Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Royal Mail

I came home today to find a card from the Royal Mail.

"We've been unable to deliver your post as there is a fee due"

A fee of £1.06 to be precise, because someone has underpaid the postage on an item they've sent me. What a lot of postage to underpay, I thought. Closer examination reveals that the actual amount underpaid is 6p and there's a £1 handling charge.

This is happening a lot, I understand, since the introduction of Royal Mail's ludicrous Pricing in Proportion scheme, which replaced a simple array of weight-related pricing with a system requiring not only weighing but measuring too. It's easy to end up 6p adrift if your measuring and theirs don't precisely agree.
Now, I don't claim to have all the answers to the numerous problems of Royal Mail, but I can't help thinking that a system that costs £1 to collect 6 pence isn't at the cutting edge of business efficiency.

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