V.E. Day 70
It barely needs saying now that as this was a Post and Go machine change involving the Royal Mail Series II machines, all did not go well.
For some reason the machine at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth reverted to the £7.42 set of labels which ceased to be dispensed on 30 March when postage rates increased and the 60 g weight steps were abolished and absorbed into the 100 g weight steps.
As Chris reports, "it was not until 13:56:12 Session 0522 that the correct rate and price was available. In the time before the change £1500 + worth of stamps were printed by collectors."
(Note that if these were used, the 60 g stamps would be valid for weights up to 100 g!)
The stamps from the Royal Marines Museum (RMM) and the Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) did not have this fault. It would have been especially surprising if the FAAM stamps had had this error as the machine did not operate under the previous tariff and never did dispense 60 g stamps!
"Royal Mail really have to address this problem of the ongoing errors. It really is putting people off buying these stamps."
... and I can only agree. Some people still think this is being done deliberately by Royal Mail or at their behest to create/maintain interest. I don't think that's so. Call me gullible, but my contact with Royal Mail about previous errors revealed their obvious displeasure at the numbers of errors occuring and their intention that the flow of mistakes should cease. Well, the errors that have already been seen this year, show that somebody somewhere is not taking correct steps to ensure that the product is produced as advertised.
I attribute this to a system reset such as happened at Stampex when the Flowers stamps were dispensed with the wrong machine number and wrong details on the receipt. But should it really be that difficult to get the software right?
When there is a change, the ability to print the previous details should be removed from the machine and from the system. There should be no question that reverting to a default position creates stamps which Royal Mail does not want produced, which are obsolete, and which are an embarrassment to Royal Mail and add to the enrichment of the few people who can afford to travel to the machine location.
Collectors buying in the secondary market from dealers who have made the journey and bought many hundreds of strips, should be able to get what was intended to be produced, and not a higher-priced error, which the dealer may not even have noticed at the time of purchase (as happened with some of the other Stampex errors).