Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Confusion at Post Office Branches over new tariff

Post Offices will know what the new postage rates will be next week, but some are apparently refusing or reluctant to sell the new stamps today.

A reminder that all the new stamps are on sale from today -

- the Machin £1.25, £1.45, £1.55 and £2.65 - and also the £2.25 which is a reissue.

- the country definitives of £1.25 and £1.45 and, if they have them (which I think they should), the redrawn 2nd and 1st class.

Telephone number for PO Customer Services is 0345 611 2970

What might also be useful is Royal Mail Tallents House 03457 641 641 or 0131 316 7483

UPDATE:
Several readers have mentioned that the Country Presentation Pack has been sold at Post Offices for 15p more than it should have been, £16.30 instead of £16.15.

Despite my suggestion that customers could get a refund by returning with their receipts to the issuing branch, P O Ltd have insisted that you must fill in a webform here.   Defies belief really.

UPDATE 5 April
After several weeks and much prompting I have now had a reply from Post Office Ltd about the over-charging of the Country Definitive Presentation Pack.
I can confirm that any customers that have been incorrectly charged for the Philatelic pack, can receive a refund of the difference in branch; they will just need to show their receipt.
So to those who were overcharged, and haven't destroyed their counter receipt, you now have the opportunity to get that 15p back!


23 comments:

  1. Bristol Galleries had all new values today including the 2018 £2.25. All sheet dates were as in the blog below from 9th March. All 16 country definitives were available and had already been split into 'sets' so I wasn't able to get a 'date' copy of each.

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  2. Waltham Abbey, Essex refused to sell the new stamps. They appeared to have no way of checking and if I wanted the new stamps I would have to go back tomorrow. Enfield Wash post office, a similar problem. Quoted me as they are for the new rates for next week. I stood my ground and they checked their system, but to no avail. Post Office quiet and hence I asked they check again and they referenced a booklet they had (presume containing notices etc.) Eventually they telephoned someone and agreed to sell the stamps once they had obtained them from the safe.
    A bit of a farce really!!!
    Doug (Enfield)

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  3. PO in Norwich Wroxham road opened at 8.00am and within 5 minutes I had all 5 Walsall left margin cylinder and colour blocks.....no problem at all... Malcolm Brown

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  4. Post Offices were selling the Country Definitive Pack for £16.30 instead of £16.15. Could not sell it for the correct price as there systems could not be changed. Was advised to contact Royal Mail to complain. But they have nothing to do with the Post Office management.

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    Replies
    1. Is this nationwide? Can you cite a specific branch so that POL can investigate?

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    2. Hi Ian Crown PO in Oswestry stocked all stamps and was able to get all cylinder blocks no trouble. checked price of country definitive pack and was charged £16.30, which is what the system was quoting the clerk so it must be as it was loaded on the system nationwide

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  5. Philatelic Counter Trafalgar Square Post Office

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    Replies
    1. Flagship - couldn't get any better! Thanks, will pass this on.

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  6. Asked for the new £2.25 stamp at my local Post Office in Thatcham (franchise in McColls). They only stock £1.17 and £1.40 values at the moment. No 50p stamps either as they don't use them.

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  7. I have just had a conversation with a very nice lady at my local PO who advised that the £2.25 stamps would not be available until next week when the tariff change was effective - I politely asked her to check and she found out they could be sold after reading the paperwork that came with the stamps. I bought 5 and we both went away happy - Stuart

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  8. After reporting problems at Waltham Abbey and Enfield Wash (as per previous blog) I was in Harlow, Essex this lunchtime. Their Post Office is now in W H Smiths having been a Crown Office for many years. Straight to the counter and I asked for five £2.25p stamps. Reply, after searching in 'the book'. We don't do a £2.25p stamp. I replied, "they were issued to offices sometime ago and were released for issue on Tuesday". Still no luck. I said that they were issued in preparation for the forthcoming postal increase. Reply, ah that's probably why we haven't got them and we would only be able to sell them from next week. Discussion followed and the usual attitude of "huff puff do I really want this customer as I want to go to lunch. . . ". Off they went to check. Some private discussion and stamps were found. Conclusion: Either staff not being trained, staff not reading notices, staff not being managed, no communication. In this case probably all applies. Sad as I do go to some really helpful POs and staff well trained. Hence a rotten egg syndrome. Their £2.25p stock has printing date 21/11/16.
    Doug (Enfield)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ian Having just been reading Royal mail first leaflet on the new definitive issues, the back sheet order form states the price of the country Definitive Pack, is £16.30? Maybe problem lies with Royal Mail not Post office.

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    2. Royal Mail have a lot to answer for in this matter. All prices in the First leaflet are post Tariff. Country FDC's are quoted as £5.16, where as they are being sold on there website for £5.11. It would appear that dealers were also sent the wrong prices. Standing order customers were sent advice notes where the cost cited was wrong, as they had charged us post tariff rates. This was subsequently corrected when they took the money for payment.

