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Royal Mail considering changing the small parcel size

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  • Royal Mail considering changing the small parcel size

    Royal Mail is doing a consultation to consider increasing the size of small parcels. If this goes ahead, the change could happen by the end of this month.

    The 450 x 350 x 80mm dimensions would remain the same, but the 160 x 160 x 160mm dimensions would increase to 350 x 250 x 160mm.

    There's an article about it at http://tamebay.com/2013/09/royal-mai...rcel-size.html
    Stephen
    Website - Soy of the North
    Blog - If Soy Candles Could Talk
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  • #2
    My thoughts on this....

    I'm a Saturday girl at my local post office (I like that discription as it makes me sound about 20 years younger than I am ) and knew about this 'unofficially' a month or so ago. Royal Mail released a statement to the public at about the same time as we got the official notification that the consultation was happening.

    Personally I think it would be madness to release this info to the public if they were not going to go ahead and change the sizes, plus they are just losing far too much business to the couriers for what is a very 'normal' sized parcel - people's eyes tend to pop out when you tell them how much it's going to cost, they begrudgingly pay as they need it sent and then vow to find a cheaper way next time.
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    • #3
      I'm afraid I avoid Royal Mail as much as possible these days. The latest straw is having to bellow exactly what is in a package to the whole post office (deaf counter staff) at one office. At least at the other they bother to remember me and ask 'the usual?' since some new restrictions came in.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pearlescence View Post
        I'm afraid I avoid Royal Mail as much as possible these days. The latest straw is having to bellow exactly what is in a package to the whole post office (deaf counter staff) at one office. At least at the other they bother to remember me and ask 'the usual?' since some new restrictions came in.
        If revealing your parcel content is going to embarrass you in front of other customers it's best to write what it is in the top right corner (where the label will be placed). It's a safety issue so the question has to be asked unfortunately, some of the items on the excluded or restricted list are not that obvious.
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        • #5
          This is great news lets hope it makes it cheaper to send parcels. Pearlescense I know what you mean and then i stand there having to remember whats in each parcel as well.

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          • #6
            It doesn't embarrass me, but I don't much care for everyone in the shop hearing my business.
            The last time they asked it was very clearly on the customs label, along with the customs code, but they asked anyway 'because we are told we must ask'
            Neither would they accept 'I have carefully read the leaflet you gave me on this matter and none of the items are on your proscribed list' -again 'because we are told we must ask'.
            I simply don't go in there any more. They need to remember that there are other sub post offices.

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            • #7
              Going slightly off topic here, but a letter in my local paper last night made a valid point on the new rule that perfume is considered dangerous and cannot be airmailed....she pointed out that, everyday, the skies are filled with aircraft packed full of duty free fragrance...work that one out... X
              Sarah x

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Loody View Post
                Going slightly off topic here, but a letter in my local paper last night made a valid point on the new rule that perfume is considered dangerous and cannot be airmailed....she pointed out that, everyday, the skies are filled with aircraft packed full of duty free fragrance...work that one out... X
                Its obvious isn't it? Cargo hold conditions are different to cabin conditions. Cargo holds aren't always heated or pressurised the same as cabins are. If a fire starts in a cabin is can be spoted easily, same can'r be said for cargo holds where everything is just piled in tightly.

                Nattynetty - I have to agree with Pearlescence here. I haven't looked at the regs recently but last year I had a right ding dong in the Post Office when they were trying to say my parcel was illegal. I refused to leave the Post office until she had proved me wrong but she couldn't. Eventually the manager/owner of the Post office came in and told her to accept my parcel as he thought I may be correct. I was sending hatching eggs by next day special. Last year this was perfectly legal within the UK. You can (or could last year) send animal sperm and all sorts of wierd things. Its only usually 'dangerous' goods that are restricted. In my industry I'm familiar with this. I do think the Post Office Staff need basic training so they can understand which goods fall into certain categories. I rarely use the Post Office now, they have priced themselves out of the market.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Craftychez View Post
                  I do think the Post Office Staff need basic training so they can understand which goods fall into certain categories. I rarely use the Post Office now, they have priced themselves out of the market.
                  Post Office staff do have basic training and laminate guidelines that show what is and what isn't allowed. I would say it's prefectly clear but to be honest RM recently had to clarify some of the rules as there were some contridictions so it's not always the counter staff at fault but rather the rules that could be interpreted different ways. Have to agree with you on your last point though as I use RM far less than I used to too.

                  but I don't much care for everyone in the shop hearing my business
                  Then write it on the parcel like I suggested, can't understand why it's a problem having everyone in the shop hearing your business though, you could see it as another form of advertising.
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                  • #10
                    If the Post Office staff have basic training then it hasn't worked. There is one lady at our Post Office who is fantastic, as are theowner /managers but the other staff have put me off going. Its really hard to bite your tongue and not be as rude as they are when they don't have a clue about the subject they are talking about and act in an unprofessional manner. I am not a dangerous goods advisor myslef but the basic categories are very clear, nor grey areas that could cause confucion. Different categories all have diferent allowable volumes, its all laid out in a table so its not in the least bit confusing if you can read.

