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dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 9:21 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Penny wrote:
If it's a choice between Smartstamp, and going into town, finding parking, paying for parking, fighting through the people, queueing at the post office, I'll take the Smartstamp I'm afraid.

Sure Penny, but in order to get the physical thing into the postal system, without going into town, etc, doesn't the stuff have to be small enough to fit into a pillar (or other posting) box?
And have to go without a receipt? (Genuine question - is there perhaps some way in which the smartstamp itself passing through the Post Office sorting system is able to generate the equivalent of a Certificate of Postage for compensation purposes?)

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dougal wrote:
Penny wrote:
If it's a choice between Smartstamp, and going into town, finding parking, paying for parking, fighting through the people, queueing at the post office, I'll take the Smartstamp I'm afraid.

Sure Penny, but in order to get the physical thing into the postal system, without going into town, etc, doesn't the stuff have to be small enough to fit into a pillar (or other posting) box?
And have to go without a receipt? (Genuine question - is there perhaps some way in which the smartstamp itself passing through the Post Office sorting system is able to generate the equivalent of a Certificate of Postage for compensation purposes?)


You can print a certifiticate of posting from Smartstamp, you pay extra to do it, but then IIRC, you have to take it to a post office to get it ratified bit pointless really!

Big items will still have to go to the post office, but you can print your postage off the same from the smartstamp account, and then take it to the post office - they have a large item posting box at ours that you can just chuck it into without having to queue.

All in all it's worth it - the biggest issue is with the new sizing stuff, trying to make sure you're not paying too much is a bit of a nightmare - it's hard for our staff to get it right, even with lots of aids, they still worry that they haven;t put enough on, so our postage bill seems to be rising a bit too much. We are considering getting rid of it for this reason, and taking everything to the post office again. It's chepaer to pay someone an extra 30 mins, than it is to get the postage that wrong everyday

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14968
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Stacey wrote:

No - you can do the small/medium buisness Smartstamp thing for 4.99 a month but the only extra cost to print your own is that you have to provide a label or something to actually print it onto. If it's a letter you can just print straight onto the envelope.

http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/jump3?mediaId=26800663&catId=400043&campaignid=olphomepagepromo


Bugger - wish I'd known that at Christmas! We are very, very lucky - our local sorting office is literally round the corner. They will take items, provided that they are stamped and paid for, and of course all our (alright, my!) parcels and registered post end up there if we're not in. It's what I shall miss second most when we move (first is the local woods, and third is Sophie's Chocolates!)

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just looked at that link Stacey - and it does make me wonder why we're paying the 4.99 Just so we can have our logo on the label?? I can print that off onto another label if we're that bothered

Does anyone see any difference with smartstamp and the other one

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dougal wrote:
Stacey wrote:
dougal wrote:
Stacey wrote:
I print a certificate of posting

Really? How can that be valid for compensation?


No idea dougal. You could try looking at the royal mail site. Do you have a point of view as to whether it's an ethically acceptable alternative to actually queuing up in a post office or are you just looking for a fight?


I have asked how it is different to buying the stamps and sticking them on yourself.
I have asked how you can print a "Certificate of Postage" for yourself - which as I'm sure folk will know is a receipt certifying that the Post Office have received the item - and worth 32 if the item gets lost.

I haven't had an answer.
Instead I'm asked if I'm "looking for a fight"!


I don't see how this can be an alternative to "queuing up at the post office" for anything that requires a receipt for the item, or for anything that won't fit into a pillar box.

I recognise that there is a cashflow advantage in not having to buy stamps in advance, and potentially from paying on credit card, but, er, that's about it as an advantage for the poster of things that don't go straight into letter boxes.
As I've said, printing your own good-looking labels isn't difficult.
And there's no need for the chap at the counter to stick anything on - if you don't wish him to. You can stick ordinary stamps on yourself!

The loss of revenue to local sub-post offices from this particular innovation would seem to be less than the losses that they have already experienced from changes to benefit payments, post office bank accounts, passport applications and vehicle re-licensing (and there are probably others).
In the current situation, it would be hard to be cheerful about running most rural sub-postoffices these days.

If you don't mind taking your parcels further to hand them in at another post office, then don't support your local one with your trade - and for things other than stamps, too.
Without trade (not just yours), it'll probably close quite soon, and you'll *have* to travel further with your parcels.
Its as simple as that.
Practicality, not ethics.


So, if it's practicality not ethics and it's proving more convenient for me to do it then I'l continue, thanks dougal

BTW - I'm not suggesting you stick your hand in the fire or anything, just asking for opinions on something I'm doing.

