Royal Mail introduce a ‘simplified’ surcharging structure

Royal Mail introduce a ‘simplified’ surcharging structure

In a move appearing to placate pressure groups who have pushed back on Royal Mails format related pricing scheme (introduced in 2006) as ‘confusing to the elderly‘ , a ‘simplified’ surcharging scheme for items underpaid or not paid at all has been introduced that moves the burden of surcharging away from ‘Celebration Cards’ (aka Birthday and Christmas Cards) to ‘e-commerce’ mail. These changes, for example, result in mail from more vulnerable groups not being surcharged at all, but results in punitive surcharges for EBayers who just get it ‘1p wrong’.

From 14th September 2015, Royal Mail ceased surcharging of underpaid ‘celebration’ cards. So far it is unclear how RM intend to identify what is or isn’t a ‘Celebration Card’ without opening the item so expect some further ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ Daily Mail reader type feedback on this.

£1 Surcharge £1.20 to payFrom 5th October 2015 , in the first change to the rules in ten years, Royal Mail have introduced ‘Flat Rate Surcharging’ where a ‘fine’ is leveyed dependent on what format the item is and whether the sender has attempted to make payment at all.

Previously the surcharge was calculated by working out the shortfall between what should have been paid (at the applicable 2nd class rate) and adding a ‘handling charge’ of £1.

Now the surcharge is a follows:-

£1.50 for partially paid letters or large letters (Incorrect Postage) (But no charge if the item is a ‘Celebration Card’)

£2.00 for where no postage has been paid on Letters or Large Letters (Including ‘Celebration Cards’)

£3.00 for items partially paid or not paid for Small Parcels

and £1.50 plus amount underpaid (rounded to nearest 10p) for Medium Parcels or Special Delivery items.

As and example just falling pence short for items not correctly sized as Small Parcels would result in a £3 fine.

To present this ‘simplified’ approach to surcharging new labels have been introduced – and a selection of these appear here

IMG_4187IMG_4186 3IMG_4188


So the commonest surcharges of £1.11 now become £1.50 and £1.54 becomes £2.00 – but my suggestion is that you mark items ‘celebration card’ and pay the letter rate!

Let me know what you experiences you have with any surcharged mail you receive by commenting below.

It will be interesting to see what changes this has to the practice of applying machine and handstamp cancellations such as these previously applied to unpaid letters :-

Royal Mail SurchargeIMG_4204

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