Is it right for Postal Services around the World to Dump Letters with Inadequate Postage?
Postal authorities wanting to be able to dispose of post
Postal services around the world are currently seeking the right to dispose of underpaid letters and packages , rather than delivering them to the recipient with a surcharge, which is the current practice. If the new rule comes into play, it will completely change the way post has been treated i.e. as the property of the recipient.
This new way of delivering letters (or should we say not delivering letters), would mean that neither the sender nor the recipient would be aware of what had happened to their mail or where it had been disposed of.
One postal service that is in favour of the rules is An Post in Ireland. The postal service has recently drawn up a new set of terms and conditions that are subject to regulation. The Irish regulator Comreg is currently looking into the proposed changes and it is believed that many postal services around the world will try and follow suit.
The current practice for dealing with letters with inadequate postage
As it currently stands if Royal Mail cannot deliver a letter, as the sender has not paid enough postage, the recipient will be sent a ‘fee to pay card’ also known as a ‘P4605.’ This will inform them that their letter is being kept at the delivery office and the price they need to pay for it to be delivered to them. Payments can usually be made online.
If the recipient refuses to pay the surcharge, the letter may be returned to the recipient (if there is a return addressed attached). If this isn’t possible, Royal Mail will keep the letter up to four months, pending claims via customer service, after which it will be disposed of.
Is it right to for postal services to dump letters?
It all depends on how you look at it. From the postal service’s point of view, it’s extremely inconvenient and costly for them to have to manage letters that do not contain the adequate postage. It means sending out ‘fee to pay’ cards, returning letters and storing letters, all of which is an extra drain on their resources.
On the other hand, you could say that it is not fair to the sender or recipient that their letter is automatically dumped. What if the sender accidentally attached the wrong sized stamp? Surely the recipient or sender should have the opportunity to pay the extra fee?
Whilst this topic is bound to cause a lot of controversy, there’s an easy solution and that’s to use a mailing house, like Baker Goodchild . Send your letters using a mailing house and you can guarantee they will get the postage correct every time, giving you the peace of mind that your precious correspondence won’t end up in the dustbin!
Image Credit: Incurable Hippie