Adam Rayner, son of Claire Raynor, hits out as Royal Mail charges handling fee for birthday card and money

Son hits out at Royal Mail handling fee

Son hits out at Royal Mail handling fee

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Features Writer

The son of late Agony Aunt Claire Rayner has hit out at Royal Mail, after a birthday card containing £100 did not arrive at his home address.

Adam Rayner, of Ashfield Avenue, Bushey, said he waited more than a week for a card marking his 50th birthday from his father Des Rayner, 85, even though it was posted first class.

The father-of-one said: "The postman handed me one of those revenue protection cards, which stated a Christmas card was waiting for me at the local sorting office, but it had unpaid postage. Of course it was my birthday card.

"It was unpaid by 9p, I believe that’s because it had fallen foul of the size limits, by being 186 x 188mm.

"While first class will go up to 100g and sizing of 265 x 165mm, my card was said to be too big by a tiny margin, about that of a thumbnail. So I had to pay a handling fee of £1 plus the 9p owed.

"Obviously Royal Mail needs to protect its revenue, but the efforts that they go to must cost more than £1.

"And as a punter I’m looking at paying ten times plus the bit that’s missing. It’s ludicrous."

Mr Rayner said when he was finally reunited with his card, all of the money was inside, but the whole experience has left a bitter taste in his mouth.

He said: "My dad’s a daft old codger for sending the cash in the post. There are many ways to send money - he really shouldn’t have sent it that way.

"But this is the season of goodwill. Royal Mail should think of the harm they’re doing, in my opinion it will be pensioners who fall foul of this sizing system.

"For 9p, I just think the misery and rage that this has caused, my poor dad was ready to write the cash off.

"Maybe Royal Mail could find a way to remind people of their sizing regulations.

"The weight used to be 60g on an envelope. Now it’s 100g. That’s a bar of chocolate, maybe with a few squares removed, you could send that ok. But not my father’s card."

Royal Mail representatives said customers are always urged to check they have attached the correct postage.

Spokeswoman Sally Hopkins said: "Surcharging is the last thing Royal Mail wants to do - especially during the festive period.

"Royal Mail does not make a profit on surcharges and the fee is simply to help cover the extra costs involved in handling underpaid items. "Ensuring correct postage is paid helps keeps prices down and ensures everyone pays the same price.

"The huge bulk of the tens of millions of items of mail we handle daily carries the correct postage and surcharging applies to a minute fraction. If there are any cases where an error has been made then we would refund the postage and administration costs involved.

"Customers are advised not to send cash in the post or, if they wish to do so, to use our guaranteed Special Delivery service for any items of value."

Comments (13)

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12:03pm Wed 19 Dec 12

abbotshornet says...

Rules is rules but it does seem the Royal Mail goes out of it's way to apply them even if it costs everyone more time and money to do so.
Where I work we use a franking machine that quite often charges us more postage than is needed but once it is done we cannot get the money back, so in effect we are over-paying.
When we very occasionally mistakenly under-pay we get a card asking for the few pence owed plus the pound charge.
Seems to me it's always to posties advantage!
Rules is rules but it does seem the Royal Mail goes out of it's way to apply them even if it costs everyone more time and money to do so. Where I work we use a franking machine that quite often charges us more postage than is needed but once it is done we cannot get the money back, so in effect we are over-paying. When we very occasionally mistakenly under-pay we get a card asking for the few pence owed plus the pound charge. Seems to me it's always to posties advantage! abbotshornet
  • Score: -1

1:02pm Wed 19 Dec 12

D.unstable says...

And it is so easy to ask the posy office to weigh the card and advise what price stamp, sorry the onus is on the sender. The father may be old and senile but don't moan about it in the public domain.

Happy Birthday, what are you on a buy with you £99? Some stamps maybe.
And it is so easy to ask the posy office to weigh the card and advise what price stamp, sorry the onus is on the sender. The father may be old and senile but don't moan about it in the public domain. Happy Birthday, what are you on a buy with you £99? Some stamps maybe. D.unstable
  • Score: 1

1:22pm Wed 19 Dec 12

D.unstable says...

D.unstable wrote:
And it is so easy to ask the posy office to weigh the card and advise what price stamp, sorry the onus is on the sender. The father may be old and senile but don't moan about it in the public domain.