                    They have always got leaflets out not laminated guides when I've been at the counter.

                    Writing a parcels contents on the outside wrapper may encourage people to steal them.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Craftychez View Post
                      I am not a dangerous goods advisor myslef but the basic categories are very clear, nor grey areas that could cause confucion. Different categories all have diferent allowable volumes, its all laid out in a table so its not in the least bit confusing if you can read.
                      The fact RM have admitted internally that some aspects could be interpreted in different ways and issued further guidelines would suggest there WERE grey areas - probably a good job you're not a dangerous goods adviser if you are just happy to dismiss those areas as people being unable to read rather than delving a bit deeper.

                      And if you read a bit further up I suggested you write the contents on the top right corner where the postage label goes so it gets covered up. You can complain about it as much as you like (I find it annoying having to ask the question, press extra buttons/put on extra labels) but it's being done for a good reason.
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                      • #12
                        I don't agree with you at all. If someone is going to investigate suspect items then they need to be educated on the subject otherwise its a waste of time.

                        I deal with chemicals daily and have also been involved with some really stupid flase alarms with Royal Mail. As a job I do go to identify suspect or damaged items in transit for import and export couriers so I do know what I'm talking about. I quote and arrange disposal of these items once I have classifed them.

                        My friend sent some party invitations out which she made herself. She used vanilla scented embossing powder. Royal mail smelt the vanilla and opened the envelopes. She had included her name and address so guests could reply to her. Weeks later, after nobody turned up, she got the invitations back in a polythene bag with no explanation other than they thought she was a terrorist. If it had happened to me I would have gone crazy! If they thought there was a problem why didn't anyone phone her or visit her after opening the invites? Why did they need to open each and every one of them? Vanilla....dangerous? I know of no chemicals/drugs that smell of vanilla.

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                        • #13
                          Added daftness about the regs - they don't apply to large letters- in my nice sub office I told them I had bigged them up about how they deal with the regs and they laughed and pointed out that anomoly - indeed someone posted a mobile with a battery in a large letter only the day before and they found out only because of a discussion on another topic - but since large letters aren't subject to the regs it could go through anyway. (and of course large letters with evil contraband contents can easily go into the letter box anyway.)
                          So that proves the rules are badly drafted in one instance
                          (and, by the way, I do object to some person interrogating me as to the identity of the items, when the customs code was clearly written on the back on the customs label - but she still insisted on asking.)
                          Apparently the consult is because eBay is furious because shoes are no longer selling - the parcel sizes cut them out while the proposed sizes will allow shoe boxes in the cheaper category.
                          Great RM move to irritate one of your biggest customers in the first place.
                          Defend all you like but the post office/royal mail is doing a great job of shedding customers.

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                          • #14
                            Its the Post Office rules that are the problem not the regs on transporting hazardous / dangerous goods. If the P.O had qualified DGSAs (as in my previous post) there wouldn't be any grey areas. Most items we send would be classed as limited quantities but the links are here if you want to read through it all.


                            http://www.roadsafeeurope.com/Air/Lithium_Batteries

                            http://www.roadsafeeurope.com/Awareness

                            http://www.roadsafeeurope.com/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Craftychez View Post
                              I don't agree with you at all. If someone is going to investigate suspect items then they need to be educated on the subject otherwise its a waste of time.
                              I have no idea who investigates suspect items, all I know is counter staff have to ask the question and we have the laminate that shows whether it is banned or restricted and labels are attached accordingly. It's not fair to moan about the counter staff when it's RM who have set the rules, there may be the odd staff member that doesn't fully understand them (and like i said previously it's not surprising when RM issued contradictionary advice) but isn't that the same in all walks of life.

                              Originally posted by Pearlescence View Post
                              Added daftness about the regs - they don't apply to large letters- in my nice sub office I told them I had bigged them up about how they deal with the regs and they laughed and pointed out that anomoly
                              Yep we have a regular customer who sells nail varnish, he was concerned about the new regs until we told him it didn't apply to large letters so to send them spaced out in an envelope, I can only assume it's generally only parcels that go by air but who knows how RM think. We have to follow the rules (they are hot on mystery shoppers at the moment to make sure we ask the question) but there's nothing to say we can't point out things to make customer's lives easier. If you've found a nice sub office then stick to them and don't go to the one that annoys you, we get loads of people come to us from the nearest town as they say it's a much nicer experience plus we see it as our mission to get parcels down to small size where possible - it might make our manager less commission but nothing gets repeat customers like saving them money

                              At the end of the day if you're not sending anything embarrassing I really can't understand why it's worth getting wound up about being asked the contents. Plus you might get some extra business from it, I know I've asked customers for their website address when I find out they're selling something that interests me

                              But back to the original point, the new size (if it happens) will be brilliant for those who post light items, unfortunately for me most of my parcels that would fit in trhe new size would still weigh over 1kg so I'll still be using a courier for most of mine.
                              Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies

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