Wednesday 4 June 2014

New retail booklets and business sheets at the end of July

Royal Mail will issue a complete set of retail booklets and business sheets on 31 July due to a change in EU rules over telephone after-sales service!

According to the Britannic Technologies blog:
From 13 June 2014 it will be against EU law to profit from calls to post-sales lines.  Premium rate, revenue-generating numbers can be used for general pre-sales lines as normal. 
Where a telephone helpline is provided, the basic rate requirement means not charging more than a geographic or mobile rate. This telephone number provided should not provide the trader with a contribution to their costs.

Because of this Royal Mail have changed the telephone numbers for their enquiry helpline from 0845 740 740 to 0345 740 740§.

New products will be
1st class book of 6
1st and 2nd class books of 12
1st and 2nd Large books of 4 *
1st and 2nd x 100 business sheets *
1st Large and 2nd Large x 50 business sheets

* These will appear with 2014 year codes for the first time, producing 4 new stamps with a specific date of issue.  We will produce a limited number of first day covers, so if you would like one please contact us in good time.

§ These may look quite similar, depending on the font used, so extra care will be needed when searching for the new books.

The 1st class book of 6 has been printed with M14L code and the old contact details, but we don't know of any findings yet.  We don't know whether the expected Commonwealth Games mixed booklet will have new telephone numbers.

The booklet of 6 x 1st with the old telephone number has appeared on eBay, and I have an example used from Sheffield on 20 June - any earlier dates would be useful to know!  No FDCs for this one.


  1. Is there a specific issue date for the 1st class book of 6 ? Or has it already been printed but not issued, or printed and issued but not yet on sale (as far as you know) ?
    Whatever, it will be produce a new stamp with it's MSIL code, though maybe not available for a F.D.C.

    1. We have been told that the 6 x 1st booklet, with the existing inscription, has been printed for 2014 and is probably already in the supply chain. That is, it
      - may be at POSD Swindon ready to send to branches
      - may have already been sent to branches
      - may be only at Royal Mail retail in Edinburgh for business and websales, and for distribution to other retail outlets such as supermarkets and card shops.

      You are correct: it will produce a new stamp, and if it is found before 31/07/14 then a valid first day cover is almost impossible. However, if none have been discovered by dealers and their networks of collectors looking for something new, then it will probably be justifiable to put it on the FDC with the 4 stamps which we do know will be new.

  2. A bumper crop, 9 issues with all their variations, break open another china piggy bank.

  3. The book of six with M14L MSIL and old phone number is now on eBay, item number 151341667674.