Happy Birthday, what are you on a buy with you £99? Some stamps maybe.
Don't you just hate it when the iPad thinks it knows best and changes the words, apologies but guess you get my drift.

Love the photo by the way, did they direct you into that disappointed pose?
[quote][p][bold]D.unstable[/bold] wrote: And it is so easy to ask the posy office to weigh the card and advise what price stamp, sorry the onus is on the sender. The father may be old and senile but don't moan about it in the public domain. Happy Birthday, what are you on a buy with you £99? Some stamps maybe.[/p][/quote]Don't you just hate it when the iPad thinks it knows best and changes the words, apologies but guess you get my drift. Love the photo by the way, did they direct you into that disappointed pose? D.unstable
  • Score: 1

2:07pm Wed 19 Dec 12

garston tony says...

Why does Mr Rayonor not understand that if the RM was to shrug its shoulders and still deliver items when the correct postage had not been paid it would soon be in undated with post where people deliberately under paid because they knew the item would still be delivered? They are quite right in therefore demanding the full amount and yes Mr Raynor is correct, it probably does cost them more than a £1 so he should be grateful the charge isnt £5 or more.

The fact this was a genuine mistake by an elderly person is irrelevant, the principal and the consequences of not keeping to it are what is important and the onus is on the sender to ensure correct postage is paid and if it isnt the 'blame' is on the sender too.

And why the relevance of who his mother was by the way, surely none apart from maybe in some way trying to garner some sort of legitimacy for the complaint from her reputation?
Why does Mr Rayonor not understand that if the RM was to shrug its shoulders and still deliver items when the correct postage had not been paid it would soon be in undated with post where people deliberately under paid because they knew the item would still be delivered? They are quite right in therefore demanding the full amount and yes Mr Raynor is correct, it probably does cost them more than a £1 so he should be grateful the charge isnt £5 or more. The fact this was a genuine mistake by an elderly person is irrelevant, the principal and the consequences of not keeping to it are what is important and the onus is on the sender to ensure correct postage is paid and if it isnt the 'blame' is on the sender too. And why the relevance of who his mother was by the way, surely none apart from maybe in some way trying to garner some sort of legitimacy for the complaint from her reputation? garston tony
  • Score: 0

10:38pm Wed 19 Dec 12

beanmuncha says...

The size limits/restrictions have been around for years, i wish people would stop moaning about it. It is the senders fault if the correct postage is not paid not Royal Mails, a return address should be mandatory and the mail sent back with all inclusive charges. Then maybe some people would take heed.
Mr Raynor just sounds like a grumpy old man, and going by the comments here i'm not alone in that thought.
Wait till RM is private it'll cost more than a £1 surcharge.
The size limits/restrictions have been around for years, i wish people would stop moaning about it. It is the senders fault if the correct postage is not paid not Royal Mails, a return address should be mandatory and the mail sent back with all inclusive charges. Then maybe some people would take heed. Mr Raynor just sounds like a grumpy old man, and going by the comments here i'm not alone in that thought. Wait till RM is private it'll cost more than a £1 surcharge. beanmuncha
  • Score: 1

10:51pm Wed 19 Dec 12

TRT says...

And like a parcel in the Wolverhampton sorting office, the story protagonist gets a right good kicking...
And like a parcel in the Wolverhampton sorting office, the story protagonist gets a right good kicking... TRT
  • Score: -1

12:28am Thu 20 Dec 12

rosierodent says...

I sent a parcel on the 10th December; I was then away for a few days, when I came home the parcel was wedged in my letter box. The envelope was damaged and the box inside; they delivered it to the return address! I took it back to PO, they apologised, but would not make amends. So I then paid for it to be sent again, Special Delivery- and it took 6 working days to arrive at my sister's house. Unbelievable!
I sent a parcel on the 10th December; I was then away for a few days, when I came home the parcel was wedged in my letter box. The envelope was damaged and the box inside; they delivered it to the return address! I took it back to PO, they apologised, but would not make amends. So I then paid for it to be sent again, Special Delivery- and it took 6 working days to arrive at my sister's house. Unbelievable! rosierodent
  • Score: -1

12:45am Thu 20 Dec 12

LSC says...