Bad Stacey

eta - when I take my parcels into old misery knickers I weigh it to find out how much it will be and he prints off a label. I think he'd probably spontaneously combust if I said to him 'Oh can I have 1.39's worth of stamps to stick on the parcel myself'

Last edited by Stacey on Fri Feb 16, 07 10:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Penny wrote:
Just looked at that link Stacey - and it does make me wonder why we're paying the 4.99 Just so we can have our logo on the label?? I can print that off onto another label if we're that bothered

Does anyone see any difference with smartstamp and the other one


I know - bit of clever marketing from RM there methinks. It's also much harder to find the print your own link as opposed to the smartstamp one. Even though I know it's there I still struggle to find it.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Methinks I'll cancel that dd then, and bookmark the link. 4.99 saved a month, that's nearly 60 over a year!

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 07 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Penny wrote:
dougal wrote:
... (Genuine question - is there perhaps some way in which the smartstamp itself passing through the Post Office sorting system is able to generate the equivalent of a Certificate of Postage for compensation purposes?)


You can print a certifiticate of posting from Smartstamp, you pay extra to do it, but then IIRC, you have to take it to a post office to get it ratified bit pointless really!


Thank you for clarifying that Penny!

Since each "stamp" is unique, there must be the (future) possibility of tracking all such items throughout the system. Sounds like not yet though. Just need a few more scanners and a software upgrade!
But for now, its exactly like sticking the stamps on yourself, but with a slight cashflow advantage. (And a potential dis-advantage regarding compensation for loss/damage of ordinary post - normally a Certificate of Posting is free,)

BTW, there's a nice online postal service cost comparison facility *here* as part of the stamp printing stuff.
EDIT: You tell it the weight, click the size/type and it tells you all the possible prices for the different services.

Interestingly, local sub-postmasters/mistresses are not paid pro-rata on the number of pieces of oversized mail that they accept.
If that is one of the most useful facilities that they are providing, in keeping their business running, it needs to have a 'value' that is visible to the accountants, so that it can be recognised, and (here's the ethical bit) rewarded appropriately.

Last edited by dougal on Sat Feb 17, 07 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14968
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 07 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What you could do Stacey, is buy a load of stamps in various denominations (1.00, 50p, 20p, 10p, and 1p say) and then weigh the parcel yourself and stick the stamps on, and give it to the OH to drop off where he's passing (or even hand it over to old misery guts!) At least then you would only have to ask for a reciept when you bought stamps, say once a month or so (or when you're in town at a different post office!) and your stamps would stay stuck on. I've done this in the past, but not since the new sizing business came in. It might be a bit harder to get it right, like Penny mentioned.

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 07 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
What you could do Stacey, is buy a load of stamps in various denominations (1.00, 50p, 20p, 10p, and 1p say) and then weigh the parcel yourself and stick the stamps on, and give it to the OH to drop off where he's passing (or even hand it over to old misery guts!) At least then you would only have to ask for a reciept when you bought stamps, say once a month or so (or when you're in town at a different post office!) and your stamps would stay stuck on. I've done this in the past, but not since the new sizing business came in. It might be a bit harder to get it right, like Penny mentioned.


Or I could just print off the label that has the price already on it
I haven't had any trouble working out the prices so far, touch wood. I just weigh it - none of it so far has gone over the dimensions for standard 1st or 2nd class packet prices. You get an email saying how much you've spent - I just print that off. It doesn't cost anything to print off a proof of posting but you have to have it signed at the post office. Since the only time I've needed a proof of posting is when the inept sod at the post office hasn't stuck the labels on correctly I can't say I'm that fussed.

Dougal, it's a two way thing with the rural post offices. If they want support they need to give a decent service. I'd be quite happy to support he one in the viallage if it had more pick up times (not his fault but I'm running a business after all) but I'm beggared if I'm going to go out of my way to support someone who is rude and repeatedly inneficient (definitely no-ones fault but his own).

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35904
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 07 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Penny wrote:
Methinks I'll cancel that dd then, and bookmark the link. 4.99 saved a month, that's nearly 60 over a year!

Me too, I think - I've been following this thread with interest! Our local PO is brilliant and only a five minute walk down in to the village; however, I think it looks more professional to have our logo on the envelopes. So I am torn about the 'supporting your local PO aspects' of the whole thing, too.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14968
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 07 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Stacey wrote:
Or I could just print off the label that has the price already on it


Nobody loves a smart alec!

Yep, reckon I would too! I don't live in a rural area, so I don't really appreciate the value of rural services. I loathe going to the town post office, and on-line services are at least in theory, equally availble to everyone, regardless of location. So I would actually be tempted to support those, over a real post office, and encourage on-line service over physical post office, but, like I say, the alternative for me is queueing for an hour at a horribly inefficient town post off, not supporting a rural one.

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