan from yours truly about the state of the nation.

This time it’s the Royal Mail that’s frustrating and annoying me.

In the last two weeks, two separate things have occurred which in isolation would be annoying enough, but when taken together become something quite unpleasant.

First off, I ordered a couple of T-Shirts from a website in the US.  Nothing unusual or unreasonable about that.  These T-shirts cost the equivalent of about £22 once the conversion from Dollars to Sterling had been completed.  They were dispatched, and the next thing I know I had a card through the door from the Royal Mail stating that they were unable to deliver the item to me because there was a charge to pay.

Fair enough, import duty, customs duty, call it what you will, I’m not trying to avoid paying what I should, which was something like £1.50 on the package.  Again, not unreasonable.

What wound me up was the £8 “handling fee” for the Royal Mail to collect and pass on that £1.50 to HMRC.    How can it possibly cost anything like £8 for them to handle that.  Ok, so the cost of a card being posted through my door which at the overinflated retail rates would arguably cost a stamp, plus the cost of the card itself.  5 minutes of time for someone to calculate and write on the card, and put it in the post.  Maybe some costs for back and forth transport between Royal Mail and HMRC, so a couple of pounds would not be unreasonable in my mind, but £8…?

The Second event happened this morning.  We’ve noticed this before, and have commented in conversation, but today the Postman made a special trip to our door to put a leaflet through the letterbox advertising something or other.  This was just a generic leaflet, no address on it, not personalised to us in any way.  It’s the sort of thing I may have delivered once in a blue moon as a paperboy all those years ago.  There was no other mail this morning, just the damn leaflet.  As usual it went straight in to the paper recycling.  Thank goodness for small mercies – it was at least one leaflet today and not the 10-20 identical copies of the same leaflet that we usually get!

I bet the company paying Royal Mail for the leaflet drop aren’t paying the price of a stamp for each leaflet to be delivered!

I am forced therefore to conclude that the Royal MFail is therefore using the ridiculous charges like the “handling fee” to subsidise unwanted spam leaflets like that.  This is unacceptable behaviour in my mind, and while I don’t object to companies diversifying their services to increase profitability, it should stand on it’s own two feet, and not inappropriately dis-aggregate the true costs in other related areas.

PS – Where’s my option to “opt out” of unsolicited Spam from you please Royal Mail?