      When they originally put the tariff changes on their website, 2nd Class Wales could be bought for 55p, where as 2nd Class England was quoted at 58p (new rate). It took near on a week for RM to correct.

      Does anybody at RM have control ?

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    3. Re the incorrect pricing on RM's own website, are we to presume that when the prices go up, an individual has to go through and manually change each price?

      Surely an organisation the size of Royal Mail should have a system where updating a 'reference price list' (e.g. for 1st and 2nd NVIs) automatically updates all affected products - individual stamps, packs, etc.

      Silly me, when did RM ever bother about the pounds when scrimping on pennies was more satisfying (if ultimately less profitable)?

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  9. My local post offices in Newnham On Severn and Chepstow couldn't be more helpful. They always get in plenty of new sheets and are happy to order items specifically. They even call me when the items I order arrive. Strange that the big branches such as Gloucester & Bristol are the opposite; they are completely not interested in helping us collectors AND also have a very limited knowledge of any stamps they sell.

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    Replies
    1. Gary, see the very first comment from Trevor on Bristol Galleries, which is the main PO. You may have hit them on a bad day?

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    2. Meanwhile, in Kent, at Lamberhurst I had to interrupt the postmistress from reading her book. No: they are forbidden to stock the RAF Centenary stamps...or any commemoratives. This is because they are 'an outreach Post Office.' Neither did they have any of the new stamps, neither English nor British, but next week they would be allowed to sell them once she had been to another post office to get them. I shall not be reaching out to my wallet there again

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  10. No joy at the main Peterborough office either. The manager refused to listen and insisted they will not be sold until the 26th.
    Formal complaint duly done through the appropriate channels, sick and tired of incompetent staff waisting my time.

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  11. Romsey were very helpful. I wasn't able to get in until Thursday but the stamps were still in the safe at that time. They took then from the safe and I was able to buy date blocks and several cylinder blocks with different grid spot postions for four of the stamps. A satisfied customer. The only problem was that they insisted that they had no £2.25 stamps. I suspect this may be wrong, but they had gone to the trouble of searching the safe and seemed pretty thorough. I understand that many people are reporting finding the 2016 DLR version of the £2.25 stamp, so this was probably the least interesting of the 5 stamps anyway.

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  12. I've just been to my local P.O. to try to get the new definitives. The new postmaster is actually a very obliging man, and went through his new stock in front of me, but couldn't find any of the new stamps. He says they might come on Tuesday, as his deliveries are often a week late.

    To my mind there are two ways of looking at this: one is to say this is chaos, the system is utter rubbish, Royal Mail don't know what they're doing and this is a good time to give up. The other is to say that this might be the most interesting time to be a collector, that we have gone back to the days before we were spoon-fed stuff, and this is real collecting - albeit with a lot more stamps.

    Personally I am still undecided. My mint collection is limping along but I'm right on the cusp of stopping altogether. RM might just be making things a bit TOO difficult.

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    1. Mike, don't forget the supplies at POs are sent out from PO Stores at Swindon, and the distribution is nothing to do with Royal Mail (though they are culpable in the case of the pricing error).

      One of the regular correspondents here sent me the printing dates that he had seen at a PO on 14 March, so there is no excuse for them not to have been at all outlets, although maybe the higher values would not be at all small ones.

      As Doug wrote (21st above) "Either staff not being trained, staff not reading notices, staff not being managed, no communication." And that is all down to POL

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    2. Well this is just getting sillier and sillier!

      I went back to my local PO today to get the new definitives. They had the £1.25, the £2.25 and the £2.65, but not the £1.45 or the £1.55. They checked all of the counter books. They got the reserve stock out of the safe and checked that. They checked the delivery note.
      No sign that the missing two even existed.

      Chaos!

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  13. Thank you for your email about your recent experience at the Peterborough Post Office branch.

     

    I'm really sorry to hear that you were refused service for the purchase of the new definitive stamps for the 2018 when you visited the branch. I understand the Branch Manager who served you advised they were unauthorised to sell the stamps until 26th March in line with the tariff increase.

     

    Following receipt of your complaint I have raised the matter direct to the Management Team responsible for the branch. This will ensure the staff at the branch are made aware of the process for selling these products and take necessary action to address concerns in regards to the service being provided.

     

    The stamps went on sale on the 20th March 2018, and I'm very sorry that due to a lack of information at the Peterborough branch, you were unable to obtain the stamps you required.

     

    I hope the action I've taken has resolved the issue for you, and I trust we've been able to restore your confidence in the Post Office once again.

     

    If we can be of any further assistance please don't hesitate to get back in touch with us again by replying to this email or emailing us at customercare@postoffice.co.uk directly.

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