Well, despite some people's experiences, and a few of my own, I still actually find it amazing that I can have a what amounts to little more than a piece of paper delivered to the other end of the country for under a pound.

Hands up who in Watford will deliver a christmas card to my Aunt in Dundee for 50p. Any takers?

That should cover your fuel costs to.... well, starting the engine really.
Well, despite some people's experiences, and a few of my own, I still actually find it amazing that I can have a what amounts to little more than a piece of paper delivered to the other end of the country for under a pound. Hands up who in Watford will deliver a christmas card to my Aunt in Dundee for 50p. Any takers? That should cover your fuel costs to.... well, starting the engine really. LSC
  • Score: 1

4:58am Thu 20 Dec 12

BC Hornet says...

My accountant sent me some papers a couple of years back. He had gone to his local post office and the amount they put on was deemed not enough by the local delivery office. The cynical amongst you might smell some sort of cheating in the system…
My accountant sent me some papers a couple of years back. He had gone to his local post office and the amount they put on was deemed not enough by the local delivery office. The cynical amongst you might smell some sort of cheating in the system… BC Hornet
  • Score: 1

11:05am Thu 20 Dec 12

garston tony says...

Rosierodent, no one is claiming the RM is perfect. When you are handling hundreds of millions (billions?) of letters, parcels etc law of averages means there are going to be problems/issues at times. It is ridiculous that they sent the parcel to the return address but then who knows maybe that address was too prominent, but surely everyone knows that it takes longer for items to be received at this time of year? I ordered something over a week ago that hasn’t arrived yet, but I'm not fuming at the RM because it’s the lead up to Xmas when the amount they have to process and deliver shoots up massively and it’s a well known fact the post is slower.

LSC has hit the nail on the head, yes if a mistake happens to you its not great but lets face it posting something is a bargain even at 60 odd pence a stamp and I think as with so many other things people like to complain about we don’t know how lucky we actually are and take things for granted to easily.
Rosierodent, no one is claiming the RM is perfect. When you are handling hundreds of millions (billions?) of letters, parcels etc law of averages means there are going to be problems/issues at times. It is ridiculous that they sent the parcel to the return address but then who knows maybe that address was too prominent, but surely everyone knows that it takes longer for items to be received at this time of year? I ordered something over a week ago that hasn’t arrived yet, but I'm not fuming at the RM because it’s the lead up to Xmas when the amount they have to process and deliver shoots up massively and it’s a well known fact the post is slower. LSC has hit the nail on the head, yes if a mistake happens to you its not great but lets face it posting something is a bargain even at 60 odd pence a stamp and I think as with so many other things people like to complain about we don’t know how lucky we actually are and take things for granted to easily. garston tony
  • Score: 1

11:08am Thu 20 Dec 12

TRT says...

BC Hornet wrote:
My accountant sent me some papers a couple of years back. He had gone to his local post office and the amount they put on was deemed not enough by the local delivery office. The cynical amongst you might smell some sort of cheating in the system…
If it was from your accountant, the contents were probably so dry that they absorbed water from the atmosphere en-route.
[quote][p][bold]BC Hornet[/bold] wrote: My accountant sent me some papers a couple of years back. He had gone to his local post office and the amount they put on was deemed not enough by the local delivery office. The cynical amongst you might smell some sort of cheating in the system…[/p][/quote]If it was from your accountant, the contents were probably so dry that they absorbed water from the atmosphere en-route. TRT
  • Score: 1

2:26pm Thu 20 Dec 12

HornetJJ says...

Why is this a story? It has been underpaid simple as that! You wouldn't go into a shop and buy a 30p newspaper for 21p so why is this any different??
Why is this a story? It has been underpaid simple as that! You wouldn't go into a shop and buy a 30p newspaper for 21p so why is this any different?? HornetJJ
  • Score: 1

12:53pm Fri 21 Dec 12

garston tony says...

HornetJJ wrote:
Why is this a story? It has been underpaid simple as that! You wouldn't go into a shop and buy a 30p newspaper for 21p so why is this any different??
Well said
[quote][p][bold]HornetJJ[/bold] wrote: Why is this a story? It has been underpaid simple as that! You wouldn't go into a shop and buy a 30p newspaper for 21p so why is this any different??[/p][/quote]Well said garston tony
  • Score: 1

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