Using a franking machine you occassionally make a mistake on the franking label, either in value or it smudges or prints poorly.
To make life easy for the Royal Mail they have a scheme where-by you can send these in and they will refund you the value less an amount for their admin of the scheme.
Prior to May 2012 they charge 5% of the returned items which had to be no more than 6 months old and the total valure had to be over £10. In line with all their price hikes this suffered a 200% increase to 15% of the total cost of the franking pmpressions returned.
Their latest wheeze which they stated was also part of the new prices from May 2012 is to now demand you return the entire envelope which has the franking impression upon instead of what we always have done which is to return the label/impression section only.
Funnier still; when we stated concern over data protection with returning the entire envelope with our customers address on they said it was OK to cut this off! – OKay let me get this right I can’t just send back the franked part of the envelope but I’ve got to send the entire envelope less the addressee part, surely this is just a bigger piece of paper in effect!!
The customer service assistant we spoke with when we phoned to complain about this said it was something their auditors had demanded as part of their fraud prevention measures.
Given each franking impression has our dye number on it I wonder how intelligent they are (or think we are!)
I’m at a loss how we could defraud them by sending a franking impression (that costs more than the face value printed on it) back for refund that we’ve printed (proved by our dye number) less 15% of the face value – any offers on how we can make money on this?
Irked by them stating they would give us the refund this time if we send them in with a note of the discussion I decided to do some further digging.
The stated this was brought in with the 30th April 2012 price rises – this turns out to be a blatent lie, checking the ROYAL MAIL SCHEME FOR FRANKING LETTERS AND PARCELS 2008 it states in Section 11.6
If a User prints a Franking Mark by mistake, the User may write to the Royal Mail controlling office to apply for a refund within 6 months of the date when the Franking Mark was printed, enclosing the franked envelopes, wrappers or other items which must total no less than £10. If Royal Mail receives all the information and evidence it requires and the amount of Postage or Fees shown by the Franking Mark is legible, Royal Mail will give the User a partial refund of the amount of Postage paid, having deducted an amount which Royal Mail considers to be reasonable to meet the administrative cost of dealing with the User’s application.
This could be read that envelopes must be returned until you check if this has changed, which when I checked the original inactment of the scheme via the London Gazette the wording was exactly the same; so no change.
If they accepted just the Franking Impression portion before then they should accept it now.