We are hearing that some online sellers are starting to get substantial surcharge bills from Royal Mail due to Revenue Protection measures. Sellers are reporting that Royal Mail’s new technology is incorrectly placing a surcharge on what they claim are correctly posted 2D barcoded Large Letters.
Surcharge for Royal Mail 24/48 and 1st Class & 2nd Class Account Mail
If items customers present to us differ from what they tell us they’ve posted, it means we incur additional handling costs, which includes correcting documentation. From 19 April 2021, Royal Mail will be updating charges for 1st Class & 2nd Class Account Mail (STL) Letters,
- Large Letters and Parcels as well as Royal Mail 24® and Royal Mail 48® Large Letters and Parcels. These will cover the costs incurred when items are underdeclared or mis-declared on customer posting documentation and information contained within barcodes compared to what is actually presented to us.
- If we identify a discrepancy in your posting for these products, we will apply an admin charge per item as well as a correction charge per item to cover the additional handling costs in addition to any postage cost that may have been incurred already.
– Royal Mail
One seller reports that “£0.85 Large letters are being surcharged at £4.70 ‘LL found to be Parcel’“. They also point out that surcharge billing is occurring for mail sent weeks and months prior so its near possible to investigate in real time. They are claiming inaccuracies with Royal Mail claiming that large letters were surcharged with the assertion that they weighed as much as 1.25kg rather than what the seller declared as 13g. No one’s scales should be out by that magnitude so this isn’t a case of a letter or parcel being overweight by a few grams.
Surcharges are pretty punitive – intentionally to discourage those that try to game the system (you can view the surcharge rates here). However that also means that even if only a few of your items have surcharges applied incorrectly that your unexpected invoice will be substantial and far in excess of what the original postage would have cost.
If you have started to receive surcharge bills from Royal Mail Revenue Protection, let us know in comments below.
Edited to add comment below from Royal Mail
“Royal Mail seeks to ensure that it is paid fairly for the services it delivers in line with our terms & conditions. We have in place protection processes that inform this and where discrepancies are found we charge a correction charge per item and an admin fee. Where there are customer queries we work to resolve these issues in line with our commitment to give high levels of customer service at all times. We are constantly reviewing ways we can accelerate our processes to resolve issues more quickly.”
– A Royal Mail spokesperson