Is your post office ripping you off?

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Post OfficeStaff were over-charging to err on the side of caution” is the excuse used by Ian Mackay, director of Scottish affairs for the Royal Mail Group. This was the response when questioned regarding packages Trading Standards took into Post Offices in Scotland and were overcharged for 27 out of 41.

They took letters, large letters and packets made up to the exact specifications of height, weight and size allowable for each postal tarriff and then set off to Post Offices to check what they were charged. In some cases it was almost double the correct postage.

This isn’t something that Post Offices should be getting wrong, it is after all their main business – posting things. Every Post Office have scales which should be regularly checked and they’re all supplied with plastic size guides to check letter and large letter size limits. If it’s not working then you the customer are being overcharged on a massive scale.

Dan Wilson ex eBay Community Manager said “This has been a bit of a bugbear for me, for a while. They constantly TRY and overcharge me on my book, despite the fact it slides through easily.”

If you think you’re being ripped off make sure your Post Office check and double check the weights and sizes. It may only be a few pennies but with the millions of eBay purchases posted each year every eBay seller could be losing thousands of pounds in overcharged postage.

3 Responses

  1. I stopped going to a particular PO because of this. At first, I thought they were just making mistakes but when I mentioned it to the manager, he held the thing with the slot so that parcels had to go through it vertically & said he would have to charge me extra if my parcel touched any of the sides – in other words, if his hands shook or not. He then proceeded to significantly undercharge me – possibly a genuine error, possibly in the hope it would lead to problems & would thus encourage me to accept their higher prices in future.

  2. The Post Office where we traded previously (we have moved to sunny East Sussex!) was/is under investigation by Royal Mail for exactly this. Royal Mail were alerted to it by one of their employees who weighed a package at the delivery office and then was quoted much more at the Post Office when he went there to post it. How stupid can you be?

    As you say Chris this is their core business (apart from trying to sell home/car/life/pet/phone/tracel insurance) and if they can’t get it right what the hell are they doing running Post Offices? It was the main driver for us getting PPI and a daily mail collection.
    Andy

    PS. If anyone reading this sends more than 5000 packages/letters a year and still uses the Post Office to send mail do yourself a favour and get PPI – see http://www.royalmail.com/ppi

  3. Whats new!
    its caused by lack of training and ineptitude rather than malice of forethought,
    a lot of PO counter staff are self important jobsworths

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