Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Postage rates to rise in early April this year.

This is a total rewrite, as my error has been pointed out.  I mis-read the letter from Royal Mail.

We had news today that Royal Mail proposes to publish details of increased postage rates in early March 2013. This suggest an increase this year in early April, less than 12 months since  the previous (delayed) increase.  We expect the implementation date will be 1st April.

There is, of course, no news yet on what the rates will be but as 30 days notice of any increase must be given, we would expect basic details to be available within the next two weeks.  The bad news for collectors is that this will affect the bumper Dr Who issue due on 26 March.

A reminder from last year's consultation and Ofcom statements on rates:

"Ofcom proposes to put a price cap of between 45p and 55p [in 2012] on 2nd Class stamps for standard letters to protect vulnerable customers from significant price rises. The cap would be indexed in line with inflation."

1.23 The recent experience of postal regulation, however, has demonstrated all the weaknesses of price controls with none of the benefits. In a highly uncertain market, price controls have removed the flexibility that would allow Royal Mail to adjust to changes in demand, while at the same time Royal Mail has been unable to improve efficiency, either at the rate expected by the regulator when the price control was set, or at the rate set by its own internal targets at the time. 
1.24 Furthermore, price controls on Royal Mail have served less and less to protect customers from price rises. Since 2006 Royal Mail's financial position has led it to apply to the regulator for price rises over and above those consistent with the regulatory formula.

New rates and new stamps now added here.

15 comments:

  1. Ian,
    Heading of this article is incorrect:
    Royal Mail has not proposed to increase postage rates in early March 2013, but Royal Mail intend to publish its new increased postage prices in March 2013, which will become effective 30 days after the date of announcement, i.e. April 2013. It may well be 12 months since the last increase.
    Regards
    Farrukh Jamil

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    1. You are correct, and thank you for the correction. I received a letter from RM today which I totally misunderstood.

      Right, a bit of re-writing to do then. Won't affect Dr Who if we are lucky :-)

      Delete
  2. How many people will take this price rise seriously if it comes in on April 1st? I do not doubt the veracity of the story (with this blog being THE source of GB philatelic news), but many (both collectors and general public) may see April Fools Day as a poor choice of date to introduce this.

    Ready for another round of panic buying everyone?

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    1. I stress that the 1 April date is my guess, it being a Monday. The stamps will probably be issued the previous Tuesday or Thursday.

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  3. The Dr Who issue will be sold at the "cheap" price of 60p/50p for just a few days, so if you do not buy requirements almost immediately they come out, there WILL be an impact on the cost of that issue for collectors as they are NVIs that always reflect the current postal rate, of course.

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  4. I am a collector, lets get that out of the way first!! However as a RM worker, I really do dispair at the constant year on year moaning by everyone on the price rises on stamps. Yes for collectors like myself it does become more expensive, but this is a business. Lets not forget the primary purpose of the stamp, it enables a letter or package to get from a to b in a relativly short space of time. Everyones bills are going up, petrol, electric gas, and the business that gives you this ability to enhance your collection is not immune from these rises. I do appreciate that the extensive stamp issues are seeming to get out of hand, and perhaps this is what we really ought to be complaining about, not the price rise. Sorry for the rant, just remember that you cannot sustain a business with the same cost, when other costs around you are increasing.

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    1. Welcome, and thanks for that view on things.

      I do believe it is mainly collectors who complain about the prices. Just yesterday I told a shocked person that the postage rate was 60p; she guessed around 35p. People who post few letters don't know, and it doesn't concern them. Small businesses are turning to franking machines which offer such big discounts, or buying cheaper than face value in the after-market.

      Dealers are concerned as the increasing costs cause some collectors to stop, and increase the amount of money tied up in stock. That's why it is even more important to get the stamps when they are newly available because fewer dealers are holding smaller stocks and not restocking.

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    2. So tell me why a packet that if I had posted last week would have cost £2.20 will now cost £5.20?? While I understand that prices have to increase this is taking the p--s, disguised by restructuring sizes and banding!

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    3. If your packet was smaller it would only cost £2.60 - you forgot to say that. And if your packet had been over 750g you would have been paying £3.50 last week.

      On road transport volume costs more to move than weight so it is right that a lightweight large parcel costs more than a small heavy one.

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  5. As a small business operator, I buy stamps for the parcels I send - rather than use a franking machine - as it helps support my local sub post office. I've bought after-market stamps in the past to avoid the idiotic number of make-up values I would otherwise have to use. The past year has been comparatively sane, as all the postage rates I use end with an "0".

    Someone seems to have released the forthcoming price changes early at: http://www.europeanpostalsystems.co.uk/wp-content/themes/eps/franking-savings-calculator.php

    The tinkering with the prices includes some reductions, but they're not nearly sufficient to be worthwhile with all the make-up madness required to apply the correct postage.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. European Postal Systems have confirmed that the rates show on their website are not the future rates, but what they thought were the current rates. This means that they have been using the wrong rates on price comparisons for the last 10 months - a case of (accidental) mis-selling methinks !

      So we can't rely on the rates NOT going up. Well spotted, though!

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    3. Thanks for chasing that up. I publish my prices for the year in mid-March, to catch any customers who are stragglers and posting their orders just before the postage price increases. I suppose the luxury of a few months between Royal Mail's prices announcement and their implementation is now truly a thing of the past, leaving me and my aged eyes just a fortnight to get the update done.

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    4. Very much a thing of the past. We haven't had more than a month to prepare for new rates for some years now. Look out for new rates to be announced on 1 March, implemented from 1 April.

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  6. Just realised that there was (again) a price increase in the international stamps - this time of more than 11%. Small mail order businesses like ours are highly affected by these increases. Last month, because I was travelling to Portugal, I decided to send 50 small packages from there instead of from London, and what was my surprise when I paid for each package €1.33 - whereas in the UK it now increased from £2.70 to £3.00, almost the triple of that amount. Is the postage service in Portugal 3 times worse than here? I highly doubt it!

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