Wednesday, 9 August 2006

Daylight robbery

As if it wasn’t the cause of enough stress as it is, with erratic and infrequent mail deliveries, expensive and complicated rates, etc., the postal service will very soon be the source of more aggro: on 21 August, post will be priced according to size as well as weight.

I have in front of me a bright red leaflet produced by the Royal Mail: there’s a price chart and lots of blah blah about the new system, like ‘If your item fits inside the red area [more about this in a minute], is no thicker than the 5mm thickness indicator and weighs under 100g, then it will be classed as a Letter’. There’s also a double page with two letterbox slots drawn on two different areas and in two different colours. One is for the old ‘Letter’ and the other for the new ‘Large Letter’. You’re supposed to put your item within one of the areas (‘Place corner of item here’) in order to gauge its size and work out which kind of letter it is. However, it’s not just the length and width that determine the category but the thickness too so the only way to do it would be, I think, to stand the item at a right angle with the leaflet to see whether it would go through those slots if they were cut out. But it won’t work: letters are not the same thickness all over; they’re very often thinner around the edges, for instance.

The system is absolutely preposterous and would be risible if it wasn’t going to be implemented in a couple of weeks’ time. I believe some people spend their entire lives trying to figure out how to get money from us. It’s sheer extortion (leading to sheer exhaustion, LOL!). And a stupid waste of our time. The Royal Mail should just order us to stick up our hands and give up all our cash every time we go to the post office. It would be quicker and the result would be the same.


Update: I hadn’t actually had a good look at the price chart earlier. I have now and I’m truly depressed. Things that are small and light, but bulky, like, for instance, erm… at random… a small McDonald’s ‘The Dog’ toy, which I have a drawerful of (some people are gender confused, I’m age confused, no, actually, I’m just rediscovering my inner child), well, things like that, which wouldn’t go through the slot for Letter or even Large Letter, will now have to be sent parcel rate and that means a jump from 32p to £1. Unbelievable!


  1. Praise the stars for email, then.

  2. Indeed, JvS. Still, I don't know about you but I do, from time to time, less often than before from now on obviously, have to send the odd "bubbly" letter - although, it's usually to foreign countries and I don't see any mention of "Abroad" on the leaflet so maybe it won't affect me much. But have you tried to work out the thickness of a letter with that stupid diagram? Isn't it the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen?

  3. Risible is right and someone was paid to dream up that system. I can just imagine the arguments and queues it's going to cause at post office counters as people lean down heavily on their packages to make them slimmer.

  4. ROTFL!

    Hey, what about a machine to flatten those packages!

    Tell the truth, GSE, were you at all involved in the promotion of that thing? Go on...

  5. Someone is clearly extremely stressed and/or had Way too much time on their hands and is in need of a nice long vacation ;-) Whoever dreamed this up? I got dizzy just Reading the specifications.

    The people who live in the U.K. must be a very good natured, patient lot...I think this would start petitioning and picketing outside a lot of post offices in the US.

    Good luck Bela and yes, this is ridiculous. I'm not sure if it qualifies as The most ridiculous. I have the utmost confidence that somewhere, somehow; there lies in wait.... an overworked, very intelligent, but slightly deranged bureaucart busily dreaming , dreaming.... :::Insert Music From Your Favorite Scary Movie::: ;-) Oh, and I picture Christopher Walken playing him. Sorry, feeling a bit silly here ;-)

  6. I think it's designed to get more money from eBay traders, and is probably carefully thought out because they know people with email don't send ordinary letters much any more. Grrrr! Slap!

  7. T, those modern highwaymen are very resourceful.

    It's not patience, nor good nature, it's inertia. The British are the most inert people on the planet. Since I'm not British I'm thinking of starting my own petition and picket outside my local post office. LOL!

    Btw, have you ever seen that video of Christopher Walken dancing like a slightly deranged puppet? It's soooo funny. I adore him.

    Yes, L, I know it was meant especially to thwart eBayers. I was planning to acquire more of those little doggies (there's some space left in the drawer), but I'm damned if I'm going to pay over £1 in postage for something that would probably cost 50p.

  8. No, I've never seen Chrisopher Walken in that video Bela. I know whatever he is in,he is good...and creepy ;-)LOL. Maybe you could be a brave pioneer in a campaign against the post office. Then again maybe I should just shut up lest you land in jail with that idea ;-)

  9. Oh, you must try and get hold of it, T! It's just so weird. He used to be a dancer apparently, so he moves gracefully, but with such a strange expression on his face.

  10. It's the video for Fatboy Slim's song 'Weapon of Choice'.

  11. You didn't really expect me to remember that, did you, L? LOL!

    Thanks for the info.


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