I bought an item on fleabay and it didn't arrive within the specified time but the seller told me it had been posted on time.
On Tuesday 2nd May, I received a card from the post office stating that an item of mail addressed to me had been under-stamped and gave me the opportunity to make good the outstanding amount plus their usurious "administration" charge. This I did and today received the package.
The package was sent on or before 24th April. This I know as it was internet generated postage and you have to post before a specific date or it gets rejected. It was posted first class, so should have been here a day or so later. This started alarm bells ringing in my (admittedly conspiracy theory fevered) mind, as the fee to pay card had arrived 2nd May.
I then checked the postage charges for both old and new postage price regimes (don't forget the price went up on 1st May) given the gross weight of the package as weighed on my postage scales which I know are accurate to within + or - 3 grams in the range up to 1Kg. Given the weight, the fact that it was first class, and was posted as a "large letter", the only permutation which gave the exact amount by which the postage was light came from the new prices.
I am of the opinion that this package was wilfully delayed in order to charge the paltry few extra pence that would be required post price increase, which is an offence contrary to section 84 of the Post Office Services Act 2000. In turn, I wonder how many other packages suffered the same fate. Even if the package wasn't wilfully delayed and it is just down to the usual abysmal standard of service I've come to expect from the post office, as far as I am aware, the contract of postage is based upon price prevailing upon the day of acceptance of the contract, meaning that any shortfall should be calculated on the then current prices. I'm hoping that there may be other cases which have come to light.
I'm not daft enough to think that this is policy from on high but somebody has made the decision, even if only at local level and I don't like it. Not one little bit.
We already know that the post office refused to sell stamps to retailers other than in "very restricted" quantities in the weeks prior to the price increase for "revenue protection" as they were proud to tell us.
It is also clear that, as a company, their answer to the fact that they were losing revenue to private contractors owing to their high prices and poor service, was to increase their prices even further for the poor saps who have no choice but to use them.
Eccentric? definitely. Anal? possibly, but I intend to pursue this (as I have no other windmills to tilt at for the time being ) until something more interesting comes along.