Christmas is supposed to be one of the most popular times for people to get personalised stamps - Smilers. Sometimes they use the Christmas stamps, sometimes they use one of the many greetings stamp alternatives. But this year they could have a problem (especially today as Royal Mail's website is totally unavailable!).
As we know, Royal Mail philatelic have produced the usual Generic Smilers Sheet containing 2nd & 1st class stamps and the two airmail rates 68p & £1.10. The Christmas catalogue shows the inland stamps personalised in sheets of 10 & 20. The philatelic listing also mentions these but not the airmail stamps.
Go to www.royalmail.com/smilers as usual and there is no sign of the 2011 Christmas stamps at all! So what's happening? Have we actually got a pair of philatelic stamps (the 68p & £1.10) that are in a generic sheet but which are NOT available for personalisation?
Has anybody ordered - better still received - any Smilers stamps this Christmas? How did you get them??
As I expected, Graham Howard at www.smilers-info.com is on top of this (click on 'News'). Royal Mail won't answer any questions about the Snapfish part of the operation, even a simple one like "why only 1st & 2nd class?". I would have expected the principal to this contract (rather than the sub-contractor) to say, "yes the airmail values should be available and we will contact Snapfish and make sure it is so."
And, says Graham, the ordering process at Snapfish is not entirely without its problems.
This morning's post brought proof that this year's Smilers so exist!
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