Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Random Rambling #5 - Royal Mail




I think i started to get annoyed with Royal Mail a good few years ago....letters missing all the time...
So it gets to the point you HAVE to go and get proof of posting at the MINIMUM to know that your letter or whatever you're posting will actually reach its destination....and if you REALLY need to make sure, you have to fork out for recorded.
There used to be a time when you could just pop it in the red postbox and feel safe knowing that it will get there....those days have long gone.

Its not just the prices that have changed, but the service they provide as well.  I remember being young and the post would ALWAYS arrive before i left for school at 8am in the morning, and there was always the 2nd post later on.
Nowadays, I'm lucky if my post gets here before 12pm.
I'm petrified of things going missing...i always have to get proof of posting, for peace of mind.  Surely knowing its in Royal Mails hands should make you feel secure that you're post will reach its destination. No. Sorry.

Ive been a seller on Ebay and some other sites for a good few years now, and again i remember (that word will keep popping up), that i had to weigh everything as it went up in grams of weight, which was a great way to do it...

So first the change the sizing. Okay, i can get that. Boxes and big parcels can take up valuable room in a posties bag, so yeah, ok.
I'm not happy with the fact you even have to be careful what kind of birthday card you have to get, in case its too big to be sent as a normal letter -that is wrong, so instead of wanting to get that lovely big fancy thick card that costs more to buy anyway, you have to get a skimpy skinny card to go through the 2cm gap for a letter. And if you're sending forms back, from a job application or returning something back, they charge you extra because of a 1cm in thickness...that's a little petty.
Then not long after that, and not that long ago, they decided to change the weight.  This was when i got a little...annoyed.

i send the majority of my post 2nd class nowadays - whats the point in paying extra for first class when you know the chances are it wont get there on 24 hours anyway, so may as well pay less and it arrive at the same time.  Again i remember it being on "Watchdog" a few years ago when they did a test, an found that most 1st class posted in a letterbox, turned up the same time as a 2nd class.

NOW -theres 2 weights when it comes to posting things. Upto 750g and then to 1000g (after that you have to use the outrageous parcel service they "offer").  Ludicrous. You have to pay the same amount to send a lipstick as you would a couple of medium sized candles....wheres the sense in that!?? The lipstick hardly weighs 100g and because its thicker than the Large Letter it has to go as a packet, costing a minimum of £2.20!!!  The bargain you got on Ebay? Not so much a bargain when the postage is added on.

Now as well, since January 2013, there has been massive confusion over the sending and receiving of nail polishes. As a nail polish addict -this is affecting me!!
Us as UK citizens are not allowed to send out nail polishes internationally, but we can receive them (huh??!?!). BUT now they keep flicking backwards and forwards about what you can send, how you can send it, and where....One day you cant send any.. a few days later a friend tells you "no, its now 2 polishes as long as you wrap them well"..oh. ok....the next week you get told, its now FOUR polishes within the UK as long as they're wrapped soundly, has a return address and has this new sticker thing on it....
If they would kindly stop moving the goalposts it would make it much easier....an when they DO change the goalposts, notifications would be very handy to have!
I recently bought 4 nail polishes from a great seller. She seems to have a more informed post office than mine. The only time in my post office they ask if you have "anything on the poster" is if its international. Not ONCE have i been asked what I'm sending within the UK. But if we're supposed to have these new stickers on them, shouldn't they be asking if theres anything like that in any of the packets? Theres not even a poster about what you can and cant send and what the limits are within the UK. i wouldn't know all this hoohah if i hadn't been swapping/buying nail polishes.  So one part of the country is well informed, and if they post them they're pretty covered. But if i were to post them, without the sticker i should have had on it and not because i didn't know (i do but theres many that don't) -the packet will be destroyed and lose money that, lets face it, no one right now can afford to lose.

The new prices are all for "better service" for us apparently. Me? I see it as a way to get more money out of us for a service that hasn't been great for neigh on 20years. The new packet system has small and medium as from 2nd April 2013. The price for small is £3 and medium is a whopping £5.65. BUT when looking at the prices, they don't tell you what they class as small and medium...you have to search through the site to try and find it....wild goose chase much?
New FormatSize (up to)Weight (up to)
Small ParcelLength - 45cm
Width - 35cm
Depth - 8cm

Exceptions apply, see the
table below
2kg
Medium ParcelLength - 61cm
Width - 46cm
Depth - 46cm
20kg
Large ParcelFor Parcels greater in size than 61cm x 46cm x 46cm or
heavier than 20kg, use Parcelforce Worldwide Opens in new window products.


Exceptions apply
The following items are also priced as Small Parcels:
  1. Parcels that measure up to and including:
    Length: 16cm and Width: 16cm and Depth: 16cm
     
  2. Roll or cylinder shaped parcels that measure up to and including:
    Length: 45cm and Diameter: 8cm

Roll or cylinder shaped parcels larger than these sizes can be posted as Medium Parcels up to and including 90cm in length and up to and including 104cm (length plus twice the diameter)
Source: Royal Mail




Ok, so if I'm sending something that weighs just 150g but is longer than 45cm, am i going to be charged the whopping £5.65??
Clear as mud to me...but I'm really annoyed. You sell things online to try and get some pennies that are so scarce anyway, and they find a way to grab it back off you..

Ever wondered why Royal Mail is the only Sector that hasn't been privatised? They hold the monopoly greatly on post -especially letters and small packets/parcels and they're using that to grab more money from us.

All i can think to do is bulk sales, and use courier services such as MyHermes which is fantastically priced for their parcels and service. Heck, they come to YOU to pick it up, you don't even have to leave the house!

its just frustrating for when you want to buy the little things like i do - a bottle of nail varnish, that was a brilliant price, whack £3 on to it, and not so brilliant, an you have no to little choice in paying the scandalous out-of-inflation prices...

One thing i will say is that i don't think its the postman/postwoman fault at all.  I have actually great posties who help me out alot and actually are nice and friendly.
No, its the usual story isn't it..."fact cats" wanting more money from us.

Until we stop using Royal Mail (which lets face it, we really cant)..they're going to hold us at almost Ransom point to make us pay and pay and pay....

Desperately needs to be privatised, like British Gas, British Telecom were -to give us a choice in what, who and how we pay....but sadly, i don't think that's going to happen.....

Apologies for the massive rant, but i had to say it!!!


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