Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Royal Mail Produce Carnival of Post and Go Errors for Scottish Congress at Perth

As we reported earlier, Royal Mail once again took their Post and Go machine to the ASPS Scottish Congress at Perth, and not for the first time at a philatelic show managed to (being polite) make a complete disaster of the stamps they produced.

As the organisers put in their press release:
All [three designs, Machin, Lion and Thistle] will have the additional inscription:
88th Scottish Congress 2017
Except that they didn't.  None of the stamps produced at the show, from either machine, had the year 2017 shown.  And there were not just three stamps.  The Machin exists in at least undated, MA13 and I believe MA15 (now confirmed).






However, Royal Mail Tallents House also belatedly made pre-orders available using machine B001.  The minimum order was £150 (not that difficult to achieve these days) and the stamps would have to be collected from the show.  Saves time queuing up, and there is a different machine number, but I have to say I don't really see the point if you are there anyway.   But of course there was a point, and there were further surprises.  For a start, the stamps were not available at the show, and had to be posted on, only arriving yesterday and today.

Then, the inscription on B001 was as it was supposed to be.



Machin stamps from B001 are (I think) always MAIL-coded because I don't think Tallents House have finished using their original stock yet despite the number of stamps they produce from that machine.  But another surprise was in store as the Machin stamps sent to pre-orderers were neither MAIL, MA13 or MA15.... but these:


So the Royal Mail Philatelic Service has managed to produce stamps that are not even due for sale until 5 June this year with a special inscription at the end of April, a full six weeks early.
(Images mostly taken from eBay, from various sellers.  I've lost track of who the sellers are for each of the images taken, and my apologies to those sellers that I can't properly credit them.)

We have now reached the stage where we can't even guess at what errors might occur because each one that happens is even more beyond belief than the last.   Oh, we can explain to ourselves how it happens, but where on earth is the supervision, the knowledge, the understanding that would prevent it happening, or at least stop the stamps from being sent out to customers when it has happened.


UPDATE 5 May
I've been sent a copy of an email sent by Royal Mail to a customer who received the Anniversary Machin's on pre-order.
Following a careful review of the events that led to this, including the quantity of the pre-orders in question and the disruption and inconvenience caused to you at the show, on this occasion we have decided not to replace your order, you are therefore free to retain these stamps. I trust this solution matches your preferred option to retain the order and resell the stamps as originally intended.    

Once again please accept our apologies for the inconvenience and confusion caused both at the show and following the delivery of your pre-order. We have initiated a thorough review of the events and internal processes that led to this situation and will share with you the pre-order arrangements for future shows in due course.

18 comments:

  1. I wonder how many collectors have dropped by the wayside because of (either deliberate or un-intentional) mistakes with these exhibition machines?

    On a brighter note Symbolic Flowers are making their way to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust machine, albeit a digital reprint from Monday
    http://iarroyalmailpostandgo.com/latestnews/symbolic-flowers-at-shakespeare-centre/

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  2. I've given up on Royal Mail. Not so long ago you could order online positional pieces, cylinder blocks, cylinder booklets etc. Yet now I'll be buggered if I can find where you can do that now? It seems they want to keep fleecing collectors, but make it extremely difficult for the same collectors to get what they want!

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    1. Royal Mail haven't offered a philatelic service for years, that's why they dropped the name "Philatelic Bureau" and replaced it with Tallents House all those years ago.

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  3. I've long maintained that collecting anything other than the most basic Post & Go designs is simply a waste of time, effort and money. But a fool and their money are easily parted, I suppose.

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    1. If you are a collector of, and interested in, Post & Go, or indeed any other collecting topic, then it is not a waste of time, effort and money if you wish to extend your collecting beyond just the basics. That's what a hobby is. It is somewhat disingenuous to suggest we are fools if we wish to collect something other than you do.

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  4. Ian, I can confirm the Machin's were available with MA15 code from A012 as these arrived yesterday in my pre-order direct from the Congress. These were without the "2017" in the inscription.

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  5. Hi Ian

    Some people seem unaware all direct orders from the congress were without 2017.
    The only way of getting 6 coloured Machins & 2017 dated stock was to pre order via Tallents House weeks before the show started.

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    1. I thought that was clear from the article, but maybe I should have made clear the machine numbers producing stamps without the year on, i.e. at the show.

      It is, I think, quite clear that only B001 stamps have the 2017 and it was only in this machine that next June's commemorative stamps were installed.

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  6. So, anyone know which are the errors? They were originally supposed to include 2017 in the inscription but this didn't happen with the Congress versions - so these are the errors? Yet we see on eBay the RM issued versions (with 2017) as the errors. Any ideas?

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    1. Some sellers are describing all the Tallents House stamps as errors, the 2017-dated ones presumably because they were not what was issued at the show. But the advance publicity said that the 2017 would be in the inscription.

      My view is that the Show stamps from A12 & A14 are errors, as is the Machin Anniversary set from B1 Tallents House machine.

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    2. It is very clear that all the stamps produced at the actual Congress in Perth are errors as none of them had the correct inscription which was the '88th Scottish Congress 2017' as the year date was missing. The organisers press release stated it was suppose to have the date, the IAR website showed it as having the date and the actual Congress programme for the event also showed it as having the date but it was still missed off. The only ones that are correct are the Heraldic Lion and the Thistle stamps from Tallent's House B001 machine.

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    3. Agree with Brian M. I don't understand why collectors purchase 'manufactured' stamps from machine B001. True collectors should only purchase vended stamps from kiosks on location.

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    4. I think the answer is now clear why collectors purchase stamps from machine B001 at Tallents House. You never know what you will get. It is usually something different from the show or exhibition issue even if it is just a different year code which is usually the case.
      This year however, anyone who ordered from Tallents House B001 machine got a bonus with Machin stamps that should not have been issued for another 6 weeks plus the only CORRECT issues of the Heraldic Lion and the Symbolic Flowers Thistle.
      So I think the answer is if possible always try and order something from Tallents House.

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    5. Collectors do not spend a minimum of £150 to purchase exhibition stamps from Tallents House. Dealers do, and it is their good fortune if oddities arise, but the poor collector ends up having to pay grossly inflated prices as a result of someone's incompetence. As a previous respondent stated 'a fool and is money are soon parted'.

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    6. Good point and I appreciate that collectors do not always spend that sort of amount. I try and link up with other collector friends and share the total and cost. This works well for me and others at Stampex.

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  7. I've just seen the update with the email from Royal Mail regarding the use of the anniversary labels in error. I wonder how many collector strips were actually produced and sent out to collectors and dealers who pre-ordered? 1st class to worldwide strips are now commanding prices of £120 to £140 on eBay! I'm glad I didn't pay that much to secure my strip!

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    1. My guess is that far more exist than command the £120 price being asked for them. I predict that many of these will go unsold IF prospective buyers are aware of the situation by reading this blog and the information provided by our readers and by Royal Mail.

      THey are an official pre-release but were not available from the show, so quite what status they have - apart from being valid for postage - I don't know.

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    2. People are buying them at £120+ as I've been watching them when they appear. They started off at £75 which I think is a far more realistic price. Perhaps not so much for scarcity but desirability value? Of course, that's just my humble opinion.

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