« | Home | »

Beat the Post

Tags: | |

We were recently asked to deliver an insulting letter. Insulting to us as postal workers, that is, not to our customers. It was an advertising circular from Clifford James (established 1970), announcing their January sale. The insult was a statement on the front of the bright red envelope.

The letter was an item of downstream access mail relayed through a private mail company called Secured Mail (I’d never heard of them before), and underneath the frank there was a label, ‘Beat the POST!’, across an image of a speeding van. And underneath: ‘Our products are delivered by private courier NOT ROYAL MAIL.’

The capital letters are all their own. According to Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, the Royal Mail subsidises the private mail companies at a rate of about 2p per letter. So not only do they take the profitable trade away, leaving the Royal Mail with the expensive and difficult universal service obligation, but the Royal Mail actually pays them to do this.

One of the guys in the office took a Clifford James envelope to the line manager. The line manager apologised, but insisted that we had to deliver it anyway: ‘It’s paid-for mail.’

Comments on “Beat the Post”

  1. jrg says:

    Wouldn’t the exterior contents of an envelope count as advertising?

    A complaint to the ASA that it is factually inaccurate might at least get a little publicity for the issue, even if there’s no effective remedy.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • wearytruth on Stoke and Copeland: "Corbyn’s stated mission in leading Labour is to offer a break with the past and create an economy for the many, not the few." That was MY stated...
    • Ouessante on Stoke and Copeland: Stoke: Cons+UKIP 49.1%, Lab 37.1%. Saved only by a split vote. Hardly cause for Lab rejoicing I think. They should be very worried.
    • streetsj on Stoke and Copeland: As in all votes there are a multitude of reasons why people vote as they do but it seems unlikely that Nuttall's contribution was anything other than ...
    • piffin on Stoke and Copeland: That Labour could beat off Ukip's anti-immigrant challenge in Stoke but lose to the Tories in Copeland suggests the latter result was informed by the ...
    • suetonius on Remembering Seymour Papert: Oh my, flashback inducing. I remember being an undergraduate right when the book came out, physics student at the time. Several of my professors wer...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement