Royal Mail Posting Cancelled Labels Surcharges

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Royal Mail are warning customers that they are now automating the billing of cancelled labels surcharges if the item is subsequently posted. As well as charging for the postage they will also be automatically adding on cancelled labels surcharges of £10 a time if the label is used.

The issue is that Royal Mail allow you to cancel a label prior to manifesting if you made a mistake and no longer need to post that item. Naturally you won’t be charged for that label. Some people have, either by accident or through design cancelled labels and still posted the item – effectively getting free postage. Royal Mail Revenue Protection announced these £10 cancelled labels surcharge fines back in the summer of 2019 and are now warning customers that the fines will now be applied automatically.

In the past it was difficult for Royal Mail to catch cancelled labels in their network, but today with every parcel carrying a barcode it’s simple. If the barcode is scanned in their network or at the point of delivery their systems will spot that the label was cancelled and now the fine will automatically be applied to your account.

If you make a mistake and use a cancelled label, the fines will appear on your invoice under the product code CBA.

A surcharge supplement can be accessed through the Royal Mail electronic billing portal and will provide you with line level detail of the cancelled label barcode, which will enable you to see which items have been cancelled and then posted and scanned within the Royal Mail network resulting in the item having the postage charged plus the £10 surcharge.

Basically, for those scammers out there who think they can save on postage for the odd item by sliding a few items out of the door with cancelled labels it’s going to get expensive. For those who make an honest mistake, it’s also going to cost you so if you have a cancelled label make sure you destroy it immediately to avoid any danger that it might be used and incur both the postage cost and the surcharge.

5 Responses

  1. The same technology could also be used to generate refunds for labels where Royal Mail fail to scan on delivery (leaving us exposed to INR claims from buyers getting the automated Amazon emails), but I bet Royal Mail won’t do THAT !

  2. How about automating the system to make a claim when something goes AWOL…?

    We’re business user, spending 20k per annum on RM postage, yet when it comes to claim for Tracked Services(!!!) we’re presented with some stupid form where one needs to describe almost half of one’s life.

  3. It’s completely fair that they are finally closing all these loopholes that less honest people have been using. After all, I am sure there are users out there who have saved themselves thousands at Royal Mail’s expense. But I agree with those above, that the tightening up should go both ways. I frequently get items delivered but not scanned, or (especially in recent weeks) not being delivered at all. Even if there is not compensation for goods attached to this – there should be an automatic refund of the postage for undelivered goods as the service by their own admission has not been provided

  4. From the claims royal mail process they know full well who the likely dishonest customers or indeed posties are, time they started gathering evidence and fining those before creating headlines that are only prosecuting a tiny minority …. Their only motive is to shift the blame gain some public sympathy, kind of story I expect to see on the BBC

  5. I agree that they should do this, I also agree with the above comments that they need to start auto refunding lost / never scanned consignments.


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