Sunday 18 June 2017

Please do not bend: a first step towards philatelic excellence

We all know the old joke: a packet endorsed 'PHOTOS - DO NOT BEND' is mangled by the postman who adds his own note, 'Oh yes they do!'.  It's as old as the hills, and I'm sure it never happened, but many people have complaints about the way their philatelic mail is handled, from pen-cancels on collectable stamps, to folding and damage by rubber bands.

Of course we can make efforts to help the postman: ensure your letter box is large enough to take an A4-wide Large Letter would be a good first step - that's 250mm plus.  And senders can do their bit by using adequate packaging making it more difficult to bend.  Stamps etc sent to ordinary customers from Royal Mail's Tallents House philatelic bureau often fail on the latter point, although the letter has the printed entreaty 'Please do not bend'.  Now, Royal Mail employees have been given new instructions regarding keeping their philatelic customers happy, at least as far as delivery is concerned.

On the MyRoyalMail website, there are new instructions about their own philatelic mail:
Our customers expect us to deliver all of their items in excellent condition.
For our philatelist customers – people who collect postage stamps as a hobby – this means ensuring that we do not bend their items on delivery.
All philatelic items are despatched in a PPI business class envelope, which lists Tallents House as the return address and includes the words ‘PLEASE DO NOT BEND’ on the bottom right hand corner.
If you see that a philatelic item has been damaged in the mail centre or on delivery, it must be returned to Tallents House, 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB
A P3960 should be included on the envelope to highlight the reason for non-delivery, so a new replacement can be sent to the customer.


If you cannot deliver an item without bending it, please:
  • Check if a neighbour is happy to take the item. If so, return to the address on the item and post a completed ‘With Your Neighbour’ slip or P739 ‘Something for you’ card through their letterbox. Doing so will inform the customer which neighbour has their item.
  • If you are unable to successfully deliver the item, scan the item as ‘not delivered’ and post a fully completed P739 ‘Something for you’ card through the letterbox and return the item to the office.
  • If the item is not collected, our Customer Experience team will contact the customer to arrange for it to be redelivered.
Now if we can just get them to take similar care of dealer-to-customer philatelic mail, and ensure that the stamps thereon are properly cancelled, we will be even happier!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like RM are trying to get their processing and delivery staff to compensate for the very poor packaging they insist on using, rather than protecting it for the journey properly. Get your own house in order first, perhaps, Tallents house?


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